President of the Supreme Court launches Probation Institute
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, President of the Supreme Court, says the new Probation Institute will play a lead role in ensuring that the probation workforce continues to be motivated and developed as the profession enters a new service delivery landscape.
Launching the independent organisation at an event at the Royal College of Surgeons attended by Justice Minister Jeremy Wright, probation staff and senior figures from the criminal justice system on Friday, March 21, 2014, Lord Neuberger said:
“I strongly welcome the fact that the Probation Institute has been set up to take a lead in the professional development of those who work in probation. This work force is, of course, the principal asset of probation, and the quality of this work force is absolutely crucial to its success. What is needed is a work force which is knowledgeable, committed and skilled and capable of working across organisations. And it needs to continue to be motivated, trained and developed, no matter what the future may hold in terms of service accountability or employment relationships. These needs will be all the greater on the light of the delivery requirements which may be expected to follow from the Government’s planned reforms, where the private, voluntary and public sectors will be required to work together.”
The Institute is a partnership between the Probation Chiefs Association, the Probation Association and trade unions Napo and UNISON. Leaders from the four organisations spoke, explaining the significance of the Institute’s emergence and its importance for probation professionals.
Savas Hadjipavlou, Chief Executive of the Probation Chiefs Association and interim Chief Executive of the Institute, said that the organisation would provide the necessary leadership to unify the workforce and develop a strong probation profession across the private, public and voluntary sectors. He said:
“First and foremost we see the Institute as an independent organisation – not part of Government – becoming the recognised centre of excellence on probation practice. We see independence as an essential feature so that the Institute is seen by its many stakeholders as an objective and credible advocate for professional and practice issues.”
He said that a voluntary register of practitioners would be developed, which would help to maintain standards, underpin quality of work and promote confidence in the system. Membership will be voluntary and open to both individuals and corporate organisations involved in the rehabilitation of offenders.
The Institute will be a public advocate for probation and, alongside employers, commissioners, training organisations, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, and others with a relevant role, will contribute to the setting of practice standards and the professional development of its members.
Tom Rendon, Chair of Napo, said:
“Napo is pleased to be one of the founding organisations of the independent Probation Institute. We have long advocated strengthening the professional standards and training of probation professionals and our partners in delivering our essential public service.”
Mark Ormerod, Chief Executive of the Probation Association, said:
“We see great advantage for new employers in the Institute’s aspirations on continuous professional development, the professional register and the promotion of good standards of professional practice in the workforce. These are areas in which a strong and flourishing Institute could provide real assistance to members and to the enrichment of public policy.“
Sue Hall, Chair of the Probation Chiefs Association, described the launch of the Institute as “a watershed for the probation profession”. She said:
“The Probation Institute will play a key role in helping staff retain their professional identity in a period of huge change. It will provide assurance to an increasingly diverse group of future employers about the skills level and competences of the staff they employ. As a centre of excellence it will aim to act as a crucible, bringing together the academics, practitioners and policy makers. The fact that there is support from our trade union colleagues – Napo and Unison – from the PA speaking on behalf of the current employers and from Ministers, shows that this is an idea whose time has come.”
Ben Priestley, National Officer for Probation, UNISON, said:
“UNISON is delighted to be here today to support the launch of the Institute. On behalf of our members we have strongly supported the idea of an Institute which can develop an independent professional voice for all those who work in probation. At a time in the history of probation when the future for our members is more uncertain than at any other time, the idea of a Probation Institute is a concept whose time has truly come.”
For more information contact Savas Hadjipavlou on 020 3657 7844.