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New professional body for Probation – ‘a watershed’

Posted: 1st July 2014 by Essex CRC.
Probation Institute Conference
Probation Institute Conference

The new Probation Institute, intended as a centre of excellence enabling probation workers to retain their professional identity with the skills necessary for the job, and promoting research into work with offenders, was launched earlier this year. The first set of conferences took place in June (see photo).

Unlike most other professions, there is no lead body which provides independent advice on best practice based on experience on the ground and evidence from research; there is no register of qualified probation practitioners; there is no requirement on them to sign up to a code of ethics, or to evidence that they have kept their skills and knowledge up to date. The Institute plans to fill some of these gaps.

The Institute will be funded by its membership, after Ministry of Justice start-up money. It will be independent from government, says Savas Hadjipavlou, the Interim Chief Executive, and shaped by its members, who will be involved in the development of professional networks and the Institute’s Centre of Excellence functions. It has received the backing of the unions, the Probation Chiefs’ Association, and the Probation Association.

Probation Institute Logo“Membership is open to everyone who has a stake in Probation,” says Sue Hall, Director of the PI, “including academics, retired staff and anyone who has an interest in supporting probation’s mission. A voluntary professional register will provide a record of the qualifications, training, experience and commitment to high ethical standards of practice for practitioners, case administrators, managers, students and volunteers involved in probation work.”

People wanting to join can do so for a reduced rate of £20, by visiting the website at www.probation-institute.org and clicking ‘Join Now’.