In 2022, the UK NPM transitioned from an Independent Chair model to a rotating model, under which a Chair is elected by Members from the authorised representatives for a three-year period. Wendy Sinclair-Gieben was appointed Chair-Designate of the UK NPM, and the rotating UK NPM Chair model was formalised in April 2023 at the NPM’s Annual Conference.
The Chair’s role is to:
- Chair NPM Steering Group meetings and NPM business meetings;
- Support, with the secretariat, NPM members in developing and implementing NPM work and in fulfilling their NPM responsibilities;
- Line-manage the substantive work of the Head of Secretariat;
- Where appropriate, and in consultation with the NPM Steering Group and Secretariat, represent the NPM at meetings with external stakeholders;
- Make public statements on behalf of the NPM where necessary and in consultation with the NPM Steering Group and Secretariat.
The Chair accounts to, and consults with, the NPM Steering Group and wider NPM membership in the carrying out of her duties.
Wendy is HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland. Her global career has spanned teaching, working in the criminal justice sector, immigration detention and healthcare management, in Australia, the Northern Territories of Canada and the United Kingdom.
Wendy started her career as a teacher working with children with special needs in the North West Territories of Canada. She learned to appreciate the complex elements that can lead to social marginalisation or exclusion and the need for them to be recognised and addressed. In 1998 she transferred to working in prisons and throughout her prison career in the UK and Australian prison services she has won awards and recognition for her work in rehabilitation and reintegration. In particular, she was presented with the prestigious Lord Justice Woolf award for Resettlement in the UK and the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) award for Operator and Service Provider Excellence in Perth, Australia. She was recognised by the IPA as an important pathfinder in how governments can drive better public services.
Wendy is passionate about fully embedding the OPCAT mandate with detention monitoring bodies and has chaired the Scottish Sub-Group of the NPM for some time. In this work she was active in pursuing the benefit of collective and collaborative work amongst the membership.