Ref: 1626444

Original Listing

Company: 1626444

Salary: £30,389 - £37,806

Closing Date: Closing date: 26 Apr 2019


Publications and Digital Communications Officer (Ref: 25246)


HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMI Prisons) is an independent inspectorate which reports on conditions for and treatment of those in prison, young offender institutions, secure training centres, immigration detention facilities, police and court custody suites, customs custody facilities and military detention. The role of HMI Prisons is to provide independent scrutiny of the conditions for and treatment of prisoners and other detainees, promoting the concept of ‘healthy establishments’ in which staff work effectively to support prisoners and detainees to reduce reoffending and achieve positive outcomes for those detained and for the public.

HMI Prisons is led by a Chief Inspector and Deputy Chief Inspector and employs inspectors and research staff to carry out inspections of places of detention.

HMI Prisons works jointly with a number of other criminal justice inspectorates and is a member of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), established by the government as part of its requirements under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment (OPCAT), which include designating one or more bodies as an NPM. The role of the NPM is to contribute to efforts to prevent torture and other ill-treatment by undertaking regular inspection and monitoring of places of detention. The NPM Secretariat is housed at HMI Prisons and works closely with the Policy Team.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons’ values

The established values of the Inspectorate are:

Independence, impartiality and integrity are the foundations of our work.

The experience of the detainee is at the heart of our inspections.

Respect for human rights underpins our Expectations.

We embrace diversity and are committed to pursuing equality of outcomes for all.

We believe in the capacity of both individuals and organisations to change and improve, and that we have a part to play in initiating and encouraging change.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons’ Equality and Diversity Statement

We are committed to creating and maintaining a working environment that is positive about and supportive of all equality and diversity issues. We believe that difference and diversity within our workforce strengthens the work we do and the influence we have.

We are committed to becoming an employer of choice by creating an inclusive and supportive working environment where people are treated with dignity and respect and where discrimination and/or exclusion are not tolerated. Our goal is to ensure these commitments, reinforced by our values, are embedded in our day-to-day working practices.

Our long-term vision is to:

have a workforce with the necessary expertise and sufficient diversity to reflect the community in which it operates;

develop a more flexible and supportive working environment which always seeks to include difference;

continue to build a confident and competent workforce who feel valued and heard;

deliver learning and development opportunities to our staff so they are equipped to understand, inspect and make valid and relevant recommendations relating to equality and diversity.

We expect commitment and involvement from all our staff and partners in working towards the achievement of our vision and to that end we have developed an equality and diversity action plan.

The Inspectorate in 2019/20

During 2019/20 HMI Prisons plans to inspect and report on about 80 custodial establishments. This will include prisons, all young offender institutions and secure training centres, immigration removal centres, and a range of holding facilities and escorts associated with immigration removal arrangements. Jointly with HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services we will also inspect custody in Police Force areas.

We assess prisons against four tests of a healthy prison (which are slightly amended for different types of custody):

Safety: prisoners, even the most vulnerable, are held safely.

Respect: prisoners are treated with respect for their human dignity.

Purposeful activity: prisoners are able, and expected, to engage in activity that is likely to benefit them.

Rehabilitation and release planning: prisoners are prepared for their release back into the community. Their risk of harm is effectively managed and they are helped to reduce their likelihood of reoffending.

Each test is underpinned by ‘expectations’ or inspection standards that set out the outcomes we expect to see, based on relevant international human rights standards and norms.

Inspection teams consist of a team leader and a number of full-time, sessional and specialist inspectors. They are assisted by researchers and will be joined as appropriate by inspectors from other inspectorates such as Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services and HM Inspectorate of Probation. All teams inspect a range of establishments but each has a specialist role, including children, young adults, women, adult male prisoners, immigration and police custody.

