HM Inspectorate of Probation (HMI Probation) is an independent inspectorate, funded by the Ministry of Justice.

Our purpose is to:

  • report to the Secretary of State on the effectiveness of work with adults, children and young people who have offended, or who are likely to offend, aimed at reducing offending and protecting the public, whoever undertakes this work
  • report on the effectiveness of the arrangements for this work, working with other inspectorates as necessary
  • contribute to improved performance by the organisations whose work we inspect
  • contribute to sound policy and effective service delivery, especially in public protection, by providing advice and disseminating good practice, based on inspection findings, to Ministers, officials, managers and practitioners
  • promote actively race equality and wider diversity issues, especially in the organisations whose work we inspect
  • contribute to the overall effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System, particularly through joint work with other inspectorates.

Code of Practice:

  • HMI Probation aims to achieve its purpose and to meet the principles for inspection in the public sector by:
  • working in an honest, professional, fair and polite way
  • reporting and publishing inspection findings and recommendations for improvement in good time and to a good standard
  • promoting race equality and wider attention to diversity in all aspects of our work, including within our own employment practices and organisational processes
  • carrying out inspections in an efficient and cost-effective way, both for HMI Probation and for the organisations whose work we are inspecting.

While carrying out our work we are mindful of Ministerial priorities and the ten principles of inspection published in ‘Inspecting for Improvement’ in July 2003. We work closely with other Criminal Justice Inspectorates through the Criminal Justice Chief Inspectors’ Group, and also with inspectorates involved in work with children and young people.

The different types of inspection: Nearly all our inspections are conducted jointly with other inspectorates. They consist of:

  • Inspecting Adult Offending Work (IAOW): entail visits to all Probation Trusts to assess work with adult offenders against our published criteria. The programme started in April 2014.
  • Inspecting Youth Offending Work (IYOW): This programme began in September 2012.
    • Full Joint Inspection (FJI) – targeted at a small number of YOTs each year where performance gives particular cause for concern, together with at least one YOT where published performance is strong and worth sharing.
    • Short Quality Screening (SQS) – targeted at approximately 20% of YOTs each year across the whole range of published performance.
  • Thematic inspections – we undertake a number of thematic inspections each year with other inspectorates looking at issues of mutual concern or interest. Some of this work focuses just on adult offending work, some of it solely on youth offending work and some on both
  • Special inquiries – we also undertake special inquiries into specific cases on occasion at the request of Ministers.

The reports: Our reports, setting out our findings on adult and youth offending work are published approximately three months after our fieldwork. They include recommendations for improvement as well as highlighting examples of good practice. Our reports can be accessed at the following website: HM Inspectorate of Probation website

The chief inspector for HMI Probation

Sue McAllister interim HM chief inspector of Probation.

Sue McAllister is the interim of the HM chief inspector of Probation.