HMICS Scrutiny Plan 2020-21

03 August 2020

The Scrutiny Plan for 2020-21 sets out how HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) will meet its statutory obligation to inquire into the state, efficiency and effectiveness of both the Police Service of Scotland (Police Scotland) and the Scottish Police Authority (SPA). It is published in terms of Section 75 of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 and sets out HMICS’ inspection priorities for the period April 2020 to March 2021.

To decide which areas of policing to inspect this year, extensive consultation was carried out with members of the public and key stakeholders, including an online public survey, face-to-face interviews with key individuals, and direct correspondence with key bodies, as well as using information from previous inspections.

The 2020-21 scrutiny plan takes account of the impact of the response to COVID-19 in terms of priorities and timescales. The resumption of inspection activity will follow public health legislation and guidance to ensure the safety of all participants. The plan will be under constant review and will be flexible to adapt to emerging issues. Any revisions to the plan will be published. The specific reviews which comprise a combination of Thematic and Audit and Assurance are described in detail in the plan.


3 December 2020

HMICS keeps the priorities for inspection under constant review. At a planning meeting on 12 November, we discussed the stage reached with ongoing inspections, as well as looking ahead to our plans for the remainder of the scrutiny year. Following those discussions, I have decided to defer the planned inspection of the roll out of the contact assessment model (the way in which Police Scotland deals with calls for service).

Due to the restrictions required as part of the collective effort to limit the spread of infection, all of the functions of the model cannot be implemented in full. For instance, the use of local policing appointments (the scheduling of police attendance) cannot operate as planned under the current circumstances. Similarly, it has not been possible to engage with the full range of partners to maximise the benefit of the model.

As with all of our inspections, I am very conscious of the impact of our scrutiny activity on police officers and staff, more so during this challenging time of COVID-19 throughout which they have continued to provide a vital service to the public.

The Training and Development Phase 2 inspection, which will focus on the recruitment, retention, development and promotion of under-represented groups, has been brought forward in the scrutiny plan, and scoping for that inspection is now underway.


29 January 2021

HMICS revised scrutiny plan outlines the inspections that can be progressed by the end of this scrutiny year (end March 2021) as well as helping to inform our longer-term plans for 2021-2022. This follows an internal review of our current and planned inspection activity for the forthcoming period. HMICS will publish its Annual Scrutiny Plan for 2021-2022 in the Spring.

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