Our Statement of Purpose and Values

Statement of Purpose

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation is the independent inspector of youth offending and probation services in England and Wales. We report on the effectiveness of probation and youth offending service work with adults and children. We inspect these services and publish inspection reports. We highlight good and poor practice, and use our data and information to encourage high-quality services. We are independent of government, and speak independently.




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 opportunity for all.


Our Mandate

HM Chief Inspector of Probation’s responsibilities are set out in Section 7 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, as amended by the Offender Management Act 2007, section 12(3)(a). This requires the Chief Inspector to inspect (section 1) and report to the Secretary of State (section 3) on the arrangements for the provision of probation services.

Under Section 7(6) of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, HM Chief Inspector of Probation is also conferred to inspect and report on Youth Offending Teams, established under section 39 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and bodies acting on their behalf.

We are the independent source of fair comment for Ministers and the public on the effectiveness of the work of probation and youth justice providers.

Based on our independence, expertise and experience we are able to uniquely focus on the identification of best and effective practice. We identify if success has been achieved, and how it has been achieved, but also why it has not.

We test the effectiveness of the provision and provide assurance. Critically, we make recommendations designed to identify and disseminate best practice, challenge poor performance and encourage improvement. We provide evidence based intelligence for commissioners and providers, designed to play a key part in facilitating and encouraging improvement in effective service delivery.


The history indicates the way that HMI Probation has evolved and adapted to changing times and demands since its foundation in 1936.