Prospects is committed to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking. Our commitment is expressed through corporate and strategic aims and in formal policies, processes and procedures. We will act ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships, implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains. This statement sets out the steps we have taken over the last financial year to ensure there is no modern slavery in our business or supply chains.
Prospects has around 1500 employees and we provide our services to countries all over the world. The Prospects Group, whose ultimate parent company is the Shaw Trust Group, has its head office in England. Our staff are mainly directly employed and are not in any category which is generally seen to be vulnerable to modern slavery in this country, so our focus is to ensure we have a robust framework for supply chain management.
We provide services in the education, training and care sectors, delivering advice and guidance, learning, employability, inspection, recruitment, education and childcare provision across the UK and internationally to and for individuals, families, schools, central and local government, prisons and corporate bodies. We predominantly contract for our business with UK public bodies and, given the nature of our business, our risk of exposure to slavery and trafficking is generally low; however, we will be aware of people, sectors and geographic areas posing a greater risk and will strive to mitigate this wherever we deliver our services.
We expect the highest standards of conduct and probity throughout our supply chain, requiring all of our people to act with integrity and honesty. The majority of our supply chain providers are pre-approved by public sector commissioning bodies. In addition, our procurement processes include due diligence checks about modern slavery and trafficking and we scrutinise our supply chain using our dedicated quality assurance functions including audit, supply chain management, legal and risk specialisms.
Our Supply Chain Management Policy makes a formal commitment to supporting ethical sourcing practices and sustainability initiatives and our Supply Chain Management Procedure requires potential supply chain partners’ agreement to a set of core principles and behaviours. We carry out quality assurance and compliance activities to help mitigate risk across the supply chain and our procedure includes auditing our partners’ policies for managing Modern Slavery risks. We support smaller organisations in our supply chain to help them develop their own policies and arrangements where appropriate. We seek to procure quality products and services while maintaining the highest ethical standards.
Our suppliers and contractors are subject to a formal process of approval and review; our robust supplier selection process means that all prospective preferred suppliers and contractors complete the Preferred Supplier Questionnaire which is evaluated prior to their inclusion on the Preferred Supplier and Contractor List and before the procurement of goods or services are made. As well as ongoing supplier management reviews, all organisations on our Preferred Supplier and Contractor List are formally re-evaluated every three years as a minimum, subject to initial contract length. Our procurement policies allow for supplier and contractor visits to be made, if necessary, to enable us to understand more about our suppliers’ sourcing arrangements and methods.
If a potential or existing supplier fails to meet our expectations or is unable to provide information to assure us of their approach, we may not enter into partnership with them, or may terminate an existing relationship.
We support awareness among our staff of potential risks in our business and our supply chain. We will make sure that all our funders, employees, subcontractors, delivery partners, service users and any other stakeholders have a clear and effective platform for airing concerns, asking questions and whistleblowing, and will ensure reporting processes are clear.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, is approved by the Board and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31st August 2018.
Nick Bell, Chief Executive