Since the establishment of the unified Probation Service on 26 June 2021, probation regions have been given commissioning responsibilities and budgets to commission resettlement and rehabilitative services to support people on probation. To date, a number of voluntary sector and private sector organisations have been commissioned to deliver rehabilitation and resettlement services, mainly through larger contracts. On 22 July a new probation grants portal was launched, to enable HMPPS to award grants across probation regions. This blog summarises the key things voluntary organisations need to know to access the portal and apply for grants.
Listening to Voluntary Sector
Richard Oldfield’s independent review of the probation Dynamic Framework was made public in August 2021 and in March 2022 Clinks published research into the voluntary sector’s experience of commissioning.
The independent reports by both Richard Oldfield and Clinks recommended, amongst other things, the use of grants to fund voluntary organisations to deliver rehabilitative services. Clinks was pleased that Her Majesty s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) accepted these recommendations as outlined in the a blog on how HMPPS is responding to voluntary sector feedback written by Jim Barton from HMPPS and published by Clinks in April this year.
Following this, HMPPS published a draft process for awarding grants, inviting direct feedback to HMPPS from voluntary sector organisations, via a survey. Alongside this Clinks facilitated a focus group with a range of voluntary sector organisations to gather their views on the proposed process, and feedback from this was included in Clinks feedback from the voluntary sector about the approach to grants which was submitted to HMPPS.
The grants process
Grants will be funded through the Probation Service’s Regional Outcomes and Innovation Fund (ROIF) and aim to cover most activities that regions would wish to grant-fund. Grants will focus on support for people with shared protected characteristics or shared experiences, along with general support to encourage desistance and rehabilitation.
The objectives of the grants scheme are to achieve the following:
to improve people’s engagement in, and experience of, probation and other rehabilitative activities.
to support an individual’s rehabilitation and desistance journey.
to improve HMPPS’ knowledge of which activities work to support people and to encourage rehabilitation and desistance.
Probation regions will have autonomy in setting local and regional priorities, allocating funding amounts and assessing local / regional proposals, but grants will be competed under a single national scheme with standardised approval processes.
Grants can be for a value between £8,000 - £250,000 per year for a period of up to three years per grant award, although this varies in each region. This value may be increased in the future if there is an identified need.
HMPPS have set out clear guidance to regions about when they should choose grants as an alternative to contracts. Further details about the criteria and eligibility for grants can be found here.
We would encourage all voluntary sector organisations to register onto the probation grants application portal in order to be eligible to apply for specific grant opportunities.
Registering on the grants portal
The application process for the probation grants portal must be completed by all organisations wishing to access opportunities to apply for probation grants. Organisations already qualified onto the Dynamic Framework will not automatically be registered for the probation grants application portal. The Dynamic Framework will be the system used for contracts only. The probation grants application portal is a separate system that will be used for grants only.
To access information and to apply for grants you must register on the probation grants application portal through the Jaggaer system. If you do not already have a Jaggaer account, you will need to register here. If you are unsure whether you already have an account, you can email esourcing@Justice.gov.uk and the team will check for you.
We have updated our Probation Services webpage with information about how to register your organisation onto the probation grants application portal. Organisations can register at any time but you must be registered prior to the launch of any specific grants programmes that you wish to apply for.
First round grants to support racially minoritised people
The first round of grant competition was launched on 21 September and was for organisations delivering services to support racially minoritised people on probation.
This competition covered all probation regions.
The timescales for the first round of grants has been delayed due to the Savings and Efficiency Review as mentioned in the letter published by Amy Reese. Clinks has been advised that organisations that have been unsuccessful in this round have now been notified. Regions are in the process of finalising budgets and finalising steps to award grants.
The funding allocations per region are:
|Total grant amount over 3 years
|Yorkshire and Humber
|East of England
|Kent, Surrey, Sussex
Further details about each regions criteria are set out in the Specifications of Requirements, which have been published on the grants portal.
Organisations may submit one application per region plus submit one application as part of a joint bid.
Any organisation interested in competing in future competitions should continue to register onto the probation grants application.
Keep up to date
Once your organisation is registered on the grants portal you will receive updates about future competitions through the email address you have registered and messages through the Jaggaer portal. Clinks will continue to keep the sector up to date about grants and other commissioning opportunities in our weekly Light Lunch bulletin. If you do not currently receive it, you can subscribe here.
Next steps and further support
We will continue to work with the voluntary sector, Ministry of Justice and HMPPS to share information and further updates regarding probation grants and future opportunities, as well as providing ongoing feedback routes during and after individual grant processes.
If you have any feedback, queries or concerns that you would like to raise with Clinks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org