Want to have a real impact on society? Christopher Price, HR data manager at the Crown Prosecution Service, describes his role, team culture and how they’re getting through pandemic challenges together.
Christopher Price, HR data manager, Crown Prosecution Service
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutes criminal cases that have been investigated by the police and other investigative organisations in England and Wales. The service employs almost 6,000 individuals who think objectively, act professionally, show the utmost respect for others and continually strive for excellence. Committed to professional growth, the CPS offers staff clear progression pathways and a diverse range of learning and development opportunities.
Here Christopher Price, HR data manager at the Crown Prosecution Service, offers insider insight into his role and what it’s like to work there.
Christopher, why did you want to work for the CPS?
I have always been interested in the criminal justice system and wanted to understand the mechanics of how the people and the work operated. I joined the CPS HR Directorate where I developed Occupational Health Standards and a database for those employees undergoing health referrals in order for automated queries and reports to be established.
My role at the time played a key part in modernising data reporting in HR and the tracking of people data in this area of work. This really motivated me to want to do more with people data so that the organisation could benefit from being better equipped in making informed evidence-based decisions.
What does your day-to-day role now entail?
My typical day usually involves cleansing and crunching data from various systems and developing reports to support the strategic workforce planning agenda. This includes visualising data in structured, impactful formats so that a narrative detailing emerging themes and trends that may affect the workforce and its people is produced.
I also contribute to strategic plans and high priority strategic matters affecting the workforce and resourcing. I interact with a number of different functions, meeting with stakeholders who have a common interest in shaping and maturing the data culture within HR, and aligning collective workstreams into wider objectives and corporate projects.
What kind of projects or activities are you involved in?
As a result of extra funding set out by the treasury, over the last 12 months I have actively been involved in tracking upscaling legal recruitment activity and providing assurance up to executive board level, whilst working across different functions.
I was a key player in nurturing and improving the data culture within the team and developed a resourcing dashboard to track volume campaign data to meet unprecedented challenges in supply and demand. This enabled the presentation of different recruitment datasets to allow for assurance reporting on forecast starts to be communicated.
New established ways of working with data has improved resourcing processes and many other systematic changes to address and drive up candidate representation on the diversity and inclusion agenda.
I also contribute and help maintain the Strategic Workforce Plan, ensuring a range of stakeholders from across the business and operations meet as part of a governance group to discuss emerging themes impacting on how the workforce is resourced now and in the future, as well as evaluating internal and external factors affecting casework.
How have you found working in a pandemic?
At first it was challenging, especially if your home environment isn’t set up for continuous medium-term office activity! I immediately turned my spare bedroom into an office and it really helped with the transition of having a separate space for work.
However, the CPS transitioned extremely well which made the technical experience painless as the roll-out to Microsoft Teams took place. Remote working supplies were made available at home and the process has become very straightforward if you need IT or office equipment.
As a team, we have adapted well and distribution of work is discussed and fairly communicated. We all continue to support one another through regular Teams meetings and one-to-ones with the ability to enable webcam to break the ice and replicate the physical experience to make us feel more connected.
What is your team like?
My team is the best, we all have each other’s backs and make time to celebrate success! We have a real mix of skills, experience and leadership, so we make effective use of each other’s strengths. There is an abundance of mutual respect for one another and it’s a big bonus that we all get along so well which really makes for a positive work-life experience, boosting health and wellbeing and team morale.
There is never a dull day as we all regularly schedule in meetings and catch up on Teams, collectively supporting each other as each week brings us a new challenge to tackle.
Any exciting moments in your time at the CPS?
I was seconded onto the Attract & Retain project working in an extremely fast paced environment. I worked with a diverse range of stakeholders in CPS and Cabinet Office introducing the Success Profiles Framework to retain people of talent and experience, while supporting Civil Service HR in its commitment to strengthening expertise, making recruitment clearer and more accessible to candidates.
I have also been fortunate to work in operational delivery in the Cymru-Wales area and had real exposure to some of the legal casework carried out, working with some of the best paralegals, lawyers and victim liaison managers monitoring performance activity, with some exposure to the Crown Court in deputising roles.
I was extremely fortunate to job shadow the deputy chief crown prosecutor attending disclosure training at Carmarthen Police Headquarters to improve police disclosure handling, building on the relationship and expectations between police and CPS within Areas.
Feeling inspired to work for the Crown Prosecution Service?
Would you like the opportunity to have a very real impact on society, the freedom to use your judgement and the chance to experience challenging and varied work? The Crown Prosecution Service is currently recruiting for a Workforce Planning, Insight & Design Lead.