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HM Prison Service: business partnering inside

Simon Constance (HM Prison Service, London, UK.)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 20 June 2008




HM Prison Service has over 48,000 staff and an annual payroll in excess of £1.4 billion. The aim of this article is to examine how this “people business” has radically overhauled its HR processes, placing HR in a strategic position where it can contribute to business growth.


A new Oracle HR system, regional HR shared services teams and a national shared service center provide the foundations to create a new HR operating model transforming HR support to area managers and governing governors in 130+ locations across England and Wales. In one of the largest recruitment campaigns ever for HR business partners (HRBPs), over 120 HRBPs and 14 area HR and OD manager roles were created.


Managers' eyes are opening to what can be achieved with a proactive business outcome‐focused approach to HR. By moving HRBPs into a position where they can begin to deliver real outcomes, senior managers have seen tangible examples of what is possible.


The paper examines how this “people business” has radically overhauled its HR processes.



Constance, S. (2008), "HM Prison Service: business partnering inside", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 32-36.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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