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Become a Probation Officer

Help reduce re-offending and cut crime

As a Probation Officer you'll manage people convicted of offences, victims and vulnerable people in the community by working with agencies such as the police force and social services. You'll work to protect the public by reducing crime, safeguarding victims and rehabilitating individuals in a community, court or prison setting.

Probation Officer training

Our training programme supports you in becoming a fully qualified Probation Officer with a Level 6 Professional Qualification in Probation (PQiP) or BA (Hons) Community Justice. Our training is delivered by subject specialists and many of our academic staff have worked as qualified Probation Officers in the past.

We hold contracts with the Ministry of Justice to train Probation Officers in England and Wales, and are contracted to deliver all aspects of the Community Justice Learning framework in the following Probation Regions:

  • London Probation Region
  • East Midlands Probation Region
  • West Midlands Probation Region
  • South West Probation Region
  • South Central Probation Region
  • Wales National Probation Region

Level 6 Professional Qualification in Probation (PQiP) / BA (Hons) Community Justice

The Professional Qualification in Probation (PQiP) is a full time, 15-month or 21-month work-based training course equivalent to a Higher Education level 6 qualification. Part time options are also available.

You’ll develop practical and academic learning skills to work as a Probation Services Officer (PSO) while you study and become a Probation Officer when you qualify.

As a PSO, you'll complete various tasks including compiling in-depth reports for court, undertaking risk assessments and supervising people on probation on a one-to-one basis. You will have a series of placements such as working in court and custodial placements.

Depending on the length of your programme, you will also have to complete between 9 and 15 months of academic study. This will be via distance learning and include online seminars, engagement with online learning materials and regular contact with your tutor. For the level 6 core programme, you will study topics including Ethics and the Professional Practitioner, Rehabilitation and Change Agency, and Critical Issues in Risk Assessment and Risk Management.

To be eligible for PQiP programme, you'll need:

  • experience working in a relevant area or transferable skills in working with people
  • a recognised qualification at Level 5 or above (including a Diploma of Higher Education, Foundation, Honours Degree, Higher Apprenticeship)

Required Knowledge Modules

To qualify for the 15 month pathway you will be a degree holder and have evidence of having obtained 3 of the following 4 required Knowledge Modules at level 5 or above:

  • The Criminal Justice System 
  • Understanding Crime and Criminal Behaviour 
  • Penal Policy and Punishment
  • Rehabilitation

These Knowledge Modules are available within the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Undergraduate Programmes.

If you are unable to evidence 2 or more of the required Knowledge Modules then you will be assigned to the 21 month PQiP programme.

How to apply

For further information about the programme and details on how to apply please refer to the information here.