This page is here for archive purposes, to showcase PS Plus and European Social Fund (ESF) achievements between 2002 - 2008. For information on the latest ESF funded National Offender Management Service (NOMS) programme, please click here
PS Plus
PS Plus



Understanding PS Plus Phrases.
This section aims to explain some of the common terms used throughout this site in more depth.

Definitions are available for the following terms:

  • NOMS - The National Offender Management Service
  • ESF - The European Social Fund
  • CATS - Case Assessment and Tracking System
  • CIP - Community Integration Plan
  • Outcomes - hard and soft outcomes
  • IDU - Innovations Development Unit

NOMS - National Offender Management Service
The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) came into existence on 1st June 2004.

This service replaced the previous system, whereby the Prison Service was responsible for the provision and supervision of custody, and the National Probation Service for the provision and supervision of community punishments and interventions.

NOMS has established an integrated service responsible for the management and supervision of offenders, whether in custody or the community, with the objectives of punishing offenders and reducing re-offending.

Click here to visit the NOMS website.

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ESF - European Social Fund
The European Social Fund (ESF) is one of four Structural Funds designed to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union. The 2000-2006 ESF programme provided approximately £4.5 billion in Great Britain (£3.5 billion in England).

ESF’s main purpose is to support the annual UK Employment Action Plan, which sets out how UK policies and initiatives take account of the Employment Guidelines established within the European Employment Strategy.

The European Social Fund aims to:

  • help unemployed and inactive people enter work
  • provide opportunities for people at a disadvantage in the labour market
  • promote lifelong learning
  • develop the skills of employed people
  • improve women’s participation in the labour market

PS Plus was funded under the European Social Fund Objective 3. Objective 3, and hence PS Plus, aims to improve people’s skills and employment prospects by:

  • tackling long-term unemployment
  • helping young people and those at risk from not being able to find work
  • improving training, education and counselling for lifelong learning
  • encouraging entrepreneurship and adaptability in the workplace
  • promoting equal opportunities and improving the role of women in the workplace

Click here to visit the ESFwebsite.

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CATS - Case Assessment and Tracking System
All case management and tracking of beneficiaries on the PS Plus project was performed by a bespoke computer database, the Case Assessment and Tracking System (CATS), developed by PS Plus.

The CATS system allowed the user to perform an assessment, compile a Community Integration Plan (CIP) and then monitor the beneficiaries’ progress.

The beneficiaries' activities were recorded using timesheet information, records of courses, training events and other activities attended while on the project.

Once each beneficiary had left the project, all outcomes, both hard and soft, were recorded.

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CIP - Community Integration Plan
The Community Integration Plan (CIP) is a document that used for recording all referrals and support/advice given to the beneficiary whilst on the PS Plus project.

The CIP was managed by the Case Manager and was linked to the beneficiary through their time in the criminal justice system.

On their release the CIP would, if required, be transferred to probation so that the Link Worker can record any actions taken with the beneficiary in the community. It offered a valuable outline of all the work that had been performed previously with the beneficiary.

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Outcomes refer to specific assistance provided to beneficiaries in order for them to improve their employability and gain access to the labour market.

Hard outcomes refer to ETE - Education, Training or Employment on release or whilst on probation.

Services and activities would include; liaising with employers to secure sustainable employment, exploring all avenues of employment (including non-traditional occupations), broker and secure relevant further educational and vocational training courses.

In addition to the procurement of ETE or hard outcomes, PS Plus beneficiaries also had the opportunity to gain soft outcomes. These refer to the smaller, more subjective, less easily measured improvements to employability.

These outcomes could be achieved by: assessing current skills and achievements, providing information of local opportunities in training, further education and gaining employment, motivating and increasing confidence and supporting choices.

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Innovations Development Unit (IDU)
The Innovations Development Unit (IDU) were a team based in Warrington, Cheshire, and a division of NOMS ICT in the Ministry of Justice. IDU were responsible for the development of the CATS system, and for the PS Plus database.

IDU are no longer operational, and any enquiries regarding PS Plus or CATS should now be directed here.

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