About our inspections

Our independent inspections give prosecution organisations the evidence they need to continuously improve. This continuous improvement strengthens the public’s trust in the prosecution process.

We have a statutory duty to inspect the work of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Serious Fraud Office (SFO). We conduct two main types of inspection with these organisations: CPS Area inspections and thematic inspections.

By special arrangement, we also inspect other prosecution services in the UK and overseas.


Crown Prosecution Service Area inspections

A CPS Area inspection looks at casework, business and functionality within one of the 14 CPS Areas across England and Wales.

From 2016 to 2019, we conducted an Area Assurance Programme (AAP), where we inspected and reported on all 14 Areas using an identical framework, then published a summary report collating the findings across the whole CPS.

Browse CPS Area inspection reports

Thematic inspections

Thematic inspections examine a theme across the whole of the CPS or SFO. They can focus on elements of casework, business, functionality, or a mix of the three.

For some thematic inspections, we collaborate with the other criminal justice inspectorates.

Browse thematic inspection reports

Inspections by special arrangement

By invitation, we may inspect other prosecution organisations.

In the past, for instance, we have assisted Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland – our counterparts in Northern Ireland – with inspections of the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service. We have also inspected the functions of the Service Prosecuting Authority, which is responsible for prosecutions in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

If you are interested in arranging an inspection of a prosecution organisation, please contact us.