Probation Careers

A Career in the Probation Service

The Probation Service offers a range of options for people starting their career and/or those interested in probation as a second career.  As well as being the route to training as a Probation Officer there are many other opportunities to work towards reducing reoffending, eg in information and performance units, through case administration and reception roles and others.

The Probation Qualifications Framework (PQF) was introduced as the new route to training as a Probation Officer (PO) or Probation Services Officer (PSO) from 1st April 2010.   It comprises a framework that allows staff to progress through ascending levels of qualification to qualify either as a PO or PSO.  Candidates can only access the qualification through employment in the Probation Service.

Details of each of these operational roles are outlined in the ‘ PQF information leaflet‘ which can be downloaded from this site. To begin and pursue a career in the Probation Service application needs to be made to join the Service as an unqualified PSO at one of the specified entry points.

Vacancies are advertised on Trust websites, the Jobs In Probation website and other media.

For PSOs the Level 3 Vocational Qualification Diploma in Probation Practice is the new minimum necessary qualification. Not all PSOs will want to train beyond this level.  Those who do will require the support of a Trust and the opportunity to progress will be dependant on the workforce needs of the Trust.  It is likely that interested candidates will, therefore, be subject to a selection procedure.

On successful completion of the entire PQF, PSOs will be fully qualified and eligible to apply for PO positions as they become available.

The PQF is gained through the BA Honours Degree in Community Justice plus a vocational level 5 Diploma in Probation Practice. Graduates who have a specified, relevant degree undertake the Graduate Diploma in Community Justice plus the level 5 vocational Diploma over a period of 15 months.  Much of the academic input is delivered through distance learning and the Vocational Qualifications are accessed through work based learning.  Further detail on the content of the degree and diploma can be found from the websites of the Higher Education Institutions that provide the training: University of Portsmouth, Sheffield Hallam and De Montfort University.

For more information on a career in the Probation Service, please contact your local Probation Trust.