To apply, you’ll need at least a relevant degree, foundation degree, diploma of higher education, higher apprenticeship or equivalent qualification. You’ll also need to have studied a number of particular modules.
Alternatively, you could 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.
If you’re successful, you’ll need to get HMPPS security clearance.
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.
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.
If you’re successful, we’ll send you a provisional offer letter. However, our vacancies are linked to teams’ needs. So, unfortunately, we can’t guarantee you a placement during an intake. PQiP roles are assigned on merit from assessment scores, each team’s preferences and the length of your commute.
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. After this, you would have to reapply.
The application form
The first stage of the recruitment process involves filling out our application form.
As well asking you about your education and career, there are a number competency questions.
These are your chance to demonstrate your expertise. The examples you give and way you explain them will help us decide whether to invite you to the next stage.
Find out more about the application process.
Application form tips
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 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