Statement of purpose and other corporate information

HM Inspectorate of Probation is an independent Inspectorate, funded by the Ministry of Justice and reports directly to the Secretary of State.

Our purpose is to:

  • report to the Secretary of State on the effectiveness of work with adults, children and young people who have offended, or who are likely to offend, aimed at reducing offending and protecting the public, whoever undertakes this work
  • report on the effectiveness of the arrangements for this work, working with other inspectorates as necessary
  • contribute to improved performance by the organisations whose work we inspect
  • contribute to sound policy and effective service delivery, especially in public protection, by providing advice and disseminating good practice, based on inspection findings, to Ministers, officials, managers and practitioners
  • promote actively race equality and wider diversity issues, especially in the organisations whose work we inspect
  • contribute to the overall effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System, particularly through joint work with other inspectorates.

Code of Practice

HMI Probation aims to achieve its purpose and to meet the principles for inspection in the public sector by:

  • working in an honest, professional, fair and polite way
  • reporting and publishing inspection findings and recommendations for improvement in good time and to a good standard
  • promoting race equality and wider attention to diversity in all aspects of our work, including within our own employment practices and organisational processes
  • carrying out inspections in an efficient and cost-effective way, both for HMI Probation and for the organisations whose work we are inspecting.
While carrying out our work we are mindful of Ministerial priorities and the ten principles of inspection published in 'Inspecting for Improvement' in July 2003. We work closely with other Criminal Justice Inspectorates through the Criminal Justice Chief Inspectors' Group, and also with inspectorates involved in work with children and young people.

The way HMI Probation works

  • We seek to be an independent and authoritative source of fair comment on both adult and youth offending work, and on what can be expected of that work.

  • We focus on work where independent inspection adds value.

  • Our main core methodology is to examine a representative sample of individuals who have offended, or who are likely to offend, and to assess whether each aspect of work with them was done sufficiently well.

  • Among other things, we give an emphasis to assessing the effectiveness of work to keep to a minimum risk of harm to the public and to children.
The history indicates the way that HMI Probation has evolved and adapted to changing times and demands since its foundation in 1936.


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