Ex-Armed Service Personnel (Ex-ASP) Third Party Memorandum of Understanding


This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is made between HMPPS and the named charity at the end of this agreement.

HMPPS recognises the need to offer tailored support for EX-ASP being managed within the criminal justice system as virtue of being convicted of a criminal offence. We want to collaborate closely with specialist organisations to ensure that the support for Ex-ASP is consistent and accessible across each region. Furthermore, we want to help to contribute towards positive outcomes for all Ex-ASP in custody, their families and communities. The specific purpose of this document is to provide clarity to both HM Prison Service personnel and any Ex-ASP charities/services who are providing specialist support with regard to quality of delivery, support available and management processes or requirements. HMPPS will make best endeavours to ensure that all commitments as expressed within this document are met. To support this initiative and the agenda generally, a national lead has been identified. This role is designated HMPPS CFO Veteran Lead.

This schedule sets out the support that HMPPS in general and the HMPPS CFO Veteran Lead in particular will provide to Ex-ASP charities through the duration of any formally contracted or grant based term period. This does not constitute a change to any existing contracts or grant agreements, rather it is both representative of additional support and provides clarity for all parties. The expectation detailed below reflects the views captured in discussions with Prison Group Director’s veteran leads and in turn, with Prison Governors and Veterans in Custody Support Officers at establishment level.

Any new organisation wishing to deliver support to veterans in custody will be required to apply through this MoU. Following application, due diligence will be carried out and the HMPPS CFO Veteran Lead will assist with introductions to the requested prisons and any final decisions will be made by the Governing Governors with advice from Senior Leaders and Veterans in Custody Support Officers.

Existing organisations will be captured retrospectively and will be asked to sign this MoU and if declined, reasons for doing so can be requested.

Agreement in broad terms

This agreement is not intended to place any legal barriers in the way of achieving these commitment statements.  Experience shows however the value in setting down in writing agreed roles and responsibilities and the benefit from the mutual commitment obtained by both parties signing up to them.  It is hoped that the relationship between HMPPS and any named Ex-ASP charities will continue to be based on mutual respect and co-operation.

Agreement period

The agreement period is specific to each case/contract opportunity and will be confirmed in the attached form.  The MoU will be reviewed nationally on an annual basis, and where appropriate a new master document will be issued. Any variation to this signed MoU shall not be effective unless signed by senior representatives of both parties.

This MoU will not be terminated prematurely except in exceptional circumstances such that delivery of the service from the named charity is no longer viable.  Should such a situation be deemed to have arisen there will be full consultation between both signatory organisations.  Every effort will be made by both parties to resolve any difficulties as they arise.

HMPPS Commitment; what support will be provided

  • Access to HMP information regarding contact points for prisons (ViCSOs) where available
  • Advice on veteran population across the custodial estate
  • Facilitate meetings with relevant regional veteran reps/prisons/Governors (where necessary)
  • Feedback on services received and help to support and implement any changes
  • Promote the support provided by veteran charities at a policy level which will include responses to Ministers when requested
  • Ad-hoc support regarding individual veterans or services generally in the custodial estate
  • Access to ‘Military Human’ training which is being rolled out as part of HMPPS support to raise awareness of needs of group
  • Staff will be made aware of risk related information where this is relevant to their own safety or that of any other party
  • Promote support available from the charities via HMPPS CFO Veteran Support Map
  • Relevant and/or mandatory training from prisons i.e. key training
  • Any other training where appropriate
  • Contact point for any veteran related query (carrie.rogers@justice.gov.uk)  which can’t be met/answered at establishment level
  • Support with the vetting process prior to any access to prisoners with relevant prisons
  • Should a complaint arise, both prison and veteran charities will have access to the procedure and relevant processes will be carried out

Standards expected from third sector charities

  • Staff have specialist skills and knowledge enabling them to work effectively with veterans
  • Staff have an understanding of the wider criminogenic needs of this subset of the offender population
  • Staff are not judgmental about anyone’s offending history or designation as an offender
  • All statutory obligations including but not limited to equalities and health and safety legislation are adhered to
  • Staff are acutely aware of the need to fully comply with any security arrangements/procedures
  • Confidentiality and data protection principles should always be maintained
  • Delivery should be transparent through production of management information detailing throughput/nature of access to any provision made available to an agreed schedule
  • Data must be accurate and be capable of supporting any audit or performance management scrutiny. Evidence of outcomes may be asked as part of data capturing for Senior Civil Servants or Ministers
  • Staff should operate as part of the wider establishment resettlement offer rather than in isolation, liaising and supporting as appropriate
  • Should such specialised mental health support be delivered (depression, anxiety, PTSD etc) then the trainers need to be able to evidence that they are CQC registered if not delivering under NHS remit/contracts
  • Organisations need to be a member of COBSEO or working towards membership of COBSEO. COBSEO membership requires governance quality standards to be met


Any organisation considering working with HMPPS is advised to consider the following points:

  • Does the service delivery meet the expectations of both the charity and the prison? There should be an understanding of what is important to both parties and this should be reviewed at regular interviews
  • Do you have a supply chain? Are they managed in accordance with expectations outlines above?
  • Can you service the expected volume/caseload required to fulfil any contract or grant terms?
  • Do you have realistic expectations with regard to the risk/public protection issues which are likely to be present within the client group? Are you confident of your ability to manage these with appropriate support from HMPPS CFO and/or other departments?
  • Are you able to work in a collaborative way, making appropriate referrals and/or liaising with other organisations/departments? If a service is unable to be delivered by one charity, can you ensure that delivery is picked up by another and that the relationship management with the Prison(s) is maintained. Can you at all times prioritise the needs of the veterans being supported?
  • How would you manage any rise/decrease in caseload?
  • Would your case notes / documentation support an individual being picked up by another organisation if they were to be transferred to another establishment?
  • Do you have links into wider resettlement resources e.g. employment / housing / families / funding / education etc. as appropriate to your overall delivery offer?
  • Do you have a clear sense of the point in a sentence where your service is best targeted e.g. ‘in reach’ service from reception (sentence dependant), fixed time from release, through-the-gate etc.?
  • Can you operate in an environment where formal communications to each prison are via agreed contact points?
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