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Law Enforcement and Security

Becoming a probation officer

Probation officers can be found working in prisons, court and the community. Their role is to assist the rehabilitation of offenders, help protect the local community and reduce recidivism.

Probation officers who are undergoing their training can expect to earn £22,039 per annum plus London Weighting Allowance or a Market Forces Allowance if applicable.

A graduate with any degree can train to become a probation officer with the Professional Qualification in Probation (PQiP). Those with a relevant degree can qualify in 15 months, while those with an unrelated degree can qualify in 21 months. You will also need to have practical experience of working with offenders or individuals with challenging behaviour.

The route to qualifying as a probation officer

Graduates will need to spend six months completing four required modules before beginning the PQiP course.

They are:

  • The criminal justice system
  • Understanding crime and criminal behaviour
  • Penal policy and the punishment of offenders
  • Rehabilitation of offenders

These can be undertaken through pre-entry modules offered by NOMS contracted university providers. NOMS contracted university providers will provide a gateway assessment service to confirm that you meet the requirements before you make your application. This costs £75 (may be sponsored by NOMS).

The PQiP training programme

If your degree has included any of the above modules, you may be able to do the 15-month training programme. Those who have no experience in the above modules will need to do the 21-month programme.

If you successfully apply for PQiP training, you will be employed as a Probation Services Officer and receive a salary while you complete your training.

See for full details