How to become a probation services officer
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You'll need GCSEs in English and maths to apply for jobs and most colleges offer these if you do not already have them.
Taking a course in public services or youth work practice might also give you some understanding of the justice system, though this is not essential.
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
You may be able to start as a case administrator in a probation office, then do on-the-job training to become a probation services officer.
You can apply directly for job vacancies with probation services.
You'll usually need:
- experience of working with vulnerable people or people who have challenging behaviour
- excellent communications skills
- a minimum of 5 GCSEs or equivalent qualifications, including English and maths
You can get experience through volunteering or paid work with charities that support ex-offenders, or by contacting your local probation service for opportunities.
If you're successful with your application, you'll train on the job. You'll do the Level 3 Diploma in Probation Practice during your first 12 months to qualify as a probation services officer.
You can find out more about how to become a probation services officer from HM Prison & Probation Service.