Service User Engagement Lead

Grade: SEO/Band B

Salary minimum: £30,989 – £41,095

Working pattern: Full time

Term: Fixed term/secondment for up to two years

Location: Manchester Civil Justice Centre, M3 3FX

Closing date: 21 August 2020


Job description  

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. Find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Personal experience of probation and/or youth justice as a service user is desirable for this post. It’s important to us that we are a truly inclusive organisation that seeks and responds to the knowledge and experience that those with lived experience of the services we inspect can offer.

We are offering this post on a two-year secondment/loan or a two-year fixed term contract. The post will be based in our office in Manchester but we do support flexible working.

If seconded, everything (including pay and employment terms & conditions) will be the same as you currently receive from the seconding employer. The salary for those joining us on a fixed term contract will be £30,989.

This is a great chance to work in a unique organisation. Together we are committed to help improve the quality of probation and youth justice services in England and Wales. We know it is important to the public, to victims and to those who use these services that they are as good as they can possibly be.

Who are we? The job of HM Inspectorate of Probation is to report on the quality of work with adults and children who have offended which helps reduce reoffending and protect the public. Our Chief Inspector reports his findings direct to the Secretary of State for Justice.

Who are we looking for? We are looking for a Service User Engagement Lead who can help us get the views of service users embedded into the work of the Inspectorate. Ideally, we are looking for someone with personal experience of probation and/or youth justice as a service user as we think they can provide the best advice.

This post will require travel and time away from home. Applicants must be sure they can meet this requirement.

Is this for you? The Service User Engagement Lead will help us involve service users in our work to improve the evidence we collect about the way services are delivered. They will also help deliver our service user engagement strategy and action plan. This is a unique post that will work with staff at all levels within the organisation.

The postholder will:

  • work with others to develop the best ways to involve those with lived experience in the activities of the Inspectorate
  • advise on how the Inspectorate can use lived experience to help inform the way it runs
  • help develop and deliver the Inspectorate’s Service User Engagement action plan
  • work with service users to identify, understand and tackle barriers to them getting involved in inspection programmes
  • help develop ways of getting service users involved in inspections and research projects, so that the voice of the service user is a key part of the evidence we collect
  • attend inspections and other fieldwork to help coordinate the input of service users and those with lived experience to our inspection activity
  • help identify and engage a network of contacts who can provide advice on what works best to engage those with lived experience
  • identify good practice, develop it and promote it
  • contribute to our effective practice products
  • attend external events to help inform this area of work and to promote the work of the Inspectorate and what we do on service user engagement.

The following provides examples of the kind of work that the postholder could find themselves involved in to support our core inspection work, in particular. We are, however, looking for the postholder to consider new, as well as tried and tested approaches, to involving service users in our core inspections and other inspectorate work:

  • working with our inspectors and researchers to develop questionnaires or other techniques that can be used to gather the views of service users about the quality of probation and youth services
  • helping to pilot these tools in local areas to test which questions and methods of data collection (for example, face to face or phone interviews) work best
  • liaising with local service user council representatives and peer mentors to seek their views on our methodology and their assistance with gathering feedback from service users
  • joining our inspection teams on inspection fieldwork visits to local probation and youth services to help lead on the collection of service user views during these inspections
  • helping to write up the findings from our service user engagement during inspections and contributing those themes to discussions with inspection team leaders on our inspection findings and ratings.

We will be looking for applicants who have good written and spoken communication skills, the ability to gain the confidence of adult and youth service users and who can communicate confidently with a wide range of people. We’re also looking for people with an excellent understanding of the probation and/or youth justice system through the lens of the service user, preferably including personal experience as a probation and/or youth justice service user; and a good record of building strong working relationships. An excellent understanding, or experience, of inspection, scrutiny or oversight would also be beneficial.

How do we select? You must complete your application, describing how you meet the required standard in the behaviours and abilities listed, by no later than Friday 21 August 2020. We will invite short listed candidates to an interview. Interviews are likely to be held during the week of 21 September 2020. Candidates will be asked to deliver a short presentation to the interview panel. The presentation question will be provided when the candidate is invited to interview.

We are actively seeking those with a criminal record who have experience of the probation and/or youth justice service. You will not be asked to declare any spent or unspent convictions at application stage. Once the successful candidate reaches the vetting stage, any unspent convictions will be considered against a specially designed risk assessment. Having a criminal record itself will, therefore, not prevent appointment.

Further information

If you would like to talk about this post, please contact Dr Louise Falshaw on 07889 413693 or (E-mail address). We would ask that you please read the full job description first.

We are committed to equal opportunity for all staff. We will not discriminate on grounds of gender, ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, faith or any other factor not relevant to a person’s work.

The jobholder must be able to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence in English or (when specified in Wales) Welsh.

Read the full job description and apply for this role.