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Government looks to recruit new Independent Reviewer of Prevent

29 April 2020

THE GOVERNMENT has launched a recruitment process to appoint the next Independent Reviewer of the Prevent programme. The Independent Reviewer of Prevent will look at the effectiveness of the Government’s strategy to protect vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism and also make key recommendations for the future.

During the passage of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 on 12 February last year, the Government committed to carrying out an independent review of Prevent. The review must be completed - together with a Government response to it - by 12 August 2020.

The review will consider the present delivery of Prevent and recommendations for the future, rather than the past delivery of Prevent. In particular, the review will consider the following key areas:

  • Is Prevent achieving its objectives? These are to tackle the causes of radicalisation and respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism, safeguard and support those most at risk of radicalisation through early intervention, identifying them and offering support and enable those who've already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate
  • How effectively is Prevent being delivered at both the local and national levels?
  • How effectively does Prevent interact with other safeguarding and vulnerability strategies and what are the critical dependencies and common threads?
  • How effective is the Statutory Prevent Duty nd how effectively is it being implemented?
  • How could Prevent be improved to respond to justified criticisms and complaints?
  • What should the Government consider in the development of Prevent over the next five years as the threat evolves in order to best engage with and support people vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism?

For their part, the Independent Reviewer is supported by a dedicated review team based separately from the Home Office’s Prevent team. The appointment of the next Independent Reviewer will be through a full and open competition. This will involve an advisory assessment panel, complete with an independent chair Olivia Grant OBE), the members of which (among them ​Tom Hurd, director general of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism) will review the applications and interview shortlisted candidates.

Independence, integrity and credibility

The Government is seeking a highly talented individual of unquestionable independence, integrity and credibility who can demonstrate his or her ability to exercise sound judgement and analysis at pace and under pressure, with close public and ministerial scrutiny.

This is a high-profile and public-facing role, so the Government is keen to appoint a credible and talented Independent Reviewer who's confident in engaging with a wide range of interested parties, from civil society and community organisations through to Government ministers and local practitioners. The successful candidate will have a strong and personal commitment to the highest standards of public life and be able to reach evidence-based and influential conclusions and recommendations for the future.

Applications for this post (which commands an annual remuneration of £140,000) will be open until 11.00 pm on 1 June. 

The Government has adapted the recruitment process around the UK’s Coronavirus restrictions while ensuring a fair and open competition. This includes planning for remote interviews.

Security Minister James Brokenshire (pictured) said: “Prevent gives vulnerable people the support they need to protect them from terrorist recruiters. We are always looking at how we can make the programme more effective, which is why we are committed to this Independent Review. I look forward to the appointment of the Reviewer so they can get on with their vital work.”