Guidance for Local Partners in the New Model for Community Justice

Guidance to support the statutory community justice partners to understand their roles arising from the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016.

5. Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework for Community Justice

5.1 The Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 places a duty on the statutory partners to have regard to the "national performance framework in relation to community justice" when developing their plans. This refers to the national Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework, referred to in this guidance as the " OPI Framework".

5.2 The new model has been designed to deliver a community solution to achieve improved outcomes for community justice. Specifically the new model will allow for a mechanism to enable the statutory partners to monitor continuous improvement through effective planning and performance management at a local level.

5.3 The OPI framework sets out the national community justice outcomes (referred to in this guidance as "common outcomes") to achieve the vision presented
in the National Strategy for Community Justice. The National Strategy contains the improvement actions required over a
5-year period.

5.4 The OPI framework provides statutory partners and Community Justice Scotland with real opportunities to measure progress, drive improvement, offer transparency and link decisions and actions to analysis of need and what works, leading to increased efficiency and effectiveness.

5.5 The OPI framework has been developed based on best current available evidence and policy. As these develop, the OPI framework will be reviewed and updated as required.

Common outcomes

5.6 The common outcomes are as shown on the diagram overleaf and contain both person-centred and structural outcomes. The term "people" refers to those with lived experienced of the criminal justice system from point of arrest through to returning from custody.

5.7 The term "people" has been used in the outcome "People develop positive relationships and more opportunities to participate and contribute through education, employment and leisure activities" to reflect that here a relationship has to be between the individual and 1 or more others; whilst the term "individual" has been used in the outcome "Individual's resilience and capacity for change and self-management are enhanced" as this is about the personal change for the one person.

Community Justice Common Outcomes Diagram

Community Justice Common Outcomes Diagram

Common indicators

5.8 To support the common outcomes a basket of common indicators has been developed for use by the statutory partners. The statutory partners may select the relevant common indicators to support their achievement of the common outcomes locally. Where they choose not to report on a common indicator the partners must specify in their plan why they feel it does not apply in their area, for example along the following lines: "We don't know enough about this issue at this stage but we will do the following to address it - specify action". Also partners may indicate that they will not report on a common indicator on the ground that it is irrelevant for their local area. The person-centric outcomes aim to take into account the relationship between offending behaviour, the often complex needs of people involved in community justice, and desistance. In evaluating the impact of services, a focus on change and "distance travelled" within the person-centric outcomes of individuals is key.

The use of the "5 Step Approach to Evaluation" in monitoring change and impact of services is recommended - see Appendix E.

5.9 To support these outcomes, the National Strategy for Community Justice has a range of evidence-based actions that can be included in the plan.

Local outcomes and indicators

5. 10 Statutory partners may also identify additional locally determined outcomes and indicators as they consider appropriate based on the profile and needs of the local area. They may be issues that have been raised by communities and local partners as requiring attention. These could include for example, in relation to victims and witnesses, an outcome ensuring that all victims and witnesses feel supported and informed in relation to their contact with the community justice system.

5.11 Within the plan partners should further specify the action they will take to achieve this outcome and the indicator they will use to measure progress.

Approach to Scrutiny and Inspection


5.12 Self-evaluation is central to continuous improvement. It is a reflective process through which community justice partners get to know how well they are doing and identify the best way to improve their services. The self-evaluation tool is designed to help this by:

  • Encouraging reflection upon practice that provides a gauge of where partners are in striving for excellence and identifies strengths and areas for improvement
  • Recognising the work partners are doing which has a positive impact on improving community justice outcomes
  • Identifying where quality needs to be maintained, where improvement is needed and setting priorities for action
  • Allowing partners to inform stakeholders about the quality of services, outcomes for service users and impact on the community
  • Allowing partners to identify what difference they are making in the lives of those involved in community justice

5.13 Self-evaluation is forward looking. It is about change and improvement leading to well considered innovation in service delivery. Rather than a one-off activity which is done in preparation for inspection, it is a dynamic process which should go on throughout the year. It establishes a baseline from which to plan to improve outcomes for service users and communities and promotes a collective commitment to a set of priorities for improvement. The self-evaluation tool has been developed by the Care Inspectorate and will be available from November 2016.

5.14 There are several inspection agencies covering community justice. The new national body Community Justice Scotland is not an inspection body but can direct other scrutiny bodies in relation to the statutory partners' community justice duties as appropriate, including the following:

The Care Inspectorate

5.15 The Care Inspectorate is the independent scrutiny and improvement body with statutory responsibility for inspecting care and social services in Scotland under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010. The Care Inspectorate regulates and inspects care services in Scotland to make sure they meet the right standards. It also carries out joint inspections with other scrutiny bodies to check how well different services work together to support adults and children. The Care Inspectorate helps to ensure social work, including criminal justice social work, meets high standards. They provide independent assurance and protection for people who use services, their families and carers and the wider public. In addition, they play a significant role in supporting improvements in the quality of services for people in Scotland.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland

5.16 Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland is required to inspect the 15 prison establishments throughout Scotland in order to examine the treatment of, and the conditions for, prisoners.

Independent Prison Monitoring

5.17 The issue of the independent monitoring of prisons has been under review by the Scottish Government since 2005. At the end of August 2015, independent Prison Visiting Committees (currently linked to every prison) were replaced by Independent Prison Monitors, who will be part of HM Inspectorate of Prisons.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland

5.18 Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland ( HMICS) provides independent scrutiny of both Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority.


Back to top