The Probation Institute hosted a Consultation Workshop with NPS on 14th January 2016 at 2 Langley Lane SW8 to review the proposed new ‘Level 5 Diploma in Probation Practice’. Attendees represented the National Probation Service, CRCs and Higher Education.
Summary of the Response.
The consultation group like the qualification but have made a number of points which in the view of the Probation Institute would greatly improve the qualification.
- It is understood that this qualification should define the occupational competence of a probation officer and it is recognised that this competence needs to be informed by a programme of academic study. In turn therefore the assessment of competence should assess the ability to reflect on and apply the relevant knowledge, understanding and values from academic study. The consultation group take the view that further work is required to achieve this in the vocational qualification.
- The consultation group recognise that the Community Rehabilitation Companies have not yet reached a clear view of their requirements of practitioner/managers at this level, and that new roles at this level may be developed. Nonetheless the group were firmly of the view that there should be one clear role and one (final) qualification for a probation officer, and that revision of this role and qualification should not at this early stage seek to second guess developments in the CRCs. It is of note that CRC representatives in discussion with the Probation Institute have agreed with this view.
- The group noted that the Level 5 qualification once available could be used by some organisations as a stand-alone qualification unsupported by an academic programme. It is not clear if NOMS will seek to prescribe the use of the qualification. The consultation group have made strong recommendations, below for demonstrating the need for applied knowledge and understanding in this qualification and of the need for academic rigour.
Full consultation response