Reflecting on the year, we asked our team of experts to share their 2023 highlights – the result demonstrates the breadth and depth of their experience, continuing to build on their expertise year on year. From guiding clients through complex organisational change, to developing innovative new frameworks and qualifications, they have excelled in delivering high-quality work that meets and exceeds our clients’ expectations.


Anne Mackintosh, Client Director – Justice:

“Of the many highlights in 2023, the one that stands out for me was our hugely successful Inspire Justice Awards. It was joyful, and thought-provoking. It showcased the enormous contribution that staff who are not always in the public eye and often overlooked make towards keeping us safe in our communities and reducing offending behaviour. It was uplifting to hear, first-hand, the award winners who went the extra mile to deliver excellence to their colleagues and service users. Their dedication, passion and creativity shone through their stories.”


Cathy Gallagher, Technical Specialist:

“One of the key things I have taken from this year is the ongoing impact that our work with clients and the solutions we develop have on organisations, their staff, and the wider public. An example of this is the Capabilities Framework which we have developed for staff working with individuals in Prison and on Probation. The framework sets out the levels of competences required to enable staff to understand, recognise, and to refer individuals in their care who have health, care, and wellbeing needs. It is accepted that a large percentage of the custodial and probation populations suffer to differing degrees from health, care, and wellbeing needs and are more likely to suffer from inequality in health provision than the general population.

“The framework will be used to review and develop a curriculum of relevant training for staff providing them will the knowledge and skills needed to not only support those in their care, but also to recognise their own health, care, and wellbeing needs, in what can be a very stressful, high-pressure environment. This has been a very enjoyable, worthwhile, and rewarding project for me and Sharon Wilton. We look forward to taking part in its formal launch early next year.”


Jon Freegard, Principal Consultant – Workforce Development:

“A real highlight for me has been the opportunity to engage with so many professionals working in the justice sector, particularly on the crucial subject of workforce planning. Earlier in the year, Skills for Justice hosted a workforce planning webinar, which was really well attended by a diverse range of people and roles from across justice organisations. It’s great to see the level of interest and collaboration to share ideas on how to tackle the common issues facing the sector.”


Theresa Gatfield, Senior Consultant – Workforce Planning:

“More recently, and in response to demand, Skills for Justice has hosted a series of workforce planning workshops. This allows operational and support personnel to explore the methods, tools, and thinking required to build and iterate on their future plans. It’s a privilege to meet and talk with colleagues in the sector on a topic we’re so passionate about!”


Sharon Wilton, Technical Consultant:

“There are two projects that stand out for me this year. Firstly, the development of a new qualification in Scotland called SVQ Emergency Services Contact and Control Operations. To deliver this project, Skills for Justice worked with sector experts from Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, and the Scottish Qualification Authority. This new qualification forms part of the mandatory training for staff; helping ensure staff are competent within their role and giving them formal recognition for their achievements. This was an interesting piece of work and gave a good insight into the day-to-day challenges of the role.

“The second highlight for me this year is working on the Quality Assurance Audit of the Incident Response and Command training course (IRAC) for the Scottish Ambulance Service. My involvement in this was to carry out an audit of the training course and materials against the Skills for Health (our sister organisation) Quality Assurance Framework. This audit provides Scottish Ambulance Services with an external review of the course, including any recommendations or suggested actions for improvement.

“As part of this work, we also carried out interviews with staff and had the opportunity to observe the course being delivered. All this work was put together into a comprehensive audit report which included recommendations for improvements that Scottish Ambulance Service can take on board to improve the course for future learners.”


Ruth Pugh and Oonagh Taylor, Technical Consultants:

“This year, Oonagh Taylor and I have worked on several key delivery pieces, most notable being the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI) IQA update. This was a real highlight working face-to-face with the delegates in Belfast to bring to life their newly created IQA and assessment strategy.

“The two-day workshops were activity-based, recapping IQA principles before leading the team to define their common approach, mapping relevant qualifications, and culminating in their first standardisation meeting. These workshops enabled the team to implement strategic plans and build on future IQA activities and plans. What a joy to work alongside the professionals within our sector and achieve meaningful development.”


Our expert team are committed to providing you with the best solutions for your workforce development needs. Whether you’re looking to upskill your workforce, improve productivity, or navigate the ever-changing needs of the justice sector, we’ve got you covered.

Fill in the contact form below or get in touch with one of the team. We’re looking forward to supporting you through your workforce development opportunities in 2024.


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