CPS Response to HMCPSI Inspection of CPS Induction Processes, 1 November 2023
His Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) have today issued a report following their inspection of CPS Induction Processes.
The report notes the induction provided to new prosecutors is effective and equips them with the skills and knowledge to be able to carry out their roles. HMCPSI has identified good practices and strengths, particularly commending the buddy system and the supportive environment created by managers and colleagues that enables new starters to develop; and the overall induction training provided.
We welcome the findings and accept the issues raised to support the CPS to continuously improve our induction process. We will give thorough consideration to the points raised and the best way of implementing actions.
Issues to address
The report identified five issues to address all of which are accepted. The CPS responses to the issues are noted below:
1. The timing of CMS training during the induction programme does not always allow new starters to consolidate the learning at the time resulting in them needing further support from colleagues in Area. Further training on using CMS to carry out roles and tasks during the probation period of a new starter should be provided so that the learning can be consolidated.
CPS Response: CMS training is included within a new starter’s induction programme provided through national training and included in the Lawyer Induction Programme training. This is further supported within Area through additional local training. We will look at what further steps can support embedding of this learning alongside the accessibility of existing support.
2. Additional training and guidance for using CMS is available nationally but does not appear to be widely advertised nor is easily accessible. Some Areas have produced their own training which duplicates the material available and may lead to inconsistency and confusion for new staff. The CPS need to make available national training identifiable and accessible to new prosecutors and ensure that training material provided is consistent across Areas.
CPS Response: We acknowledge there is a lack of awareness of the training and support available and will take steps to improve the accessibility of training to support consistent CMS training for all new starters who require this skill.
3. Some Areas are not using the up-to-date versions of the induction checklist. Line managers should ensure that they are providing their new starters with the latest and most accurate information.
CPS Response: We acknowledge this challenge. Up-to-date checklists are available and are part of the manager toolkit that sets out the requirements. We will review how we can do more to ensure this information is accessible.
4. The recording of one to ones and other meetings where performance, conduct and development of a new starter are discussed is inconsistent. A lack of appropriate recording could result in issues of performance, conduct and development not being addressed at the earliest opportunity. The CPS needs to ensure that appropriate records of such meetings are kept.
CPS Response: The recording of this information is included in the manager toolkit, but we acknowledge this is not translating into practice. We will review how we can reinforce this message.
5. The exit interview process is unclear and not utilised as well as it could be. This has resulted in a lack of understanding by the CPS as to the reason why prosecutors leave and fails to identify any themes that could be addressed to improve retention. The CPS needs to make sure the exit interview process is clear and applied consistently across Areas. The CPS should consider altering the exit interview process so that the responsibility for conducting an exit interview is proactively managed.
CPS Response: We acknowledge this challenge and will review the process in place and how we can ensure the exit interview process is properly promoted and embedded within the organisation.