The Target Operating Model
When the MoJ launched the competition for the outsourced components of the probation service on 19 September 2013, they issued a number of accompanying documents.
Perhaps the most important was the Target Operating Model (TOM) which explains how the new system, with the current probation trusts split into a National Probation Service (NPS) and 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies, will operate in practice.
TOM is 64 pages long and gives a very detailed description of the current MoJ vision of how reducing reoffending will work from 2015 onwards.
For all those private companies, voluntary sector organisations and Probation Mutuals bidding for Transforming Rehabilitation contracts, TOM will become a key source of information to make sure their service delivery models are up to scratch.
There is a lot of very useful, extremely detailed information in TOM, along with some helpful graphics:
In this post, I’m not attempting to summarise the model but have picked out 10 things which were either new to me or of particular interest because of the way an issue was phrased.
As always, the choice of language is revealing.
So here’s my list of 10 things I learnt from TOM:
1 Transforming Rehabilitation’s ambition is undimmed
Here’s how TOM kicks off:
“This Target Operating Model describes a system which will deliver a step change in the way we rehabilitate offenders, and which will lead to year-on-year reductions in reoffending. .. The reformed system is designed to deliver more effective rehabilitation to more offenders, while ensuring that sentences of the court are carried out, the public is protected and taxpayers’ money is put to best use. It is a system in which innovation will be encouraged and success in reducing reoffending will be rewarded.”
2 New providers will have much more flexibility than probation trusts
“CRCs will have maximum flexibility to determine how the “rehabilitation activity requirement” will be delivered. NOMS will not specify what providers must do towards rehabilitation, save for ensuring that the service meets basic minimum standards, including the need to be legal, safe and decent.”
3 NPS and CRCs may well be working from the same office in a lot of cases
“We expect that partnership working would often be facilitated by some co-location.”
4 There will be fewer monitoring requirements from NOMS
Mindful of the current G4S/Serco inquiry, the MoJ chooses its words carefully:
“The MoJ’s management of contracts will be robust. Providers will be expected to meet the highest standards, ensuring that taxpayers’ money is spent properly and transparently, but we will not impose unnecessary reporting requirements or constraints which could discourage innovation or distract providers from focusing on the outcomes we want to achieve.”
5 The NPS role with high risk offenders will be almost entirely offender management
“The NPS will supervise the offenders it manages and will deliver some specialised interventions for them, but in general it will purchase interventions from CRCs.”
6 The Probation Inspectorate will inspect both NPS and CRCs
I’m presuming that area inspections will still take place where inspectors look at all components of the local reducing reoffending system.
7 Belt and Braces Audit arrangements
Following the electronic tagging controversy, the MoJ has gone for a two tier approach on audit:
“CRCs will be contractually obliged to develop their own internal audit processes that they will share with NOMS. NOMS will also have the right to audit CRC delivery and will utilise external audit to examine elements of service delivery where appropriate. The National Audit Office (NAO) may also require access to CRCs’ financial systems where there is a need for public assurance, and this will be reflected in the contract.”
8 The NPS and CRS will be legally required to work together
“NOMS will place appropriate requirements on CRCs and the NPS in relation to engagement in some partnerships which have a basis in statute.”
9 Police Commissioners can commission CRCs
“To ensure an integrated and holistic approach to rehabilitation, other Government departments and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will be able to commission CRCs to deliver additional services.”
10 Professional Standards
TOM makes it clear that probation professionals will work in both the NPS and CRCs and there should be opportunities for “placements and interchange between them.”
The NPS will continue to use the Probation Qualification Framework and CRCs can use this if they choose to.
There will be a new Institute of Probation but details are very vague.
I’d be very interested in readers’ own interpretation of TOM and any key issues they have found, please use the comments section below.
Finally, I thought it might be useful to share TOM’s graphic on the proposed governance of the new structure: