In an increasingly competitive and demanding environment Probation Trusts will need to have a skilled and qualified workforce if they are meet their objectives in reducing re-offending and protecting the public. The Probation Qualification Framework (PQF) was implemented in April 2010 and it provides the framework for managing the qualifications of probation practitioners who work with offenders.
The required qualifications for Probation Officers are a Level 5 Diploma in Probation Practice and either an Honours degree or a Graduate Diploma in Community Justice.
The qualification for Probation Service Officers (PSOs) is a Level 3 Diploma in Probation Practice, mandatory for newly appointed PSOs and optional for those appointed before April 2010.
The Diplomas in Probation Practice are work based qualifications requiring assessment of practitioners’ practice in the workplace whilst partner Universities provide the academic input into the degree and the graduate diplomas. Close liaison between the employer, the University and the vocational assessment centre is key to the successful delivery of these qualifications.
The PCA works alongside other bodies like the Probation Association and Skills for Justice to support Trusts in their implementation of the PQF and in addressing the Continuing Professional Development of probation practitioners and the learning and development needs of other probation staff.