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

HMCPSI’s values run through all we do, whether internally or externally, on inspection or in our wider work. Our values are:

A professional approach
We act fairly, honestly, responsibly and with respect.

An open-minded attitude
We act with integrity and independence in all we do, producing high-quality, evidence-based reports that are fair and proportionate.

A collegiate culture
We work together and with others to support improvement across the criminal justice system.

Who we report to

His 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 Annual Report 2021-22 (356 kB)

HMCPSI Business Plan 2023-24 (289 kB)