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How Sodexo uses Checkit to streamline compliance reporting at its justice facilities

Overview

Sodexo is a global leader in quality of life services, employing nearly 460,000 people across 72 countries and a huge array of sectors. Sodexo’s Justice division work in prisons and the wider community, reducing the risk of reoffending by improving outcomes for prison staff and those in their care.

Sodexo Justice teams are using Checkit to conduct room safety checks in two UK prisons, with the goal of streamlining the process and improving accountability.

In addition, Sodexo-owned community rehabilitation companies (CRCs) serve six major areas around the country. Checkit is providing technology to community payback services in South Yorkshire.

More widely known as community service, community payback provides a way to bring people back into the general population gradually, with employable skills, training, and support.

The challenge

Paper checklists lack integrity

Community payback takes place in CRC-run cafés. These can be straightforward places to grab a bite to eat, or operate in a care capacity.

Elderly people are bussed in for lunch clubs and social get-togethers on a regular basis, and it’s not uncommon for these cafés to serve 600 meals each week.

Prior to using Checkit, all health and safety checks, from food temperature to prisoner headcount, were done with paper checklists.

The justice system is built on robust processes with some of the most thorough audits imaginable, but this commendable approach to accountability is tough to pull off with just a biro and a spreadsheet.

Not only are paper checks time-consuming, the different checks being carried out make it hard to collate all the evidence the justice system needs to ensure full compliance.

In addition, paper checks aren’t available in real time. Sodexo were restricted to managing reactively, spotting data anomalies only after they’d blossomed into problems. For something like a fridge temperature check this is awkward enough, but for checking prisioners’ rooms?

There had to be a better way.

“Our goal is to improve the quality of life. It is very important that we safeguard our staff and the people we serve, delivering the best possible service to our customers and having partners like Checkit has contributed directly to this mission.”

Stenia Walker Deputy Group Head, Safety and Risk at Sodexo
The Solution

Guidance and data in real time

Checkit was identified as the operations management system that Sodexo was looking for due to its flexibility. It’s styled to the needs of each individual service. The platform can tailored to a demanding environment rather than providing a prescriptive process for the team to work around.

The platform prompts, guides and captures standard operating procedures. 

 

Guidance is delivered to staff via a mobile device and activity status feeds back to a smart dashboard for KPI analysis.

All that happens with just one tool and one simple interface. Even better, all the data is available in one place, time-stamped and fully accountable. Judges are embracing the power of digital solutions to provide more trustworthy sources when settling cases, Sodexo can now give that electronic evidence upon request.

The Outcome

Digital platform breeds confidence

Managers now work by exception, rather than routine. The burden of needing eyes on everything 24/7 has been eased, with real-time reporting flagging up fluctuations in the data for intervention before they become issues.

As for auditing, inspectors themselves appreciate having access the data they need at the touch of a button to ensure compliance. That means Sodexo spend less time proving they do a good job and more time in action.

According to Steve Walker, Regional Safety & Risk Manager at Sodexo :“Looking into the future, there’s enormous potential for Sodexo Justice to apply the Checkit platform to other areas of operation. Following a successful trial with the digital system running alongside paper checklists, confidence in the solution is growing."

Sodexo places enormous emphasis on training and processes, ensuring high standards through seamless staff handovers.

The ease with which staff are getting to grips with Checkit contributes to this mission, ensuring consistency across the board.

Ultimately, Sodexo Justice measure success differently to other organisations. Their goals are rehabilitation, engaging offenders with the system, and giving them skills to make them employable once their sentence is complete.

Equipping them with the knowledge to use digital systems like Checkit isn’t just helping meet commercial goals. It’s also giving those on the very edge of society a second chance, for the benefit of everyone.

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