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Joint targeted area inspections: Inspection framework and guidance

1. This guidance is for inspectors conducting joint targeted area inspections (JTAI) of arrangements and services for children in need of help and protection in local authority areas in England. These inspections are undertaken by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMI Probation).

2. The three safeguarding partners together with other agencies can use this guidance to understand how inspections are conducted. They may also find it useful when carrying out self-evaluations or improvement planning.

3. This guidance is designed to support consistency between inspections while allowing the flexibility to respond to the individual circumstances of each local area. As such, it is a guide on the processes that usually govern the inspection.

4. This guidance is generic and applies to all JTAIs. Each JTAI includes a ‘deep dive’ theme. The inspectorates publish separate guidance on each deep dive theme2 that should be read alongside this framework.

5. HMI Probation will not always inspect the National Probation Service, community rehabilitation companies and youth offending teams (YOTs) as part of the JTAI. The decision will be based on whether the deep dive theme is central to their work. It is likely that YOTs will always be included because they manage children and young people’s cases as a core part of their business. We will specify which services are involved in the deep dive theme guidance.