Prisons and Probation Ombudsman PAT160019

Body: Prisons and Probation Ombudsman
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sectors: Prison & Policing, Regulation
Location: London
Skills required: Legal / Judicial, Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £100,000 per annum plus civil service pension
Time Requirements: 37 hours per week

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    10/01/2022 at 09:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The PPO’s remit is determined by Terms of Reference set by the Secretary of State for Justice. The role is impartial of the services in remit, which include those provided by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, the immigration estate and the National Probation Service for England and Wales.

The PPO is responsible for:

  • providing unconstrained and effective investigation of complaints falling within the PPO’s Terms of Reference;
  • investigating all fatal incidents occurring in the services in remit, as per the Terms of Reference;
  • making recommendations to the services in remit and the Secretary of State;
  • providing more general findings to the services in remit and the public at large;
  • building effective working partnerships with other scrutiny bodies and other relevant agencies;
  • leadership and management of the PPO’s Office; and
  • producing an annual report, to be laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State for Justice.

In carrying out the duties of the office, the PPO has responsibility for around 100 members of staff and in 2021/2022 a budget of circa £5.8 million.

On occasion, Ministers will invite the PPO to undertake investigations which fall outside of the usual remit.

The PPO is also a key member of the Ministerial Board on Deaths in Custody, which brings together Ministers, senior officials, experts and practitioners to enable better learning and sharing of lessons across the custodial sectors.

Further information can be found on the website:

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Ability to maintain the independence of the Ombudsman from, and to make judgements independently of, the investigated agencies, Ministers, the Ministry of Justice and others;
  • Commitment and ability to drive significant improvements in the investigation of deaths in custody and complaints, and to improve professional standards;
  • Ability to provide strong leadership skills and demonstrate the potential to steer an organisation of a similar size and complexity;
  • Ability to deliver strategic vision and drive successful improvement and transformation at senior levels within a complex organisation; and
  • Excellent communication and relationship management skills with the ability to engage constructively with a wide range of stakeholders including the media, politicians, senior government officials, inspectorates and other scrutiny bodies.

Desirable criteria

  • An understanding of the Criminal Justice System in the UK or comparable jurisdictions;
  • Interest, knowledge and experience of the issues faced by those in custody or under supervision and those who manage them on a day to day basis; and
  • An ability to provide a strong insight into the health and educational needs of offenders, including those with additional needs and disabilities.

Additional Information


There must be no employment restrictions, or limit on your permitted stay in the UK.

We welcome applications from all those who are eligible.

However, as the PPO was established to carry out an independent function at arm’s length from the Government, we are mindful that appointing someone who is employed by a government department might compromise that independence – or perception of independence – as well as diminishing the confidence of stakeholders and the general public.

If you are in receipt of a salary from a government department and wish to apply, you should expect that – if selected for interview – the Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP) will explore whether any perceived or real conflicts of interest might exist if you were to be appointed and, if so, how this might be managed or mitigated. The latter might include an undertaking to resign from government employment, if appointed, and – if considered appropriate – for there to be an interval between resignation and taking up appointment to the PPO

PAT160019 PPO Candidate Infomation Pack - 2.12.21
Supporting Documents - PAT160019
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