Client Story

Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales

Applying customer-centric thinking to improve service delivery

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in England and Wales prosecutes almost half a million cases every year, working closely with the courts, police, defence teams and probation. We redesigned the way the CPS could manage cases in the future to support a major investment in digital capability and enable the Criminal Justice System to operate more smoothly for everyone.

Key successes

  • Engaged 25+ subject matter experts in developing a future vision for managing cases and met a challenging deadline
  • Redesigned 40+ operational case management processes across seven key areas
  • Ensured victims, witnesses and partner agency needs were at the heart of the CPS’s thinking
  • Gave the CPS clarity on what it needed from a major system development run jointly with the courts, so that it could engage effectively on future requirements.

Realising opportunity from complexity

A new common IT platform for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the courts is set to provide seamless digital support for managing cases as they move through the justice system. Working with Criminal Justice System (CJS) partners the CPS needed to define the case working processes they wanted the new platform to support.

A key goal was to support effective case management at every point through the earliest possible access to complete information. Using shared tools to progress cases through the system offers the opportunity to focus court and prosecutor effort where it matters most to improve the experience of all CJS users.

This was a chance to rethink existing procedures, examine priorities and strip out inefficiencies that had built up over time – particularly those arising from hand-offs between agencies and teams. Our expertise in digital and operational excellence, and deep knowledge of the Criminal Justice System made us the right team to help realise the opportunity.

From the outset the professionalism and commitment of the PA team shone through. PA encouraged the working group to consider new ways of working and to explore new technology; robustly testing those new practices with staff via several engagement and model office events. PA refined these ideas and principles and produced a comprehensive set of project deliverables which clearly detailed our vision for new ways of working.”
CPS Senior Project Lead

Moving further faster

We ran a futures event for over 25 CPS subject matter experts to explore how technology trends could unlock radical service improvements. The event set thinking in motion, championing a user-centric approach and using ideas from different sectors to fire the imagination. With the vision developed, we co-designed the processes for individual areas, working closely with the CPS team and subject matter experts. An iterative approach helped us make rapid progress. Within just four months, we had a full set of over 40 new case working processes signed off and ready for engagement with CJS partners.

A more positive experience for staff and service users

The benefits from our work are wide ranging. Our collaborative approach engaged CPS staff from the outset so that they shaped, challenged and ultimately owned the design. Timely delivery of requirements helped ensure the CPS continued to contribute effectively to the effective functioning of the CJS. Longer term, easy access to the right information from a shared system enables early resolution of issues and promotes effective case management and hearings with better prepared parties – all of which are important to CJS users, including victims and witnesses who are engaging with the CPS and the justice system.

The way in which the project was delivered and the subsequent deliverables from PA have enabled the CPS to have a defined vision from an end to end business process perspective and have been of considerable assistance in our ongoing engagement with CJS partners.”
Deputy Director, Operational Process Development Unit

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