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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

CPS Prosecution College Team picks up 2011 e-Learning Age Gold Winner Award


The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) triumphed at the global Learning Awards event, which was attended by nearly 500 people and attracted entries from 20 countries. The gala evening, held at the Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square in London's Mayfair on 10 November, saw 16 award categories producing a record 39 winners all showcasing the strength, range and quality of e-learning.

e-Learning awards logoThe 'e-Learning Internal Project Team of the Year' Gold award went to the CPS' Prosecution College Team, for Leadership and Learning work.

Janette Reeves, Learning and Development Manager for the Prosecution College Team, said: "The CPS' Prosecution College Team was judged against some formidable opponents including BT, Sky and Train4TradeSkills. We were the only government department which won a Gold award and in terms of winning the internal project team category, this is the highest accolade in the UK e-learning industry.

"We focused on the 'Acceptance of Pleas' e-learning in order to exemplify the work the Prosecution College Team does, but the award actually reflects the level of dedication, innovation, expert knowledge and efficiency for all the projects we have been involved in over the years.

"Winning the 'e-Learning Internal Project Team of the Year' category is especially gratifying because it recognises not just the products that the team delivers, but the hard work, skill and expertise of everybody who has contributed to the success of the Prosecution College during 2010 and 2011."

The award citation stated that: "The Crown Prosecution Service has shown creativity and commitment in driving the learning ethos in the organisation at a time of budget cuts in traditional learning methods. Last year its implementation of a new 'Acceptance of Pleas' topic as e-learning saved the organisation £100k in eliminating the direct costs of the classroom alternative alone; the true savings across the business (from eliminating lawyer extraction and subsistence costs, etc) were probably around six times that figure.

"This is a lean and efficient team. For example, it greatly shrunk the development period for the acceptance of pleas topic by implementing wire-framing techniques that allowed scripting in real time. And it's not just about rapid content production; quality and effectiveness are bedrock parameters. Content is fine-tuned through unerring reliance on stringent post-course evaluation, and the 'Acceptance of Pleas' course, for example, incorporates a mandatory test delivering a 90 per cent pass rate over the two attempts allowed - irrefutable evidence of a knowledge increase."


Notes to Editors

  1. The Prosecution College Team is made up of four members of staff: Sharron Hughes, Janette Reeves, Iain Culkin and Kirsty McDermott, who manage the Website and Learning Management System, including the project management of all e-learning products. Lately the team has extended its capability into developing e-learning courses. Despite being small, the team members tap into a resource of 'Subject Matter Experts' within Leadership and Learning and across the CPS to assist with writing the courses and ensuring the content is accurate.
  2. The Prosecution College Team has been operating since 2004 when the Prosecution College website was created for staff. Over the years it has grown to be a vital learning tool and now there are 250 modules available to staff, where the team continues to develop knowledge-based courses and online resources to meet business requirements.
  3. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781926
  4. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  5. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Group, Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism, and Organised Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  6. The CPS employs around 8,316 people and prosecuted 982,731 cases with a conviction rate of 86.8% in the magistrates' courts and 80.7% in the Crown Court in 2009-20010. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  7. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.