Please note:

HMI Probation cannot deal with individual cases or with complaints about the National Probation Service, a Community Rehabilitation Company or Youth Offending Service.

A complaint about the National Probation Service should be addressed to the Deputy Director of the division, a complaint about a Community Rehabilitation Company should be addressed to the Chief Executive of the CRC concerned.

A complaint about a Youth Offending Service should be addressed to the manager of the Youth Offending Service concerned.



HMI Probation complaints procedure

We aim to carry out our work to the highest professional standard, to deliver an efficient and effective public service which represents best value for money and to make sure that our inspection processes are transparent and fair. We are committed to continual improvement. This includes handling complaints carefully in an open and courteous way by investigating the matters raised thoroughly and replying as quickly as possible.

Underpinning our work is our Values. Key elements are:


We work in an independent, honest, open, professional, fair and polite way.


We are reliable and stand by the evidenced conclusions we reach. We will always fully account for our actions.


We report and publish inspection findings and recommendations for improvement, focused on service practice quality and impact, in good time and to a high standard. We check the impact of our inspections. We disseminate widely to enable improvement across England and Wales.


We promote attention to diversity in all aspects of our work, including within our own employment practices and organisational processes and are committed to pursuing equality of outcomes for all.

These principles are applied in inspections through the following practices:

  • feedback on initial findings at or soon after the fieldwork visits
  • sending the draft report to the organisation whose work we are inspecting for comment on matters of factual accuracy before finalisation.

These procedures should allow any issues to be dealt with informally and at the earliest opportunity in the course of the inspection process. There may, however, still be occasions when an organisation or individual wishes to contest the process of the inspection or to register concern about the conduct of inspection staff.

If you wish to make a complaint about HMI Probation

You may wish to make a complaint if you consider that:

  • the inspection process has not been properly carried out
  • a judgement made in the report on a major point of substance is clearly unwarranted
  • the approach used by HMI Probation staff is considered or perceived as unfair or discriminatory
  • the conduct of a member of HMI Probation staff or of an inspection team led by HMI Probation, is cause for complaint.

The process

  • Complaints should be set out in writing to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Probation, with any supporting evidence attached.
  • We will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within five working days.
  • A senior member of HMI Probation staff who has no direct connection with the matter will consider the complaint.
  • If the complaint is about a member of HMI Probation staff, they will be informed of the matter and given the opportunity to comment in writing, and/or to meet with the person investigating the complaint within ten working days of the receipt of the complaint.
  • The person investigating the complaint will produce a note of their findings and any recommended actions required, and submit this to the Chief Inspector within one calendar month of receipt of the complaint. A copy will normally be given to the subject of the complaint (where relevant).
  • The Chief Inspector will consider the findings and reply to the complainant in writing within 20 working days of the conclusion of the HMI Probation investigation.
  • Where the matter is too complex to be dealt with within this timescale, or it requires further investigation, the complainant and the subject of complaint will be informed and given a date by which they will receive a full response.
  • The final decision concerning how complaints are dealt with rests with HM Chief Inspector and there is no formal appeal process against this decision. It is of course open for complainants who are unhappy with the result of their complaint to raise the matter with Ministers or local Members of Parliament.


The inspectorate seeks feedback from staff and managers of organisations whose work has been inspected on our style, conduct and approach. Responses are regularly reviewed and used to improve the inspection process and a summary of results is published in our Annual Report, where we will also publish an account of any complaints and their outcome.

Please address all correspondence to:

HM Inspectorate of Probation
1st Floor, Manchester Civil Justice Centre,
1 Bridge Street West,
Manchester, M3 3FX

0161 240 5336 (E-mail address)