How to become a probation officer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- youth and community work
Other subjects may be acceptable.
Once you complete your course you can apply for the Professional Qualification in Probation training programme.
You'll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could start as a probation services officer, then:
- take the Level 3 Diploma in Probation Practice and further on-the-job training
- get relevant experience
- apply to join the Professional Qualification in Probation training programme
You may be able to apply for probation jobs if you already hold a level 5 or equivalent qualification approved by HM Prison & Probation Service. For example, a social work degree that includes a probation option.
It will help if you have some knowledge of how the criminal justice and rehabilitation systems work.
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Probation Institute for professional development opportunities.
You'll find more on how to become a probation officer from HM Prison & Probation Service.