National Disclosure Improvement Plan

“The legitimacy of our criminal justice system relies on the process being fair and even-handed. The public rightly expects to see the guilty convicted, but it is equally important to avoid the wrongful conviction of the innocent.”
Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, CEO, College of Policing

Getting disclosure right is a fundamental part of a fair criminal justice system. In every case, any material that undermines the case for the prosecution or assists the case for the accused must be shared with the defence. Disclosure needs to be an integral part of the investigative mindset from the start.

Since summer 2017, we have been working to address the criticisms identified in the joint Inspectorate report into disclosure.

In January 2018 those at the highest levels of the College of Policing, National Police Chiefs' Council and the Crown Prosecution Service published a joint action plan, called the National Disclosure Improvement Plan, and we are moving at a considerable pace to introduce the necessary changes.

The plan includes measures to:

  • Review College of Policing disclosure training
  • Develop a cadre of specialist and experienced disclosure experts in every force
  • Provide all multimedia evidence from the Crown Prosecution Service to the defence digitally
  • Put in place specific improvement plans for each force and Crown Prosecution Service area
  • Set up a system for the Crown Prosecution Service and police to better identify and deal with cases with significant and complex disclosure issues.

Since the launch of the plan, we have:

  • Released new training for all forces in April 2018. Our new learning package: Disclosure and relevancy – Conducting fair investigations is available on the College's Managed Learning Environment (MLE).
  • Issued learning standards to assist forces to equip their officers with the knowledge they need to carry out their disclosure duties (the College of Policing training product supports those standards and forces are able to augment it with local training).
  • Begun work to have people in every force in England and Wales who can give the right advice to colleagues and point them in the direction of our disclosure training. These officers and staff will be called 'Disclosure Practitioner Champions' and we will be holding five events from May until July so that every force has a cohort of well-informed individuals to assist colleagues to fulfil their disclosure duties.
  • Created an area on the membership website which pulls together relevant documents/publications, ways to share good practice, information for Disclosure Champions, frequently asked questions and more. This information can be found by visiting our Disclosure page on our Membership site.

Similarly, the Crown Prosecution Service has established Disclosure Champions in all Crown Court and Magistrates' Court teams. The Disclosure Manual for all Crown Prosecution Service prosecutors has been refreshed and training material reviewed to ensure that it is accurate and elements which were outdated have been removed. The Crown Prosecution Service is developing new mandatory training for all prosecutors on disclosure, which will be delivered by September 2018.

College work on disclosure improvement is continuing. Throughout 2018 we will:

  • As above, hold regional workshops for nominated 'Disclosure Practitioner Champions' in forces across England and Wales. These workshops will build the knowledge and confidence of attendees, enabling them to influence and challenge colleagues to share and follow good practice in investigation and all aspects affecting disclosure.
  • Review whether there should be a requirement for officers to hold a Licence to Practice in respect of disclosure.

The College of Policing uses cookies to collect and analyse information about the users of this website. We use this information to enhance the content and other services available on the site. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing for us to set a small number of cookies. You can manage your preferences for Cookies at any time, for more information please see our Cookies Policy.