You can register your interest now to be alerted by email about future recruitment campaigns. By registering your interest, you will also receive hints and tips for applying and invitations to join our live Q&A sessions with existing Probation Officers.
Watch our previous live Q&A sessions for more information on the role and application process:
We are aware that there are websites in operation offering assistance to candidates with PQiP assessments – please note that these are not official websites, nor are they endorsed by the Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service.
Are you eligible?
To apply, you’ll either need a degree, or a foundation degree, diploma of higher education, higher apprenticeship or equivalent qualification.
In addition, you should have experience working with challenging individuals whose lives are in crisis and display challenging behaviour. It doesn’t matter whether it’s paid or voluntary – just that it involves the kind of behaviour we see from offenders.
The recruitment process
The recruitment process usually takes six months. So, if you apply in January you can expect to start in July. Apply in July, and you will usually start the following January.
Stage 1 – Making an application
The first stage of the recruitment process involves filling out our application form. As well as asking you about your education and career, we use the Success Profiles Framework to assess you against a range of elements using different selection methods, you can find out more here.
You’ll then be screened by our recruitment team and asked to complete some tests to check your suitability for the training programme.
Subject to passing the screening and online tests, you’ll be invited to a virtual assessment centre where you’ll be required to undertake a face-to-face interview, role play exercises and a written test.
Stage 2 – Security clearance
If your application is successful, you’ll need to undergo pre-employment checks.
All of our positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, which means you’ll have to declare any and all convictions, cautions and absolute or conditional discharges – however long ago they occurred.
Obviously, we believe people can change. A conviction doesn’t mean you can’t be a Probation Officer. But not disclosing one will put an end to your application.
Stage 3 – Employment offer
If you’re successful, we’ll send you a provisional offer letter. However, we can’t always guarantee a placement every time, as it’s dependent on local needs in each area.
If we can’t place you, we’ll defer your application to following intakes until a suitable vacancy is available – for a maximum of 12 months from your assessment day date. After this, you would have to reapply to a future campaign.
Find out more about the application process.
For more information or to discuss your application, please read our FAQs.
Working for the Civil Service
We abide by the Civil Service Code’s standards of behaviour.
Our recruitment processes are driven by the principle of a fair and open competition leading to appointments based on merit (as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles).
If you have any questions about the Civil Service Commission or our Recruitment Principles, we recommend contacting the Civil Service Commission directly.
If you feel we haven’t upheld those principles throughout your application and want to make a complaint, first contact the Ministry of Justice. If their response is unsatisfactory, contact the Civil Service Commission