Saturday, 3 September 2016

News From Probation Institute 3

Dear Members

Keeping you up to date with some current activity

The Board of Directors meets on Monday 5th September. We have three new directors who bring a wealth and range of experience to the board:

Mike McClelland
Mary Anne McFarlane
Jeff Hodgkinson

We have said goodbye and huge thanks to Paul Davies as well as to Savas. Like everyone we are moving into a busy period in which we will need your support and advice with projects aimed to strengthen the professional base of probation, rehabilitation and resettlement. Projects include;

Trailblazer Apprenticeship

The Probation Institute is the secretariat for the Expression of Interest for a Trailblazer Apprenticeship due to be submitted this month. Six CRC owners of nineteen CRCs are actively supporting the EoI, also two voluntary organisations - St Giles Trust and PACT Futures - and RISE the Mutual. We welcome more organisations signing up. The role we will submit will be named Rehabilitation Practitioner - and incorporates the PSO role with some additions to include voluntary sector roles at the equivalent level. The Apprenticeship will set a single standard for training and formal assessment. It is anticipated that employers will want to ensure that (revised) Level 3 Diploma in Probation Practice can be funded for those participating in the scheme for whom this is the relevant qualification. Please don't be put off by the terminology - the Trailblazers have been blazing a trail for the new Apprenticeship Scheme for some time now and are firmly established. Today's apprentices do not have an upper age limit or a previous qualification exclusion, the scheme is designed to raise qualifications across the workforce. From April 2017 all employers with a pay bill over £3 million will pay straight back to government 0.5% of their pay bill as an Apprenticeship Levy. Employers see this an opportunity to get consistency and quality and to make their contribution to the Levy work for their organisation.

Probation-Sentencer Liaison Network 

We have established a joint project with the Magistrates Association to create a network for exchange of views between sentencers and probation and rehabilitation practitioners and managers about issues including court reports, risk assessment, sentencing, the implementation of court orders, feedback on interventions. We will shortly be launching a moderated On-Line Forum on the PI and MA websites,and two Launch Seminars in Manchester and London in October and November. We think this opportunity for conversation post TR is much needed.

Fellows Forum

The Probation Institute Fellows meet on 20th September and will be reviewing our draft response to the Review of Prison Reform and sharing how their experience and expertise can best be used to support the work of Probation, Rehabilitation and Resettlement through the Probation Institute.

Please let us know what you would like us to be doing and please don't forget to renew your membership!

Please reply to

Best wishes

Helen Schofield
Acting Chief Executive
Probation Institute


  1. Interesting how these directorships get dished out - same old faces.

  2. Splitters ��!!!!!!

  3. Rehabilitation Practitioner? Is that the beginning of the end of the term probation officer?

  4. We are all Probation Practitioners,specifically Responsible Officers in our CRC.

  5. Oh More rotten apples for the barrel

  6. I can understand why Mike McClelland and Mary Anne McFarlane are becoming directors, but I'm slightly bemused why a police officer is becoming a director of the Probation Institute? Can anyone enlighten me please?

    1. Probation Officer4 September 2016 at 09:41

      This is the PI showing its business interests and more evidence it has no interest in probation.

      1. The MoJ have been trying to align us with the police for the past few year. Being aligned with the police in any way is something I'm wholeheartedly against as our ethos and work is completely different.

      2. The PQF had a pathway for students of police studies. I believe the reason was financial related on the part of university and training providers and the police service spreading its wings into 'offender management'.

    2. In addition to his appointment as a Director of Probation Institute Limited number 08873806, a Companies House search throws up 2 other companies registered to Mr Jeff Hodgkinson described variously as a police officer and civil servant:-

      Integrated Justice Solutions Limited 09744142
      Hintonmarsh Limited 02838970

    3. If my memory is correct I am sure he was one of the retired DI who set up restorative solutions and went round the country training Probation staff to deliver restorative justice interventions.

    4. Ex NAPO official gamekeeper come poacher ? Perhaps he never really knew what side to be on by this involvement never offered anything to make a national difference anyway so will be just as much a non entity there.

    5. Unfair - Mike was an excellent Napo Treasurer and National Officer, and, in my experience, was the only Officer/Official at Chivalry Road to demonstrate any integrity in recent years.
      Unfortunately I can't provide a similar defence for M A McFarlane given her less than inspiring performance as Chief in Devon and Cornwall some years ago

    6. Good to see a reference for some never heard of McFarlane. Not able to agree with you though ex napo official known for lazy and work avoidance and clearly needs a new perch to do nothing but clamour for some status.

    7. Mr Mclelland talked a good job but mostly liked to pass the buck

  7. Probation Officer4 September 2016 at 09:31

    "The role we will submit will be named Rehabilitation Practitioner - and incorporates the PSO role"

    More evidence that the PI is part of the problem rather than part of the solution!!

    1. "Rehabilitation practitioner" is a meaningless title. I suspect that, if we did a Family Fortunes style 'our survey said' quiz, the large majority of the population would think it was something to do with physiotherapy or sports massage.

      Moving away from the word "probation" - which is at least understood in the wider population, even if we complain about our media invisibility - is just foolish. Clearly the PI is desperate for the cash that PACT and St Giles Trust may be able to trickle in their direction.

  8. I'm more worried about the Apprenticeship part of the job title - cos it's all in the choice of terminology. Apprentices have less legal (employment) rights than is enshrined in other employment contacts, including being exempted from the minimum wage. Considering the starting wage for a PSO is more than the minimum, I would be interested to know how much these apprentices are to be paid. Basic apprenticeship wages normally work out at about £2.50 an hour.

  9. Rehabilitation Practitioner is an ambiguous title designed to supply a work force to CRCs on a wage that CRCs are willing to pay, I.E national living wage.
    But don't be fooled. Rehabilitation Practitioner is not just ambiguous, it's all encompassing. Where would such a job description place you? Working with the police? Mental health services? HTC? Or walking the beat to fill in for community support officers?
    It's a very broad spectrum that can be filled with such a general job title.

  10. Staff used to join probation as a PSO and look forward to training as a probation officer and getting a uni degree in the process. Now they're being offered a bloody apprenticeship to be less than a PSO and probably paid at the minimum wage. Maybe okay for school-leavers but not for the majority. Can this so-called Probation Institute hurry up and rename itself as the Rehabilitation Institute so then it can stop pretending to represent probation practitioners!!