Minutes of the Senior Management Team (SMT) meeting - March 2022

Minutes of SMT Meeting held on Friday 11 March 2022 at 9:30am
Via Zoom

In attendance:          

  • R Kidd (RK) - Chair and Chief Executive 
  • N Monson (NM) - Deputy Chief Executive
  • B Monson (BM) - Deputy Chief Executive
  • L Burns (LB) - Deputy Chief Executive

1. Apologies                                                         

There were apologies from K Neeson. The January meeting was specifically to discuss the upcoming board training event with S Mungavin from the Chief Executives' Forum. The February meeting was cancelled due to the bi-laterals and the preparation for the new trainee cohort starting.

2. Minutes from previous meeting

The minutes from the 21 December meeting were agreed.

3. Action Points

There were no action points not covered by the agenda.

4. Corporate Health, Safety and Welfare

It was noted that some  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is on order for the new staff as a result of a change in supplier. RK also noted that board members will require some PPE items to enable them to attend site visits to observe the Inspectors.

5(a) Audit, Risk Management and Finance

  • There was a brief discussion on our end of year finance position and how we anticipate things at the end of Quarter 4. There have been some unforeseen expenses such as the need for urgent legal advice.
  • There was also a discussion on the 2022-23 budget position and how we would see things going forward in terms of monitoring round bids.

5(b) Emerging Risks

  • SMT discussed a number of current issues which are taking time from us and which would be considered outside of the normal workload.

6. Staffing

  • There was a discussion about how the Links system would be addressed to ensure that new staff could complete the necessary training packages as part of their induction period.  
  • SMT discussed some HR matters including filling of vacant posts which are ongoing.
  • SMT discussed current pressures in certain groups due to staff availability.
  • RK advised SMT that the Department had been in touch regarding the release date for our accountant who is on loan to cover maternity leave. It would be our intention to maintain the cover until the completion of the annual report and accounts in the autumn.

7. Case and Project Work

  1. Major Investigation Team (MIT) update – It was noted that MIT continues to run at close to capacity due to the number of active open cases before them.
  2. EU Exit/Transition period - There was nothing further to add at this time.

8. Business Planning

  • A further meeting has been scheduled for SMT to take forward some further planning in this area.
  • SMT noted that plans are underway to provide two additional meeting room spaces to supplement the Training & Resource room. It was felt that this will be more in keeping with the proposed uses of the building when staff are in Ladas Drive.
  • There was also a discussion about the return to office guidance and planning, in-line with the NICS guidance.

9. Performance Monitoring

BM updated SMT, highlighting that visit interactions are still down. This is likely due to the ongoing availability of Inspectors and the departure of main grade Inspectors and Compliance Officers from areas where visit interaction numbers would historically have been high. Issues such as legal cases and tribunal proceedings are also keeping some staff from taking forward inspection duties. SMT also discussed the trends in other areas such as fatalities and serious incidents as well as complaint numbers.  

10. Board Business

It was noted that the board training session with Chief Executives' Forum has been scheduled for 4 May 2022. RK also agreed to write to the board members to seek the availability so that we could attempt to get them out on visits with some of the Inspectors.

11. Any other business (AOB)

  • SMT approved a reduced stand at the Balmoral Show with a focus on child safety. The cost is estimated at £6K.
  • There was a discussion around the Out of Hours rota, the need to ensure all dates are covered and for continuing to encourage maximum participation on the rota, supporting those who are contractually required to be on it..
  • SMT agreed the Records Management Policy which had been circulated via email by Records Management Unit.
  • RK asked SMT to remind their staff that End Year Reviews are now due for completion.

12. Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting will be set for April 2022.

The meeting concluded at 12:45pm.