About HMCPSI

HMCPSI has a statutory duty to inspect the operation of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The purpose of inspection is to drive improvements and build public confidence in the prosecution process. Our inspections do this by providing independently assessed evidence, which:

  • Allows others to hold the CPS and SFO to account
  • Informs debate about how they perform

While we may make recommendations in our reports, we are not a regulator, and do not have any power to enforce compliance.

We may inspect other prosecution services by invitation. In the past, we have inspected the Service Prosecuting Authority and assisted the Criminal Justice Northern Ireland Inspectorate in inspecting the Public Prosecution Service.

Our vision

A fair, efficient, effective and trusted prosecution process
The government and the public need to be able to trust that the CPS and SFO are working fairly, effectively and efficiently.

Our independent inspections give prosecution organisations the evidence they need to continuously improve, to preserve and strengthen that trust.

Our values

A professional approach
We act fairly, honestly and responsibly in our dealings with our stakeholders, especially the organisations we inspect.

An open-minded attitude
We approach our work in a spirit of enquiry, without prejudice, and strive to be constructive in our responses.

A collegiate culture
We are enthusiastic about each other’s successes and proactive about pursuing our own opportunities.

Who we report to

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service, the head of HMCPSI, is appointed by the Attorney General. This is a public appointment for a fixed term. The Chief Inspector acts independently of the Attorney General and of the government.

We have a statutory duty to inspect the operation of the CPS and SFO and report to the Attorney General, who superintends both those organisations. Our reports play an important role in effective superintendence.

The operational relationship between the Attorney General and the Chief Inspector is set out in a protocol agreed between the Law Officers (the Attorney General and Solicitor General) and the Chief Inspector.

Key documents

HMCPSI Chief Inspector’s annual report 2018-19 (3 MB)

HMCPSI business plan 2019-20 (525 kB)