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Our values, priorities and commitments

Photograph of part of a prison building.

Our values

We have a set of guiding principles which underpin everything we do. They 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 fair 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.

Our objectives for each year fall under five organisational values, which give us purpose and direction. As an inspectorate, we aim to be:

  • Independent
  • Influential
  • Accountable
  • Capable
  • Collaborative

Every year we publish a business plan setting out our priorities and how we plan to achieve them. The priorities are grouped under our five organisational values and set against the main high-level risks associated with our work, the resources available and funding assumptions.

Read our business plan.

Our yearly programme of inspections and the inspection framework we apply are subject to statutory consultation in accordance with the requirements of the Police and Justice Act 2006 s.28. We consider the responses and incorporate them into our business planning.

Our commitment to fair treatment and inclusion

We are committed to promoting fair treatment and inclusion, and improving outcomes for people detained in the establishments we inspect.

We are required under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different people when carrying out our work.

Our aims are:

  • To report on the treatment and conditions of those with protected characteristics in custody.
  • 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 findings relating to equality and diversity.

To help achieve these aims, we have a cross-organisational Equality and Diversity Advisory Group (EDAG), chaired by the Deputy Chief Inspector, which meets quarterly and sets the agenda for our equality and diversity action plan as well as monitoring progress against it. The five key priorities of our action plan are:

  • Improving recruitment and retention
  • Improving staff well-being
  • Better ways of working
  • Better communication and transparency
  • Considering equality and diversity as part of HMI Prisons’ wider work.

We are also committed to treating English and Welsh equally in institutions in Wales.

Find out more about our Welsh language commitment.