Probation Board for Northern Ireland Draft Corporate Plan 2023 -26 Consultation

Published date:

The consultation to Probation's Corporate Plan 2023-26 is now open.

The consultation will close on 10th November 2022.

Foreword from Board Chair

I am delighted to present the Probation Board for Northern Ireland’s (PBNI) Draft Corporate Plan 2023-26 for public consultation. The current Board was appointed in March 2022; it is therefore timely that we set the strategic framework for the organisation to deliver services.  The consultation will be open for 10 weeks and during that time we hope to hear from partners, interested parties and staff about whether the four strategic priorities adequately reflect the future direction of the organisation.

The challenges faced over the last Corporate Planning period have been unprecedented. The pandemic and the subsequent restrictions impacted across our entire society. Probation worked hard to ensure that essential services continued to be delivered and its Recovery Plan prioritised those who posed most risk to the public and the most vulnerable people on the caseload. The pace of recovery from the pandemic and clearing back logs within the system, is highly likely to increase demand for probation services and how this is being planned for, managed and resourced is an important element of the next Corporate Planning period. Likewise, the response to the pandemic also identified innovative and new ways of working and delivering services and these will be embedded within future planning.

Like all public services probation is also likely to face challenging financial settlements over the coming three-year period. Any pressures on budget are likely to impact upon our service delivery. It is imperative we find ways to mitigate the impact of financial constraints on our front-line delivery over the next three years to maintain our practice standards, which is how we protect the public. At the same time, we are working with people whose needs are becoming increasingly complex. Staff are working with more people who are suffering from poor mental health and addictions. Many have experienced multiple childhood adversities and suffer from intergenerational trauma. Our operational staff have been trained in delivering trauma-informed practice and delivering this holistic approach on an individual basis takes significant time and effort.

There are some significant workforce issues which will continue to be relevant over the coming Corporate Planning period. This includes the need for the organisation to have modern, fit for purpose pay structures in place to enable us to attract suitable candidates and, more importantly, retain experienced social work staff. Current difficulties in retaining experienced social work staff, many of whom are responsible for managing our highest risk casework, are adversely impacting upon staff workloads and the delivery of services. If an appropriate pay system is not in place very early in the Corporate Planning period, the loss of experienced staff will continue and probably deteriorate further. This outcome, with all the unwelcome consequences for service delivery, must be avoided.

This Plan also sets out our desire to continue to be an organisation which is innovative, creative, collaborative and solution focused. Working alongside our partners we want to implement learning from the last three years and improve our services to provide a high quality, professional service to all.

Finally, I want to pay tribute to our staff who have demonstrated immense dedication and commitment over the last number of years. Every day staff throughout PBNI support, hold to account and assist the people we work with to improve their outcomes, change their lives for safer communities resulting in fewer victims of crime.

Max Murray CBE
Chair, Probation Board for Northern Ireland

We want to hear your views. This consultation seeks views on Probation's priorities for the Corporate Plan 2023-26. We invite comments on this Plan from members of the public, key stakeholders as well as organisations and individuals who have an interest in this area. Responses or requests for further information should be provided by 10 November 2022 (please note that it may not be possible to accept consultation responses after this date). You can respond to the consultation exercise by email or post.

Please respond by email to or by post to:

Gail McGreevy
Probation Board for Northern Ireland
Head of Communications
80-90 North Street