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Probation services officers and case administrators

You've got what it takes to help people turn their lives around


The Probation Service works with over 230,000 people on probation who are serving community sentences or who are pre or post-release from prison. Our role is to support their rehabilitation and protect the public.

The work can be challenging – and may involve dealing with people with complex needs – but it’s very rewarding and offers variety, training and the chance to help turn people’s lives around.

Further information on the roles

About the job

Tackling the root cause of offending is never going to be without its challenges. But helping someone turn their life around is immensely rewarding.

As a probation services officer (PSO), you will undertake the full range of work with people on probation before and after sentence, and in the community. This could include:

  • assessing risks and organising interventions
  • supporting courts with sentencing decisions
  • managing people on probation throughout their conviction
  • writing and preparing reports

The PSO role is very varied and your area of focus might differ depending on the needs of the local probation team that you join. For example you could be based in a dedicated probation office, a court or in a prison.

If you are empathetic and patient with good communication and writing skills this could be the role for you.

For further information on the probation services officer role, including the application process and tips for applying, visit our dedicated page Probation services officer – Ministry of Justice

Meanwhile read on to learn more about the variety of PSO roles we offer.

PSO, Sentence management; You’ll be based at a probation office and will manage a caseload of people on probation that will report to you as part of their probation requirement. You’ll spend a lot of time in this role assessing and managing risk and organising interventions (for example making referrals to a drug agency to support with an addiction). You’ll also meet with the people on probation that you manage to ensure they are complying with the terms of their probation. There may be some evening work involved in this role, for example if you manage someone on probation who is in work and need to meet with them after they have finished work.

PSO, Court Officer; You won’t hold your own caseload, but you will be in court every day supporting magistrates and judges with sentencing decisions, dealing with enquiries from benches or supporting rulings on those people on probation who might have breached the terms of their probation. You will need to quickly build a rapport with people on probation to understand their circumstances, be comfortable presenting in a public forum and willing to learn about some legal policies and processes. This role may involve occasional work at Saturday courts.

PSO, Victim Liaison Officer; You will work with victims rather than people on probation and support them with the justice process as offenders move through the system. You may have geographically dispersed caseloads, so you may need to travel within the Probation Service region you work in.

PSO, Programme Facilitator; You’ll be based at a probation office. You won’t hold your own caseload but will deliver group sessions to people on probation. You will need to be confident about presenting to groups and managing dynamics between group members. You will undertake a full programme of training to enable you to carry out your duties. Some sessions could take place in the evening to accommodate those people on probation who work.

PSO, Pre Release Team; You will work within prisons rather than the community. You won’t hold your own caseload but will support sentence management staff by accessing services such as accommodation, employment, mental health treatment or substance misuse treatment to ensure that offenders are released from prison with these provisions and services ready for them in the community.

PSO, Personality Disorder Programme: You’ll be based at a probation office or prison. You won’t hold your own caseload but will support the sentence management staff by working with their personality disordered cases. You will need to complete tailored training to understand personality disorders and know how to engage with those who have them.

“The role has its challenges and can be unpredictable at times but is one of the most rewarding jobs and truly allows me to give back to my community. If you are an empathetic and understanding person and interested in supporting people to get their lives back on track, this could be a career for you.” Shauna Probation services officer

Helping people turn their lives around is immensely rewarding. Case administrators play a key role within the Probation Service, supporting probation staff to work with people on probation.

As a case administrator, you will ensure:

  • all processes run efficiently
  • systems are maintained properly
  • probation information is collated and prepared for case files

You will use your strong communication skills to handle enquiries from colleagues, agencies and people on probation in a busy environment.

Case administrators are based in a wide variety of settings, including courts, prisons and dedicated probation offices.

If you are empathetic, have good communication skills and an ability to use databases (with training) this could be the role for you.

For further information on the case administrator role, including the application process and tips for applying, visit our dedicated page Case Administrator – Ministry of Justice

“The role can be challenging as we’re helping people to navigate some of the most difficult times in their lives, but it’s incredibly rewarding to see people turn a corner and know I’ve played a part in that process.” Andrea Case administrator

As part of the Probation Service, you’ll be entitled to a range of Civil Service benefits:

  • A case administrator role attracts an annual salary of between £19,087 and £23,182 plus a London Weighting Allowance of £4,125.84, where this applies
  • A probation services officer role attracts an annual salary of between £23,637 and £29,046 plus a London Weighting Allowance of £4,125.84 where this applies
  • Annual leave of 25 days on appointment, increasing to 30 days after five years’ service, plus public holidays.
  • Flexible working
  • Immediate access to an occupational pension scheme (Local Government Pension Scheme)
  • Other Civil Service benefits  including vouchers, a cycle to work scheme and season ticket loans.

Supporting you to grow

We’ll make sure you have the training you need to do your job well, with dedicated learning and development. You’ll have many opportunities to develop in your role.

“You can build your career and further develop yourself through the Probation Service, as there are so many opportunities. I've gained skills that actually I'm not quite sure other organisations would offer.” Donna Former case administrator who has gone on to build a successful career within the Probation Service

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