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HM Prison and Probation Service: Equality Assessment for Fitness Testing

Volume 711: debated on Wednesday 30 March 2022

10. If she will undertake an equalities impact assessment of HM Prison and Probation Service’s equality assessment for fitness testing. (906386)

The HMPPS staff fitness testing policy was reviewed, updated and published in 2021. An equality impact assessment was undertaken in 2021, and it remains a live document. It will be reviewed and updated regularly as work in this area progresses. HMPPS staff networks, diversity and inclusion experts and trade unions were fully consulted during the policy review, and they contributed to the equality analysis.

The Minister will be aware of concerns, particularly from the Prison Officers Association, that far more female officers than male officers are failing this test. Will he meet the Prison Officers Association to discuss this issue?

The hon. Gentleman takes a consistent interest in this point, and I am happy to mention his question to the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Louth and Horncastle (Victoria Atkins). I can confirm that, since prison officer fitness testing resumed last July, 90% of female officers passed on the first attempt, and none failed by the third attempt.