Becoming a Probation Officer

The tools to keep our communities safe

The best way to train to be a Probation Officer is to mix theory with practice. So, your training towards the Professional Qualification in Probation (PQiP) involves time both in the classroom and working with offenders.

The PQiP programme takes 15 months if you’ve a level 5 (or equivalent) that covered three of the following modules:

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

If your Level 5 (or equivalent) didn’t cover three of the above modules, the programme takes 21 months* to complete.

* Please note, this is the final opportunity for entry onto the 21 month programme for the foreseeable future.

When you’re done, you’ll gain a Level 5 vocational qualification diploma in Probation Practice as well as an honours degree.

You’ll have all the academic learning and practical skills you need to work with and prepare reports for the different offenders in our care.

And you’ll rise from Probation Services Officer to Probation Officer, and move to the qualified Probation Officer pay scale.

The PQiP programme

  • Full-time course (37 hours per week)
  • Off-site classroom workshops and seminars
  • Online workshops and seminars
  • e-learning
  • Support from an academic tutor
  • Assessed through observations, professional discussions, witness testimonies and general competence
  • Support from a line manager and an assessor
  • Completed while part of a Local Delivery Unit, prison establishment, court team, or on secondment with Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC)


Quoteorange 2X

We have a smaller group of service users, but we're doing the actual job while we're training.

- Tony, Probation Services Officer


We're all working towards the same goal

Openness and inclusivity is hugely important to us as friends as well as colleagues. Not least because our differences help us better understand the offenders we work with.

Whatever your age, disability, gender identity or expression, race, faith, belief or sexual orientation: if you’ve the talent and empathy to help offenders make the right choices, you’ll feel right at home here.

Find out more about our diversity

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