The Intensive Development Scheme (IDS)
8100 – Recruitment, promotion and selection boards
1 Febuary 15 January
For Action Monitored by
Governing Governors, Heads of Personnel Management Group,
Group, Area Personnel Advisors Training & Development Group, Area
For Information On authority of
All Prison Staff Prison Service Management Board
Recruitment & Selection: Roger Serle, PMG (020 7217 2940)
Scheme Management: RoseMarie Loft T&DG (01788 834076)
Other Processes Affected
1. This Prison Service Instruction describes the new Intensive Development
Scheme (IDS) which replaced the Accelerated Promotion (APS), Direct
Entry and Cross Hierarchical schemes.
2. This PSI describes:
; the background to the IDS (Annex A)
; selection on to the scheme (Annex B)
; training and development offered to scheme members (Annex C)
; scheme management and funding arrangements
3. The first members started the IDS in October 2003. In the lead up period
Personnel Management Group (PMG) and Training and Development
Group (T&DG) worked with Areas and Operational Directors to develop the
Impact and Resource Assessment
4. PMG will be responsible for recruitment and selection of candidates on to
the IDS. The Leadership and Management Development team within
T&DG will provide training, support and development for scheme members.
5. The operational line will have primary responsibility for day-to-day
management of scheme members. This will be co-ordinated by Area
6. Recruitment and selection on to the scheme will be run centrally to achieve
economies of scale and ensure a national standard. Costs for this will be
borne by PMG. Support to scheme members and the provision of training
and development will be led by T&DG but in close partnership with the
operational line. Salary costs for scheme members will be borne by
establishments but grants will be paid by T&DG to support training and
development costs for scheme members. The grant will be payable in two
instalments which will be agreed on completion of a Service Level
Agreement (SLA) between T&DG and the Area. The value of the grant will
be published by T&DG on an annual basis; it will be the same for all
7. The IDS will be used to fill 35% of the predicted operational manager
vacancies projected over the next 2-3 years.
8. This PSI underpins Performance Standard 16: Filling Vacancies.
Audit and Monitoring
9. The recruitment/selection process will be subject to ongoing monitoring by
the Personnel Directorate and will be organised to facilitate evaluation of
its predictive validity. A report on each selection campaign will be
produced and signed off by the Director of Personnel. This report must
detail gender and ethnicity rates at each stage and report adverse impact
ratios. The selection process will be subject to internal audit procedures.
10. The overall impact of the IDS, including selection and progression, will be
monitored by the Personnel Directorate through a range of performance
data to assess whether it is achieving its goal of meeting the Service's
11. The Prison Service Trade Union Side has been consulted about the IDS
and fully supports the scheme.
Director of Personnel
Background to the Intensive Development Scheme (IDS)
1. The IDS is the product of a review of Prison Service Fast Track Schemes
conducted between April 2001 and February 2003 by PMG working to a
Steering Group chaired by the then Director of High Security. The review
involved wide consultation both within the service and across other
organisations. The review identified the need for a more cohesive scheme
based on a common selection process, offering greater flexibility to allow
for differing developmental needs and rate of progression, but allied to
existing mainstream promotion points to ensure national standards are met.
The IDS has been designed to address each of these needs.
2. The philosophy behind the IDS is that of a national framework, based
around national standards but allowing as much flexibility as possible in
delivery to ensure that the scheme meets local needs. Although selection
on to the scheme will be managed centrally, middle and senior managers
have an important role in identifying existing staff who are likely to be
suitable for the IDS and to encourage them to apply.
3. The key principles underlying the IDS are:
; a common selection process
; a common exit point: Operational Manager Payband F
; consistency with mainstream assessment processes (JSACs)
; individually tailored progression
; starting point dependent on work experience
; strengthened management development & support
; postings to appropriately loaded vacancies
; increased involvement and ownership by the operational line
; a centrally funded grant to support training/development
; numbers tied into workforce planning requirements
; new arrangements for scheme member management
Attractions, selection and postings on to IDS
Advertising for the scheme
1. Recruitment and selection on to the IDS will be run and managed by PMG.
Campaigns targeting external candidates will be advertised using national
print and on-line media. These will be chosen to reflect the target
candidate group, based on advice from our recruitment partners. For
campaigns targeting existing staff advertisements will be placed in
Vacancies and Courses for Staff, on the Prison Service Intranet and in
Home Office Notices.
2. All scheme members will be recruited through a common selection process
working to a national standard which aims to identify candidates with the
skills and ability to become effective operational managers. It is
anticipated that many successful candidates will have potential for further
progression. The selection model must adhere to Prison Service principles,
relevant employment legislation, appropriate professional guidelines and
best practice. The final stage of selection will use an assessment centre
approach with a range of exercises. Assessors will be chosen to reflect
diversity and will include strong representation from within the operational
line at Senior Manager level. Each assessment centre will have a Director,
normally at Area Manager level.
Appointment & Postings
3. The Personnel Directorate will liaise with Area offices (including both
geographical areas and the functional estates) to identify suitable posts for
IDS candidates taking account of operational needs. For the external
competition, at the final stage PMG will collate successful candidates’
preferences. T&DG will then work with Area offices to match candidate
preference to operational need. Once candidates have been assigned to
a particular post, Areas - or establishments under delegated authority -
must undertake all the necessary pre-employment checks. Contracts of
employment covering terms and conditions of employment within the
Prison Service must be issued by Areas or establishments under
delegated authority. For the internal competition candidates' starting grade
will be determined by T&DG through a post-selection assessment of
candidates' previous experience. This will enable T&DG to identify
appropriate posts for candidates in consultation with Areas/establishments.
4. During their time on the IDS, members will be expected to gain experience
in a variety of establishments drawing upon the range available
geographically including the functional estates. Area offices (geographical)
will lead on postings for scheme members but in close consultation with
the functional estates.
Management of the scheme
Training and Development Group Role
1. T&DG will facilitate the learning and development process for participants
on the IDS programme based upon:
; the provision of work-based experiences to develop essential skills;
; the supply of underpinning knowledge through training events; and,
; the facilitation of personal development through one-to-one sessions and
2. Training events will be organised nationally by Leadership & Management
Development (LMD) and locally by line managers as appropriate but in
consultation with LMD. Events will be provided by qualified tutors and
suppliers (both internal and external, as appropriate to the subject matter),
who have been briefed by LMD. Events will be organised in small,
manageable portions at timely intervals to support continuous development
and progression. Training events may extend beyond the normal working
hours in any one day to ensure best use of available time.
3. T&DG provides information on individuals’ achievements and development
needs to Areas to inform decisions on the continued participation of
members on the IDS.
Individual Training and Development Plan
4. On commencing the scheme, T&DG will work with individual members to
prepare an Individual Training and Development Plan (ITDP). This will
cover the individual’s progress through to scheme completion. The plan
will include the relevant experiences, skills, knowledge and aptitudes
required by each member, tailored according to their individual needs. The
plan will be agreed with the line manager. The ITDP will form the basis of
performance monitoring while on the scheme. Scheme members' SPDRs
will include key elements of the ITDP as a standard feature. The ITDP is
subject to a formal review both annually and at key stages (ie JSAC and
promotion). Progress checking reviews should take place quarterly.
Reviews should be led at Area level in liaison with the employing
establishment and with input from and consultation with a representative
from LMD and the establishment where appropriate.
5. The Area is responsible for all issues regarding employment of the scheme
member from the point of final offer of employment. This responsibility
includes: the provision of work-based experiences and roles
commensurate with the ITDP drawing upon the full range of
establishments available geographically and the release of the individual
for their essential learning events. These will be agreed with T&DG by
way of a Service Level Agreement which forms the basis for funding.
6. Line management of scheme members is the responsibility of
establishments in partnership with the Area. The establishment will act as
host employer, providing the work-based experience as agreed within the
ITDP as detailed in the SLA.
Scheme Member’s Role
7. Each scheme member will be required to commit to the tasks and targets
of the ITDP and will be required to sign acceptance and agreement of
these as outlined in the SLA.
8. Demonstrating achievement of the set learning targets will be the
responsibility of individual scheme members, who will have access to line
managers, mentors and T&DG support as facilitators in this goal. Areas
will be required to provide sufficient, appropriately trained mentors to meet
the needs of IDS members within their geographical area. Regular
feedback will be given to each scheme member by T&DG, on how to
achieve the targets set and agreed, to ensure transparency of the
Support for Scheme Members
9. All support, mentoring and training for each individual will be structured by
way of the ITDP.
10. Performance and attendance management, annual leave, sickness and all
other employment issues are the responsibility of line managers and will
be managed in accordance with standard Prison Service policies.
11. Individuals who are suspended or removed from the IDS, due to concerns
about their performance against their ITDPs, will initially revert to, or
continue to hold, their substantive posts pending any further action which
is deemed appropriate in accordance with standard Prison Service policies.
12. T&DG will supply information from ITDPs, or performance on training
programmes, to line managers as part of the SPDR process in order to
ensure a fair and objective assessment.
Postings and Succession Planning while on Scheme
13. Postings while on the scheme will be the responsibility of the employing
Area, who will provide work-based experiences in line with the