The logistics of each inspection are complex. Most inspections are unannounced, to make our visits more responsive to risk and our inspection programme more unpredictable and flexible. A prison inspection lasts about seven or eight working days over two weeks. About 12 inspectors and researchers are present for the whole or part of the inspection.

In addition to our programme of individual inspections, we also carry out thematic inspections of cross-cutting issues. Some of these are conducted jointly with other inspectorates.

In May 2018, HMI Prisons was invited by the Ministry of Justice to submit a business case for the Inspectorate to receive additional resources. These would be used to conduct targeted follow up work, in a limited number of cases, to assess the response to inspection reports. Our bid was approved by the Secretary of State and we are currently piloting a new methodology to complete the new work, now known as Independent Review of Progress.

The Inspectorate is led by the Chief and Deputy Chief Inspector. There are currently 95'staff working for the Inspectorate, including full-time staff, secondees and a number of fee-paid associates such as editors and health inspectors. The Inspectorate is currently organised into five specialist inspection teams (expanding to six from 1 April 2019), a Research, Development and Thematics team and a Secretariat. Each is headed by a team leader who, together with the Chief and Deputy Chief Inspector, form the corporate management of the Inspectorate.

Office-based staff are currently accommodated in the HM Government Hub at 10 South Colonnade in the heart of Canary Wharf, with convenient transport links.

In 2018/19, the budget for HMI Prisons is £4,566,729.

For further information on HMI Prisons, please visit our website at:

We are also on Twitter at @HMIPrisonsnews.


HMI Prisons is looking for someone to join the Publications Team within the Secretariat, primarily to publish Inspectorate reports and develop our online and digital presence. The post-holder will be line managed by the Publications Manager.

The successful candidate will be expected to take up post in summer 2019, but the exact date will be dependent on the timescales for interviews and security clearance processes.


The Secretariat is made up of the Publications Team, the Chief Communications Officer, the Finance, HR and Inspection Support Team, the Policy Team and the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) Team. The work of the Secretariat as a whole is managed by a Head of Secretariat.


Work with the Publications Manager and other members of the Secretariat to publish Inspectorate reports. This will include:


Being responsible for maintaining report tracking spreadsheets and managing processes to ensure all reports, including independent reviews of progress (IRPs), are published within agreed timescales.

Editing IRP reports at short notice.

Working with editors, inspectors, the Chief Inspector and the Deputy Chief Inspector accurately to amend reports.

Submitting reports for factual accuracy checks and making agreed amendments.

Proofreading inspection and thematic reports in line with the house style.

Preparing reports for publication on the website and in print.

Working with the Publications Manager to edit and produce annual reports, thematic reviews, Expectations and other reports.

Dealing with emails and any other publications/administrative work as required.

Providing support and guidance to fee-paid editors.

Assisting the Publications Manager with the organisation of editorial, training and other meetings.

Providing telephone and email support to the Secretariat.

Digital Communications

Proofreading press releases for the Chief Communications Officer.

Leading on maintaining, updating and improving the Inspectorate website.

Creating and improving the monthly e-bulletin newsletter and distributing it to all staff.

Working with the Publications Manager and Chief Communications Officer to devise and embed new ways of creating and sharing digital content.



The essential requirements are:

Excellent communication skills, both verbally and in writing

Strong editorial and proofreading skills and experience in using and maintaining house style guidelines

Effective interpersonal and team working skills and the ability to work with colleagues at all levels, including senior internal and external stakeholders
Able to work independently, with limited guidance, on complicated projects
Resilient, with the capacity to work under pressure
Flexible and adept at managing conflicting priorities
Energy and enthusiasm, and the desire to learn and adapt to new situations
Demonstrable commitment to the Inspectorate’s values and purpose
Good knowledge of Microsoft programs, Adobe Pro and website content management systems, and the willingness to learn how to use unfamiliar programs

The desirable requirements are:

Experience of maintaining and updating websites in WordPress

Understanding of and the ability to use various forms of digital media, including Linkedin, e-newsletters and blogs