South Tyneside Youth Justice Service Quality Assurance Framework

South Tyneside Youth Justice Service Quality Assurance Framework

This document has been classified as: Not Protectively Marked

South Tyneside Youth Justice Service Quality Assurance Framework

Guidance for all staff


Date of Issue:February 2014

Review Date:February 2015

Author(s): Gary Bell, Operational Manager


  1. Introduction 3
  1. YJS Quality Assurance Framework3
  1. YJS Quality Assurance Database3
  1. Workload Allocation4
  1. Employee Performance Management (EPM)4
  1. Appendix A –HMIP Inspection Framework5
  1. Appendix B - Timescales for Submission of Work for QA6
  1. Introduction

1.1The following policy is to outline the Quality Assurance framework and working arrangements for South Tyneside Youth Justice Service (YJS) to;

  • Ensure regular and rigorous inspection of casework
  • Ensure there is a continuous and active action plan to improve quality
  • Identify strengths in practice and ensure these are shared to promote learning
  • Identify patterns of poor practice to inform practice improvement meetings
  • Ensure staff appraisals are informedbycasework audits
  1. YJS Quality Assurance(QA) Framework

2.1As recognised in previousHMIP inspections the quality of work undertaken in the initial period pre and post sentence is critical to the likelihood of positive outcomes being achieved following completion of sentence. Shortcomings in assessment and planning were common themes in HMIP CoreCase Inspections from 2009 to 2012.[1]

2.2Based upon the above the quality assurance framework in South Tyneside Youth Justice Service will ensure;

  • Robust management oversight of all reports, initial assessments and initial plans.

2.3Case files audits will be undertaken on a quarterly basis and will include pre-court as well as statutory cases. These audits will be based upon all assessments, reports and plans completed in the previous quarter.

2.4The findings from these audits will be shared with staff at the Quarterly Practice Improvement Meetings. These meetings will generate a Practice Improvement Plan which will be reviewed at the following meeting. Evidence of progress will include findings from subsequent audits.

2.5In addition to quarterly audits,there will be bi-annual audits of 20% of cases focusing on end to end planning of interventions thus ensuring an overview of broader themes of ongoing case management. Cases will include a sample from pre to post court interventions. The findings from these audits will feed into the Practice Improvement Plan to ensure common themes and re-occurring practice issues are addressed.

2.6With both audits the identification of strengths in practice will be recorded to ensure these are shared to promote learning.

  1. YJS Quality Assurance Database

3.1The quality assurance findings of Reports, Assessments and Plans will be inputted onto the YJS QA Database. Appendix A outlines the timescales for submission of work for QA and the timescales for completion and feedback of work to staff.

3.2The database will be used to inform the quarterly audits and will provide evidence of practice around the quality of reports, assessments and plans.

3.3The QA report entered onto the database by the relevant manager must record a time/date for feedback to staff.

3.4All QA of work must be recorded in the young person’s file in ChildView as a ‘contact’ linked to the relevant intervention applicable to the work QA’d. This must be recorded as ‘Management Supervision of Case’ in the contact type and in the notes/details section the QA manager must record what has been QA’d.

3.5The manager on duty is responsible for checking the QA in tray and distributing work between the management team for QA.

  1. Workload Allocation

4.1All work requiring allocation must be allocated within 1 working day of entering the system.

4.2The weekly allocation meeting must, whenever possible be attended by all Senior Practitioners. Work requiring allocation outside of this meeting must be allocated within 1 working day.

4.3The allocation of work falls into 2 categories;

  • Assessment – This includes Community Resolution & Triage Screening, Youth Caution Assessments, (Y1, Y2 & YCC), Panel Reports and Pre-Sentence Reports
  • Interventions– Subsequent interventions as a result of the above assessments will be allocated as a separate piece of work.

4.4To ensure continuity, interventions must follow the staff completing the assessment. All allocations must be recorded on the allocation spreadsheet by the relevant manager. All cases must be allocated a halfback and there must be a clear indication of timescales for either assessment or intervention.

4.5The manager on duty is responsible for checking the allocations in tray and allocating work that falls outside of the weekly allocation meeting.

  1. Employee PerformanceManagement (EPM)

5.1The above quality assurance framework will feed directly into EPM’s, thus providing evidence for measuring progress against agreed targets.

5.2The QA database is aligned to the Local Authorities EPM framework with each individual QA of work requiring an overall performance rating. These fall into the following categories;

  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Unsatisfactory

5.3The QA manager is responsible for rating the work based upon the guidance set out in the QA database.

Appendix A–HMIP Inspection Framework

The current framework for inspection of youth offending work consists of four elements.

  • Full Joint Inspection (FJI) - Targeted at a small number of YOTs each year where performance gives particular cause for concern, together with at least one YOT where published performance is strong and worth sharing.
  • Short Quality Screening (SQS) - Targeted at approximately 20% of YOTs each year across the whole range of published performance. The focus of this programme is work at the start of the sentence, along with pre-sentence reports (PSRs). This focus was chosen because our previous programme indicated that each aspect often required significant improvement.
  • Thematic Programme - Undertaking a focused inspection of specific aspects of work, including resettlement, across a range of YOTs.
  • Protecting Children – HMIP will contribute to the planned Ofsted led joint inspection of child protection arrangements.

Appendix B–Timescales for Submission of Work for QA

Type of Work / Submission Timescale / Feedback Timescale
  • Community Resolution & Triage
  • Y1
  • Y2 & YCC
  • Panel Reports
  • Pre-Sentence Reports
  • All initial intervention plans
/ Same day
15 WKD from allocation
15WKD from allocation
2 WKD prior to panel
2 WKD prior to court
Submitted on completion / 1 WKD


[1]YJB Framework & Guidance for Short Quality Screening (SQS) of Youth Offending Work, p.3