The Implementation of OLASS: Assessing Its Early Impact and Examining the Key Challenges. Phase 2 Report

Kerry Martin, Richard White, Karen Halsey

01 September 2006

Research report available to download from the DCSF website

Research brief available to download from the DCSF website

This phase 2 report documents the main challenges associated with the implementation of the new Offenders’ Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) alongside interviewees’ suggestions for overcoming some of these barriers.

Other reports from this project

Key Findings

The following key issues were highlighted:

  • According to interviewees, there were indications that some staff were unclear about OLASS in terms of what it entailed, why it was needed and what role different services played in its operation. Time therefore needs to be invested in ‘selling the vision’ to all participants, at both operational and strategic levels.
  • It is important to assess whether the workforce is suitably equipped to undertake the various functions required by OLASS (e.g. diagnostic assessment, delivery of IAG to offenders). If a deficit is identified in particular areas, then this will need to be addressed through appropriate professional development and support.
  • Interviewees highlighted staff shortages when discussing assessments, collecting and recording of monitoring data and the delivery of IAG. Services will therefore need to consider the capacity of the existing workforce to perform the requirements of the new service.
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