Each year, we work with our stakeholders to decide what inspections we will carry out, and publish the resulting inspection programme in our annual business plan.

Our stakeholders include the Law Officers, the Attorney General and Solicitor General; senior members of the judiciary; academics; Members of Parliament; representatives of specialist groups, such as victim support groups; and the organisations we inspect.

Our current inspection programme

These are our planned inspections for the 12 months to March 2021, as set out in our business plan for 2020-21.

Crown Prosecution Service Area inspections

We will develop a methodology for a programme of CPS Area inspections focusing on:

  • The impact of the 2019 comprehensive spending review, which allowed a substantial increase in lawyer resources, on the quality of casework and associated outcomes
  • The effectiveness of induction training for new lawyers and support and training for new managers

Thematic inspections

Carried forward from 2019-20

  • Charging
  • Information management in the CPS
  • Performance monitoring and improvement in CPS Areas
  • Complex Casework Units
  • SFO and CPS operation of Proceeds of Crime Divisions

New for 2020-21

These inspection topics will all be scoped and at least two of the inspections will commence in 2020-21 (subject to the limitations of the coronavirus crisis):

  • Complaints handling in the SFO
  • Witness care in the SFO
  • Information security in the SFO

We maintain a list of topics which may be added to our inspection programme if resources allow, or if the urgency to inspect them increases. For 2020-21, these subjects include the following:

  • Gang crime, county lines and knife crime in the CPS
  • Casework quality in Crown Court cases in the CPS
  • The handling of police correspondence in the CPS
  • Sharing good practice in the CPS
  • Management of change in the CPS
  • Strategic partnerships in the CPS
  • Service to victims and witnesses in the CPS
  • Young witness protocol in the CPS
  • Community engagement in the CPS
  • Use of individual learning accounts in the CPS
  • Victim communication letters in the CPS
  • Disclosure in the CPS

Other inspections

Sometimes we are asked to carry out inspections on short notice. Naturally, it is not possible to include these in our inspection programme, but we do build flexibility into the programme to try to make sure we can assist with short notice requests.