Do you have a recognised
qualification at level 5 or above?
(For example: an Honours degree, a foundation degree, a Diploma of Higher Education, a level* 5 apprenticeship, any other professional level 5 Qualification, etc)
*Level refers to the nationally recognised Qualification Credit Framework levels. See http://www.accreditedqualifications.org.uk/qualifications-and-credit-framework-qcf.html for more information.
Do you have a Level 3 Vocational Diploma
in Probation Practice or an equivalent?
A common first step to becoming a Probation Officer is to gain entry level employment as a Probation Service Officer in NPS or CRC and gain the in-house vocational level 3 Diploma in Probation Practice or equivalent. Level 3 equivalent qualifications are also offered elsewhere in the Community and Custodial Sector. Contact your local service for details. Other Level 3 qualifications including A-levels plus relevant experience may also be considered equivalent. Go to the University Providers page for more information. Alternatively, you can complete an appropriate level 5 study programme which includes the four required knowledge modules.
Required knowledge modules
Did your qualification include all of the required knowledge modules at level 5?
Or if you have completed three of the four modules in your original degree (i.e. not part of a CJL access route), you currently have the opportunity to complete the fourth module during the first phase of your training programme and can answer yes.
You will need to complete an appropriate level 5 study programme or, if you already have a level 5 qualification, you will need to complete the four required knowledge modules before applying for the level 6 training programme.
NOMS contracted university providers can help you with this. It may be in the form of pre-entry modules to gain additional credits or a qualification.
NOMS contracted university providers may also be able to accredit any prior learning you have already completed and award you credits for this. Once you have covered any gaps in your knowledge modules, you will be able to proceed to the next stage.
You should complete the required level 4
assignment(s) with an approved university.
Go to the university providers page for more information.
Do you have previous experience of working with challenging individuals who are experiencing difficulties and/or whose lives are in crisis?
You will need to gain the relevant experience through voluntary work or paid employment.
After Step 1, you should complete a recognised level 5 qualification with an approved university provider, which includes the following four required knowledge modules.
Gateway Assessment Service
Before application, you will need to confirm that you have covered the required knowledge modules. Our approved university providers can do this for you and provide you with a unique reference number to include in your application.
Please read the Eligibility & Apply page for more information.
After completing Steps 1 and 2; you are now eligible to apply for the level 6 Professional Qualification in Probation.
Completion of this qualification qualifies you to apply for Probation Officer roles across the sector.
Please click here to apply.
Application and selection process
Assessment will be based on a set of core competencies and relevant experience. These will be assessed at assessment centres. We anticipate that there will be two intakes each year. Please click here to apply.
You can begin a level 6 Professional Qualification in Probation employed as a Probation Service Officer. Upon qualification, you can apply for Probation Officer roles across the sector.
Before applying, HMPPS will need to make sure that you have a level 5 or above qualification and check that you have covered the required knowledge modules. This is done by HMPPS' contracted university providers using a process called the Gateway Assessment Service.
The universities will review your education/qualification and modules and confirm whether you meet the eligibility criteria (you will need your degree certificate and a copy of your transcript available to show). If you do qualify, they will give you a unique Gateway Assessment Number (or, GAS ID Number) which you'll need to enter into the application form, when applications are open. This process can take two to four weeks.
If you're missing any of the knowledge modules, the universities will advise you about what you need to do next.
To begin the process of getting your unique GAS ID Number you will need to contact one of our HMPPS contracted university providers.
Here’s a brief overview of the information you’ll need when applying to us. The decision we make about your application is based entirely on the information given on your application form, so please take the time to read through these notes and complete the form accurately and fully. To apply, you’ll need to provide us with:
You’ll be asked to complete a section of competency-based questions on the form. These give you the opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the probation service. The examples you provide and the way you communicate them will be used to help us decide who will be taken forward to the next stage – so it’s worth spending some time thinking about which examples you’ll use and how they’ll give you an advantage.
Equal opportunities monitoring form
We aim to be an equal opportunities employer – and our ability to know and use statistical data about the backgrounds of our people is crucial to that goal. To get that information, we ask that you please complete all the equal opportunities questions given on the application form. Your answers will be treated completely confidentially and won’t affect your application in any way.
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
You’ll need to declare all convictions, cautions and absolute or conditional discharges when you apply. All of our positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act – meaning that all convictions must be disclosed, no matter when they occurred. We believe that people can change, so a conviction will not automatically disbar you but any non-disclosure would.
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
Ministry of Justice's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's Recruitment Principles.
If you have an enquiry you can contact the Civil Service Commission between 08:00 - 18:00 Monday - Friday on 0845 010 3512.
If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact Ministry of Justice in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the Civil Service Commission.
Applying for any job can be difficult – and it’s easy to overlook certain aspects of what you’re doing. We’ve put together some tips to help you to make the most of the process:
When to apply
There are usually two intakes per year, one in late spring and one in the autumn. The expected start date for each intake will be advertised when applications open.
Applications are now closed.