by Laura Martin, Probation Institute Director
When joining the Probation Institute as a member and then a director I had no idea of the tensions that existed around its inception nor did I envisage that it would have been anything other than a welcome initiative in the wake of the trauma of Transforming Rehabilitation.
The Institute’s aim is transparent: To be a place where quality practice is both celebrated and innovated and where staff of all levels can be supported in developing their careers. Whilst the PI was born out of difficult and conflicting times, this is not indicative of its meaning or purpose.
I see the Institute as something that can transcend the barriers that the separation of services has created. It is not about the NPS or CRCs, it is not even just about Probation. Anyone working in the sector can join the Institute and find a home, they can learn and develop, participate in the advancement of research and practice in the field as well as join the professional register.
The PI is about demonstrating your commitment to your own career as well as to the wider industry.At our recent Annual General
At our recent Annual General Meeting we discussed why the PI has not yet flourished and the message appeared to be that staff saw the Institute as connected to government and to TR, as opposed to something that stands outside (and hopefully above) the changes.
Without doubt, we lament the passing of the Service as it was, but we are focusing on the future and working to support practitioners to be successful in our ‘brave new world’.
We are working hard to challenge pre and misconceptions and to engage staff to promote and develop the Institute. One way we are seeking to do this is by making pledges making a public promise about one step we are going to take to improve ourselves and the work we undertake.
Maybe this is about promoting the PI in your workplace, entering your details and CPD onto the register or taking that next step in terms of developing your career.
At a time when failings in the provision of criminal justice services are once again in the media, we owe it to ourselves and to the communities we work within to champion the excellent practice, commitment and achievement we represent.
So join the Institute and make your personal professional pledge. And if you feel able to share that with us and other members, so much the better!