Who we are and what we do

Who we are

Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) inspects the work carried out by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and other prosecuting agencies. We are independent from these organisations and are completely separately funded. Our independence from government and the agencies we inspect, enables us to identify weaknesses and share good practice.

HMCPSI employs:

  • Legal inspectors – to assess the quality of prosecution decisions and legal processes. Our legal inspectors are made up of solicitors and barristers with backgrounds in prosecution, defence and private practice.
  • Business management inspectors – to assess the quality of management and planning in the organisations we inspect. Our business management inspectors are experienced staff with skills in areas such as management, business planning, audit, change management and governance.
  • Corporate staff – to assist in the running of the inspections and HMCPSI.

What we do

HMCPSI produces reports with our findings and recommendations. We submit an annual report to the Attorney General on the operation of the CPS which is laid before Parliament. We also advise the Director of Public Prosecutions (the independent head of the CPS) on the performance of each CPS Area, Headquarters Directorates and of the CPS as a whole in relation to these issues.

The law gives us the right to inspect the CPS. We inspect other prosecuting agencies by invitation, such as the Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA). We also inspect the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland (PPSNI) under the powers delegated by the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland. Since May 2014, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 gave HMCPSI  power to inspect the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).