Legal Law

How to Get a Job as a Probation Officer

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So you want to be a Parole officer or, more exactly, a probation service officer (PSO) – which is the first rung of the ladder. Well, what do you do next?

You will be looking to join the UK National Probation Service, an organization that currently employs over 20,000 people and is now the main route to becoming a PSO (through employment and subsequent internal training and apprenticeship).

However, it is worth noting that before applying for any probation service position and especially if you are inexperienced, it is worth trying to get an idea of ​​what to expect before applying. If you don’t, you could be in for a big surprise when you start! To get a feel for what the Probation Service has to offer, and hopefully some first-hand experience, you can try contacting the Senior Probation Officers (SPOs) at your local probation office. If this is unsuccessful, try contacting your local alcohol and drug agencies to talk and even shadow the professionals. Having these types of experiences on your CV will also help your application.

If you are successful in your application to be a PSO, you will join the Probation Service and you (all new staff anyway) are expected to complete what is known as a Professional Qualification Diploma in Probation PracticeLevel 3 within 12 months. This leads to being a fully qualified PSO. AS the name suggests, VQD is all about ‘real world’ probation work or practice. To earn the qualification, you will work with real criminals.

As you take on this role and qualification, you’ll have an advisor to guide you through qualification, so don’t worry, you’re not alone. It can also be a great learning experience for professional and personal development. Fortunately, there are no attempts to write.

Once qualified as a PSO, you can remain in this grade or continue your development to become a full-fledged probation officer. To do this, you will need to pass an interview and, if successful, you will be enrolled in further training leading to a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Justice, in addition to the Vocational Qualification Diploma in Probation Practice Level 5. You are still employed and paid as a PSO but is also a full time student. This qualification usually takes about two or three years, but upon completion he will be a fully qualified probation officer.

You may be wondering: what if I already have a degree? Well, there is an alternate route for those who have individual honors degrees in: Criminology, Community Justice, Criminal Justice, or Police Studies. In turn, the alternative route is also open to those with combined honors degrees where the ‘combination’ is Criminology, Community Justice, Criminal Justice or Police Studies with another social science or law discipline. Candidates with one of the above titles may apply to their Parole Trust to undertake a compressed training programme.

A few words before you apply to join the Probation Service. The idea that this type of work is never about money is worth pondering. These roles are a calling. Although stressful at times, they can be very rewarding when you see the kind of positive difference you can make in people’s lives; not only the lives of criminals, but also their families, crime victims and even entire communities.

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