I have worked with the Inspectorate since January 2016. Before this, my background was as an operational prison manager in roles across both the private and public sector for 23 years. Much of my experience had been within the high-security estate. Having gained accreditation for a deputy governor/governor role, I needed to decide which direction my career should take.

At this point I became aware of the recruitment campaign for the Inspectorate. The recruitment process was not easy but I was overjoyed when I was informed that I had been successful.

While I am comfortable in a custodial environment, I am also conscious that inspecting is very different to day-to-day prison management and I have much learning and development ahead of me.

I use my previous experience to my advantage – I am acutely aware of the pressures faced by staff in prison environments from both security and resource perspectives. I respect their position when I am inspecting, particularly if I have to give critical feedback. However, these pressures should never detract from the need to ensure that prisons are safe and respectful and that positive, decent outcomes for prisoners remain the top priority for all.

I have received excellent support from my colleagues, who have a whole host of experiences from many different sectors. Learning from them has been the thing I have enjoyed most. Not only has it helped me develop as an inspector but it has provided me with a broader, more holistic understanding of criminal justice and independent inspection.

I find it extremely satisfying to share good practice and firmly believe that the work of the Inspectorate and the areas which I contribute to will make a positive difference in people’s lives.