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Tackling Modern Slavery in Supply Chains


The Context

Modern slavery is one of the great evils of today’s world.  It is a complex, and often hidden, crime that is estimated to affect around 40 million people around the world.  As the authority responsible for prosecuting modern slavery cases in the UK, it was imperative that the Crown Prosecution Service identified and managed the risks in its own supply chain.

The Requirement

We supported the CPS and the Attorney General’s Office to both meet their legal obligations in respect of modern slavery and to implement best practice supply chain monitoring processes.  This included identifying and investigating the organisation’s highest risk contracts to identify specific risks and issues, while developing a thematic roadmap to embed best practice.


The Programme

We supported the organisation to implement the Government’s strategic approach to tackling modern slavery, across five priority areas:

cps 4_edited.jpg

We supported the organisation to implement the Government’s strategic approach to tackling modern slavery, across five priority areas:


1. Contract Categorisation: we assessed the risks in the organisation’s procurement footprint by looking both at its existing approach to contract classification, based on financial value and business criticality, and the specific risks of modern slavery, based on industry type, global distribution of workforce and supply chain and nature of services.


2. Raising Awareness: we developed briefing packs for the executive team and other senior managers, securing their support to roll out training and awareness building across the organisation.


3. Supply Chain Mapping: we assessed 27 medium- and high-risk contracts and their supply chains using the Government Modern Slavery Assessment Tool (MSAT).  This identified that all suppliers had met their legal obligations and a number had gone beyond the minimum requirements to incorporate best practice risk management into their own operations and their procurement and contract management processes.


4. Risk Mitigation: because the supplier assessment identified no urgent issues for resolution, we were able to focus on supporting suppliers to introduce best practice, based on a thematic analysis of the greatest opportunity areas.  Across all suppliers, approach to KPIs and due diligence were identified as the greatest areas for improvement.  We supported contract managers to engage their suppliers in improvement planning and, where suppliers were already high performing, encouraged them to share best practice.


5. Procurement and Contract Management Processes: the review identified a number of opportunities to improve CPS’s own approach to tackling modern slavery throughout the procurement and contract management process.  These were developed into a phased roadmap, with a number of improvements being incorporated into a wider contract management development programme we subsequently worked with the client to deliver.

The Outcomes

  • A published Anti-Modern Slavery Statement, meeting the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act and drawing on best practice from across UK Government and global industry


  • Detailed risk assessments for 27 high risk contracts, accompanied by a summary report for executive stakeholders, highlighting urgent actions and follow-on priorities


  • A phased improvement roadmap, setting out improvement actions in four prioritised waves over 12 months


  • Collation of best practice from across Government and a range of industry sectors to improve performance both within the client organisation and across its supply chain


  • Contract managers gained knowledge and confidence in engaging with their suppliers on modern slavery risks and working with them to address improvement issues generally


  • Guidance, tools and training to help contract managers further improve their confidence and embed the de-risking of modern slavery into their contracts in a systematic way

About Us

Human Engine is a Financial Times top-ranked management consultancy with specialisms in strategy, change, digital, commercial and projects.  

It was founded in 2018 with a belief that the public sector deserves better than it gets from traditional consulting firms – more human, more personal and more knowledgeable of the reality of delivering modern public services.

We have worked with dozens of public sector organisations to help transform their strategies, operations and cultures to be more agile, commercial and entrepreneurial in order to achieve financial sustainability and improved outcomes for customers and communities. 

Our mission is to help individuals and organisations to do the best work of their lives.  We do this by blending first-hand experience of the problems we help our clients solve with award-winning consulting expertise and an approach based on trust, collaboration and partnership. 

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