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 2022, as set out in our business plan for 2021-22.

Crown Prosecution Service  Area Inspection Programme 

Please see attached information on the programme:

About the Area inspection programme (14 kB)

Thematic inspections

Carried forward from 2020-21

  • Serious Fraud Office Witness Care
  • Custody time limit cases in the CPS

Please see attached the scoping framework of the inspection:

SFO Witness Care Initial Scoping Paper (62 kB)

Custody Time Limits Scoping Document (47 kB)


New for 2021-22

These topics will be scoped and at least two of the inspections will start in the 2021-22 period (subject to the limitations of coronavirus).

  • Information Security in the SFO
  • Governance and decision-making in the SFO
  • Case progression in the SFO– a follow-up inspection

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 2021-22, these subjects include the following:

  • Gang crime, ‘county lines’ and knife crime in the CPS
  • Cases involving domestic abuse in the CPS
  • Young witness protocol in the CPS
  • Community engagement in the CPS
  • Victim communication in the CPS

Joint Inspections

The Criminal Justice Joint Inspection Joint business plan 2021–22 contains full details of the proposed joint inspection programme for this year.

HMCPSI has committed resources in 2021-22 to the following joint inspections:

  • How well the criminal justice system serves survivors of rape
  • Cases involving mentally disordered offenders
  • Race disparities in the criminal justice system

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.