Custody Visitor Recruitment and Training


If this was you... wouldn't you want someone checking on your welfare?

Find out more from our Online Information Evening, recorded for our 2020 Winter recruitment drive:

Timings for the video are as follows:

00:00 Custody Oversight in Derbyshire
00:23 Origins of custody visiting
02:35 Purpose of Custody Visiting
05:04 The Derbyshire Model
06:44 Visiting Custody
08:12 Volunteer Insight into Visiting
17:34 Custody Record Reviewing
19:38 Volunteer insight into reviewing
23:25 Volunteer output
26:09 What do we expect from you? Commitment
27:29 What’s in it for you?
40:42 Working practices during Covid 19
44:17 What next…
47:44 We need you
49:20 Questions

Recruitment Information Event: Powerpoint Presentation

See our Recruitment Poster.

You can check for Independent Custody Visitor vacancies via the Constabulary Shared HR Service Centre

Please note, we can offer assistance to any individual who requires help completing their form. If you require assistance please email

ICVs need good observational and thinking skills, strong ethical principles and should be comfortable challenging authority if required. ICVs would be required to undertake a minimum of one record review and one visit per month, totalling around 4/5 hours volunteering time. Where necessary, adjustments can be made in line with the Equality Act 2010.

Ideally, the volunteers will also come from a range of backgrounds, ages and experience. The ICV scheme originated from the Brixton Riots protesting against disproportionate policing, and its purpose is to check on the way vulnerable people in police detention are treated. In the climate of the Black Lives Matter Movement, people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity backgrounds are actively encouraged to apply to become ICVs. The ICV scheme remains relevant to its original purpose and is an influential way to provide public assurance on police practice.

There are some restrictions on who can volunteer as an independent custody visitor in order to avoid conflicts of interest. For example, serving members of the police force and those who currently sit on the bench are not eligible to become custody visitors.  If you are concerned that you may have a conflict of interest, then please contact the office and we will be able to advise you.

Visitors are volunteers, and are not paid a salary but are reimbursed for any expenses they incur whilst carrying out their duties, such as car mileage and parking costs.

To find out more about the scheme click on the following titles to open the documents:

Person Specification (ICV and Custody Record Reviewing Scheme)
Role Description (Independent Custody Visiting/ Custody Record Reviewing)

View the latest vacancies at the Shared Human Resources Service Centre

See our Application Form Guidelines.

Code of Practice for the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme – produced by the Home Office in consultation with the Independent Custody Visiting Association. 

Please see the leaflet we use to promote our scheme, including information on Custody Record Reviewing.


In order to ensure that potential ICVs are sufficiently aware of the relevant law requirements for the care and custody of detainees, new ICVs must attend an Initial Training Day arranged by the OPCC. This enables new ICVs to enable them to carry out their function in an efficient and credible manner.

Initial Training Day

Training will cover the basic knowledge and skills required to carry out visits and record reviewing effectively. Students will receive a detailed manual of guidance to support their training, which will include:  

  • The purpose of and background to independent custody visiting
  • The relevant aspects of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and of its associated Code C covering Detention, Treatment and Questioning
  • Current Home Office statutory requirements
  • Local guidance, conditions of service and working practices
  • The basic practicalities of conducting independent custody visits
  • Communication skills to assist effective contact with detainees and custody staff
  • Equal opportunities and race awareness issues
  • Health and Safety issues
  • Data protection considerations
  • The Police complaints system

Probationary Period

 Following successful completion of the Initial Training Day, ICVs will be appointed for a six-month probationary period during which time experience will be acquired in a supportive environment.  Only once the probationary period has been successfully completed will full accreditation be granted.

The first visit will be made with a nominated ICV mentor and during the remainder of the probationary period visits will be made in tandem with experienced colleagues.  Immediately before the end of the six-month probationary period the probationer ICV will visit again with the nominated ICV mentor so that performance can be assessed. 

On completion of their probationary period, newly accredited ICVs will also have the opportunity to comment upon their experiences, and to give their views on the operation of the scheme in general through an interview with the scheme manager.

Continuous Training

The OPCC will produce an annual training programme for ICV’s and ICV must attend at least one session per year to refresh and enhance their general skills and knowledge. 

The ICV training and development programme provides a mixture of HQ, Regional and National training events:

Bitesize/Refresher Training – these sessions will take place during the day at Police HQ, Ripley and can be held at different times of the year to meet requirements. During the Coronavirus Pandemic, these training events have been conducted successfully online, giving more flexibility to ICVs.

Regional Advanced Training – Training for ICVs from across the region will normally take place on a Saturday in May.

National Conference – The National Conference is organised by the Independent Custody Visiting Association and normally takes place on a Saturday in November.

Between two and four ICVs can volunteer to attend this event, split evenly between North and South area volunteers. Upon return from the event both volunteers will be asked to write a short report on the content of the conference to feedback to the remaining volunteers to share learning.

Team Meetings – This is an informal training/meeting session for exchanging views, sharing best practice, discussing local issues, concerns, successes and difficulties and to build up ICV knowledge and identify any future training needs. Team meetings will normally be held in the afternoon following a morning training session.

Transferrable Skills

In your role as an independent custody visitor, you will develop a number of transferrable skills to utilise in other areas of your personal and professional lives, including:

Having difficult conversations and Challenging behaviour/conduct – ICVs will, where appropriate, challenge custody staff to ensure detainees receive their rights, entitlements and appropriate care.

Verbal communication- ICVs will have to communicate with each other, detainees, custody staff and ICV scheme managers in their role.

Working with vulnerable people- some people detained in police custody are very vulnerable by virtue of their age, gender, mental health or otherwise. Being an ICV will involve communicating with, and recognising the needs of, a variety of vulnerabilities.

Team working- ICVs will develop team working skills by conducting visits and record reviews with a variety of colleagues and through team training events.

Time management- ICVs are given a rota of roughly when to conduct visits and reviews, but it is the responsibility of ICVs to arrange with their visiting partner when to meet to conduct their visit.

PLEASE NOTE: With the exception of legally required data and historic financial records, the majority of the information on the Derbyshire OPCC website covers information, news and events for the current Commissioner only. For access to news articles and information covering the previous Commissioners please contact the OPCC team.
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