How to train to become a Probation
Probation Qualifications Framework
On 1 April 2010, a new training programme for
the Probation Service was introduced – the Probation Qualifications
Framework (PQF). Although the previous qualification, the
Diploma in Probation Studies, is still recognised, this
qualification route is no longer available to new entrants.
The Probation Qualifications Framework has
been designed to allow staff to progress through ascending levels
of qualification so that they can be qualified either as a
Probation Service Officer or a Probation Officer, the two main
operational roles which deal directly with offenders. The
qualifications are gained during employment with the service.
There are three major routes to qualification
as a Probation Officer:
1. Candidates can
initially apply for a post as a Probation Service Officer and
achieve the Probation Vocational Qualification (VQ) at Level 3
(this is normally achieved within 12 months).
2. Existing Probation
Service Officers with VQ Level 3 (or external applicants with
Community Justice NVQ Level 3) can then apply for a place on the
Probation Qualification Framework (this normally takes two years
and nine months).
3. Existing staff or
external applicants with relevant degrees can apply for a place on
the Graduate Diploma scheme within the Probation Qualification
Framework (this takes a minimum of 15 months). Applicants for this
route need to have an Honours Degree in a relevant subject – at
present, NOMS have determined that the only relevant degrees are
Community Justice, Criminal Justice, Police Studies and Criminology
or these subjects combined with Law or Social Science.
The first step to pursue these qualifications
and a career in the Probation Service as a Probation Service
Officer or a Probation Officer is to join the Probation Service at
one of the specified entry points shown above.
When you have successfully completed the
Probation Qualifications Framework, you will be able to apply for
Probation Officer positions as they become available. London
Probation Trust will advertise vacancies on this website in
addition to other media.
For more information about becoming a
Probation Officer please email: