Appointment of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales - Justice Committee Contents

Appendix C


"The office holder is not required to have a background within the criminal justice or immigration systems but must have an appreciation of the issues affecting those areas.

Core competencies

Candidates will be able to demonstrate:

Leadership and performance

  • Ability to develop and maintain demonstrable and perceived independence from the authorities in remit.
  • Proven ability to lead effectively a multi-disciplinary team, including experienced professional staff.
  • Ability to lead an organisation with robust financial management within the context of challenging demand-led services.

Stakeholder management

  • The ability to establish credibility with complainants, the authorities in remit, Ministers, the public and other stakeholders.
  • Authority and influence at very senior levels across a broad range of stakeholders.
  • Highly developed inter-personal skills and the willingness to work collaboratively with others, with the ability to feel at ease with prisoners, prison staff, senior managers in the criminal justice system and their counterparts in immigration detention.

Strategic thinking

  • Proven ability to process and interpret complex information and offer well-developed analytical reasoning skills and judgment based on evidence.
  • An incisive and independent mind, with the ability to provide impartial, objective and pragmatic advice with excellent judgment in both operational and political matters.
  • High integrity and a genuine commitment to helping raise standards within prisons, probation and immigration detention.


  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, and proven ability to handle the media.
  • Experience of formulating and presenting technical advice and reports to others at senior levels."

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Prepared 24 May 2011