Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Probation

Body: Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sector: Prison & Policing
Location: London or Manchester
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £135,000 per annum, based on a working week of 37 hours. The post is pensionable.
Time Requirements: The post is full time and for a tenure of three years.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift

    Thursday 22 November & Tuesday 4 December 3018

  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    April 2019


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The role of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Probation:


The Chief Inspector has a duty to ensure the inspection of probation and youth offending services in England and Wales and provide independent scrutiny of the quality of work undertaken with individual offenders. Probation provision is currently delivered by Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) which are subject to contract management oversight by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and the National Probation Service (NPS), which is directly line managed as part of HMPPS.

HMI Probation is responsible for delivering and developing programmes of inspection and the inspection methodology or “framework” against which both probation services provision and Youth Offending Teams are inspected. The Chief Inspector is actively engaged in leading the day to day inspection process.

The responsibility for the production of all inspection reports including findings and recommendations sits with the Chief Inspector. The Chief Inspector will provide independent assurance to the public on the effectiveness of adult and youth offending work.

The Chief Inspector will visibly lead staff and manage a tight budget, and is accountable to the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for the appropriate use of resources in accordance with budgetary delegation arrangements.

The Chief Inspector has a statutory requirement to consult other Chief Inspectors and Ministers on the development of HMI Probation’s programme and framework. The Chief Inspector also needs to work officials from the MoJ. The Chief Inspector should maintain the independence of the inspectorate from the inspected agencies and continue to make judgements independent of Ministers and the MoJ.

The role of the Inspectorate is changing. Over the past twelve months, the inspectorate has developed its inspection methodologies, introducing underpinning standards and a scheme for rating probation and youth offending services. The organisation has grown to enable it to inspect more frequently and more comprehensively, and so as to build new competences in the centre. The Chief Inspector will need to continue to embed and refine the new inspection methodologies and new organisational design over the period of the appointment.

Person Specification

Person Specification

 Applications are welcome from senior leaders with a wide range of backgrounds from the public, private or voluntary sector and not necessarily from probation services.

It is essential that your application demonstrates evidence of achievement in the areas listed in the criteria below, as far as you are able to. These

responses will be further developed and discussed with those candidates invited for interview.

Essential Criteria

  • Resilient and inspiring leadership, with a record of either managing and leading or effectively holding to account a complex organisation in a challenging environment;
  • Proven high-level of intellectual rigour and analytical abilities including the ability to process and interpret complex information, apply reasoning skills and form judgements based on evidence;
  • Evidence of challenging existing performance and sound independence of judgement;
  • Ability to demonstrate robust financial management within a tight and reducing budget;
  • Ability to carry out a demanding workload deploying strong organisational skills together with evidence of managing limited resources and understanding of inspection methodologies as well as the risks and challenges associated with inspection in a challenging and competitive environment;
  • Excellent communication and relationship management skills with the ability to be the voice of the organisation and to engage constructively with a wide range of stakeholders including offenders, front line staff, senior officials in government, Ministers, other scrutiny bodies, parliamentarians and the media;
  • Ability to build trusting relationships with Ministers / very senior stakeholders and to give sound, evidence-based advice; and
  • Evidence of valuing and promoting diversity.

Desirable Criteria

The following criteria although not essential will also be taken into account by the selection panel:

  • Experience of working in another inspectorate or regulator;
  • An understanding of the policy, political and media landscape in which the inspectorate works;
  • An understanding, or experience of, offender management and rehabilitation, or the wider criminal justice system in the UK or comparable jurisdictions;
  • Experience of the youth justice system and/or children’s’ services.

Additional Information

This post is subject to a pre-appointment hearing with the Justice Select Committee.

If the Secretary of State decides you are the preferred candidate, you will appear before the Justice Select Committee in March (date to be confirmed).

Prior to the Select Committee hearing, the preferred candidate will be expected to undertake some preparatory work with Ministry of Justice officials. The hearing is non-binding, but the Secretary of State will consider the Select Committee’s conclusions before deciding whether to proceed with the appointment. The requirement for a Select Committee hearing may lead to a delay in announcing the successful candidate’s appointment

How to Apply

The Ministry of Justice have appointed Veredus, an executive search agency, to assist with this appointment.

If you have any questions about the role or would like to discuss the post further, please contact our advising consultants at Veredus:

Bruno Anili on 020 7932 4204, or Nataliya Starik-Bludova on 020 7932 4265.


To make an application, please submit:

  • A CV (around two sides of A4) detailing your qualifications, employment history and any appointments or offices you hold. Please also provide your preferred contact number and email address.


  • A supporting statement (around two sides of A4) providing evidence against the role criteria and your suitability for the post, including evidence of leadership qualities and a vision for the organisation. Please consider the role and criteria carefully in preparing your statements. Information from Advisory Assessment Panels indicates that applications which offer specific and tailored examples against the criteria, making clear the candidate’s role in achieving an outcome are often the strongest. Structuring the statement around the criteria using relevant headings also aids clarity.


  • Supporting Documents at appendix 3 of the candidate information pack.


 Applications should be sent via Veredus’ website (www.veredus.co.uk), quoting reference number 930965.

Reference Number: 930965

HMI Probation Candidate Information Pack - 18.10.2018
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