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The successful candidate will largely be working from home or an alternative nominated local base but some travel to, and face to face meetings within East Of England probation region will be required.
This is a non-operational role but may require limited contact with People on Probation if specific research requires this. Please use the additional job description attachments when applying for this role.
Overview of the job
This is a specialist manager job within HMPPS headquarters.
The purpose of the job is to provide an evidence-based practice service to the whole HMPPS agency. The job holder must set standards for acceptable evidence and review the evidence base in relation to correctional practice in order to ensure that HMPPS policy and practice is defensible and effective. The job holder is responsible for effectively communicating the evidence base to others across the organisation in a transparent and accessible way, and for developing the evidence base, involving both in-house resource and collaboration with research partners in Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and beyond the agency.
Evidence-based practice integrates scientific evidence with the operational perspective to design and provide high-quality services reflecting the goals of the organisation and the interests, values, needs, and choices of the individuals we serve.
This is a specialist role working to a senior manager in the Evidence-Based Practice Team, in the Performance Directorate.
The team, and the job holder, is accountable for building and evaluating the evidence-base to inform and direct operational policy and practice. The post holder supports and contributes to operational policy, strategy and practice through the generation of evidence summaries on topics relevant to staff working in prison, probation and youth custody, through original research to build the evidence on practice related issues and through sourcing and translating evidence that can be used in consultation to central and local teams.
HMPPS aims to deliver safe, decent, fair and rehabilitative services to those in prison, in youth custody or on the probation caseload. The Evidence-Based Practice team contributes to these aims through the expert translation of evidence to shape everyday practice in prisons, probation and youth custody, delivering research to fill knowledge gaps and consulting into the strategic development of policies and practice to bring the best outcomes for staff and the people in our care. The team works alongside colleagues in Learning and Development, Human Resources, psychology and effective practice in each of our three sectors as well as central strategy teams and local staff and managers.
The job holder needs to have experience in conducting research and a professional qualification that reflects specialist skill in this area. They will need to demonstrate knowledge of the existing correctional research literature and the skills required to source and monitor fast-moving developments in the field and convey these to a non-technical audience. The role also requires an understanding of which research methodologies are appropriate for different research questions and demonstrable skills in using qualitative and quantitative research methods.
The post holder will be expected to demonstrate the qualities set out in the Leadership Qualities Framework, including an ability to set purpose and direction for their area of work. They will also be expected to contribute expertise and knowledge to the corporate design and vision of the Service and its strategic objectives. They will ensure that they deliver on key objectives and make an effective contribution to the work of the Group, HMPPS and MoJ. They will attend and contribute to meetings and be responsible for promoting the roles and work of Groups across HMPPS and with other stakeholders and partners.
Responsibilities, Activities & Duties
The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities and duties:
Responsibility for translating the existing evidence base to inform policy and practice in HMPPS:The job holder will produce systematic evidence reviews from start to finish in order to produce robust and useful summaries of the literature on relevant topics for HMPPS colleagues, providers and further stakeholders. These summaries will be of publishable standard and the job holder will be responsible for the quality and integrity of the product and for ensuring all research governance standards are properly met.The output of these reviews may take various forms from informal verbal advice to formal written corporate products that will help HMPPS practice stay close to the evidence.An important function of this role is to bring relevant evidence into decision making in a way that is clear and transparent; translating what may be complex or conflicting information into robust and defensible advice that seeks to reflect the evidence base while recognising operational realities.The job holder will contribute to the development, interpretation, translation, and dissemination of research evidence.Contributes to draft responses to Parliamentary and Ministerial enquiries for their area. Ensures that responses are accurately researched and drafted, coordinated with relevant parties and completed within deadlines.
Responsibility for developing the evidence base:The job holder will be responsible for conducting research and analysis using both existing datasets and new data generation to steer HMPPS’ approaches to its priorities. This work must be conducted to rigorous methodological standards, so that it passes peer review and directly enables policy change/ development that is empirically grounded.The work must also often be conducted within tight timetables to meet the needs of HMPPS.The job holder will contribute to the evidence base by leading on specific delegated projects including both in-house and external research. This may for example include leading on: 1) planning, and conducting in-house research studies, and evidence reviews to meet evidence gaps and 2) planning, procurement and project management of delegated pilot studies, original research projects or reviews from external providers where this best meets the evidence need and HMPPS priorities – to include contractual oversight of research, project management and budget management as appropriate.
Participating and contributing to academic and practitioner networks and contacts:Ensures that research, practice and emerging knowledge can be used to inform and steer HMPPS practice and policy. Works with colleagues across MoJ, HMPPS, other partners and the research community to maintain information sharing networks, collate learning, translate information and determine evidence to underpin what HMPPS delivers and how HMPPS operates.Collaborates with colleagues across HMPPS, MoJ and other government departments to establish information sharing networks, collate learning, translate information and determine evidence to underpin policy and practice. The job holder will need to foster excellent working relationships with colleagues across HMPPS and MOJ and with private and voluntary organizations.
No line management responsibilities are envisaged for this post.
The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation Scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the job holder.
For the purpose of selection the following competencies will be measured:Changing and ImprovingMaking Effective DecisionsPersuading and InfluencingCollaborating and Partnering
Essential Skills Qualifications, Accreditation & Registration
The level in the organisation at which the job holder is expected to function requires:Qualification to degree level or equivalent and/or Professional/Management qualification and/or Commitment to Continuing Personal/Professional Development.Experience, knowledge and understanding of research methods and standards and skills in the interpretation of evidence, including demonstrated ability to conduct critical literature reviews and quantitative or qualitative research to publishable standard.Experience with Excel and SPSS.Able to understand complex information, including technical and statistical research reports, and translate it into evidence-based pragmatic products.Excellent written and oral communication skills particularly evidenced through strong drafting skills.Experience of working across stakeholder groups to deliver finished products that are fit-for-purpose.Understanding and experience reducing reoffending/rehabilitation and public protection, and the ability to get up to speed quickly in areas where knowledge is limited.Experience of delivering to deadlines and under time pressure.