Jane Allen facilitated four action learning sets for Chief Executives and Deputies of Probation across England, Wales, Northern and Southern Ireland over a number of years. These groups were organised as 24 hour events and designed to provide a highly confidential environment for senior leaders to explore their own development; and manage major organisational change within a highly sensitive political climate, whilst carrying the ultimate responsibility for high-risk cases and the constant possibility of further offences and public scrutiny.
The groups were designed to follow the traditional action learning methodology as their core practice and then to develop strands of group inquiry of an intellectual nature or by inviting senior figures to join them in dialogue about current issues. The formation of the Probation Chiefs Association (now the Probation Institute) was initiated by one group’s action inquiry process. Two of these groups, facilitated by Jane, are continuing in the present climate for Deputy Directors within the National Probation service and Chief Executives of the local newly formed Community Rehabilitation Companies.