Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Job Offer

Probation Services Officer (PSO2)

National Offender Management Service
Closing date: 3 Jul 2017

About the job

Job description

The job holder will undertake the full range of work with offenders before and after sentence. This will include assessment, sentence implementation, offender management and producing reports. The job holder will provide case management support to a full range of offenders utilising service procedures and practice directions that underpin professional judgement.

Job Summary 

To assess and manage the risk (including risk management plans and escalation) posed by offenders to protect victims of crime and the general public by:

Liaising, providing information and advice to criminal courts, criminal justice agencies and other partner agencies
Supervise and manage risk of those offenders subject to community sentences, during and after custodial sentences.
Work with other agencies and groups to prevent crime and meet the needs of victims and offenders.

In line with NPS policies and procedures, the job holder must at all times demonstrate a commitment to equality and inclusion and an understanding of their relevance to the work they do.

The post holder must adhere to all policies in respect of the sensitive/confidential nature of the information handled whilst working in this position.

If relevant to the role, some out of hours working may be required (i.e. Courts, Approved Premises, programmes, evening reporting etc).

Responsibilities, Activities & Duties 

Probation Services Officers may be required to undertake any combination, or all, of the duties and responsibilities set out below.

To undertake the full range of offender management tasks with offenders assessed as low or medium risk of harm and to support the Probation Officer grade in high risk cases.
When providing case manager support, to contribute to the delivery of the Risk Management plan and report significant changes relating to risk of harm and/or of reoffending or any non‐compliance within agreed enforcement procedures
To use computer based systems to produce, update and maintain records and other documentation within agreed timescales
Ensure effective referrals to services and facilities and communicate with offender management staff, interventions staff, service providers and external agencies to review progress and associated risks.
To undertake prison, home or alternate location visits as required in accordance with service procedures and policies.
To undertake work in the court setting, including the completion of appropriate reports on cases and prosecution of breaches.
To provide cover within teams as required
To deliver and co-lead accredited programmes commensurate with grade
To conduct mandatory alcohol and drug tests as required, and to follow prescribed medication procedures
Carry out safeguarding children duties in accordance with the NPS statutory responsibilities and agency policies
Demonstrate pro-social modelling skills by consistently reinforcing pro-social behaviour and attitudes and challenging anti-social behaviour and attitudes.
To work within the aims and values of NPS and NOMS

The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The Job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the Job Holder.


For the purposes of selection the following competencies will be used:

Making effective decisions
Changing and improving
Delivering at pace
Collaborating and partnering


An annual salary of £22,039 – £27,373 plus London Weighting Allowance of £3,889, where this applies. In some areas the minimum starting salary has risen to £23,140; Norfolk & Suffolk, Kent, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire Local Delivery Units. 


Seen on Facebook:-

I can't believe NPS are advertising for 400 PSOs, duties include accredited programmes!!

Back tracking without admitting that they made a mistake.

Doing things on the cheap no doubt.

Are Napo involved? I can't believe that they will do programmes, that's the only bread and butter bit left for CRC!

That'll be sex offender programmes, presumably, unless TR is about to be overhauled.

That's a band 4 role

Not necessarily, locally NPS PSOs having training for it.

They do at the moment but under the E3 proposals future recruitment for Sex Offender facilitators will be PO only.....

It's the new group work - not an accredited programme, is my understanding.

As an employee of a CRC this scares me, should they finally admit it was a mistake and re-nationalise I fear we will have no job options to return to in the NPS due to the current recruitment drive.

They will also run group supervision sessions.

NPS PSOs are delivering group supervision, I'm not aware of any plans for accredited programmes and can't see that in the ad but the job description is intentionally vague for all staff to allow for the employer to make changes to the operating model in future....

I've been an Idap and then BBR sessional for about ten years and have just been informed I'm no longer required. Was given four weeks notice and on week five I was called and asked to cover..........

A lot of these PSOs will also be deployed within Court to deal with the up turn in same day delivery and oral reports to meet the new criteria

Need to keep an eye on the ratio of PO to PSO staff and case tiering. Interesting that it has been said elsewhere that there is little justification for PSOs to be working in the NPS and no justification for POs to be working in the CRC. And yet we see PSOs being recruited in both NPS and CRC where PO training is ceasing and POs that leave are not being replaced by new PO recruits and in the NPS where POs may be replaced by PSOs despite those who say they should not be undertaking work with those assessed as high risk.

I think NPS underestimated the number of cases that would be held by PSO staff post TR - certainly the cases I was holding until recently would have been PO cases pre-TR. The future for PSOs will be non-accredited groupwork on high risk cases as well as medium risk cases. I have recently left the Service having been treated appallingly and with a lack of support from Union. Leaving after 16 years in the service has been the scariest and best thing I have done in a long while...

That salary is a joke!

We have 3 OMUs in our office. Up until xmas we had 1 PSO in each OMU ...then got another 3 PSO's around March, so teams were about 7 POs and 2 PSO ....thats what E3 stated was needed however after 4 mths, 2 of the PSOs only have about 7 cases each, and now re deployed into Court team as they were 6 PSOs short. The thing is when the 3 new PSOs were put in OM teams, they knew the Court team was 6 short so everyone wonders why they were posted there first! Management just mess with staff and also offenders keep getting new officers isn't good. Now another PSO has resigned after only 4mths in the role, as he only had 12 cases and was bored! We heard about the PSO recruitment and just don't understand it at all....where will they go!?!


  1. Probation Officer21 June 2017 at 09:19

    "To undertake the full range of offender management tasks with offenders assessed as low or medium risk of harm and to support the Probation Officer grade in high risk cases."

    Speaking as a Probation Officer with a decent level of experience, I think I'm qualified enough to say we do not need "support" from under qualified / inexperienced / underpaid Probation SERVICE Officers.

    It's bad enough that Probation Officer training has been disproportionately propped up by teenage girls with criminology degrees. It will be 10x worse when probation offices are overrun by 400 school leavers and job centre claimants wanting to try their hands as PSO's.

    I'd be more optimistic if these 400 PSO roles were being offered to those interested clients that have recently completed probation orders and licences. At least rehabilitation would have come full circle.

    1. Wouldn't you welcome a pso to assist with some more routine case work to free up some of your time to do complex case management work and interventions?

  2. Well i see that I can apply to work in an Approved Premises, working with the highest risk, mainly I would be unsupervised and paid at Band 2. So why should PSOs earn 22,039 – £27,373 just to sit in a comfy office all day. Soon we will all be claiming tax credits due to low pay.

    1. I thought they were bringing in security firms to staff AP's, which will be far cheaper than a band 2 salary. Not that I agree with it, but I'm sure we'll all be put out to pasture if the Tories have their way.

  3. Who'd have thunked it....

    The Guardian today.

    1. I thunked it, clearly you thunked it, every bugger thunked it other than £ eyes profit burgers and somehow, who'd have thunked it, their voices had the day. I now thunk it is a scandal of epic incompetence.

  4. 9.19 nothing sexist or ageist about that then? Worked with a very caring and competent newly qualified young female PO recently. She was more capable than some of her much older male colleagues!

    1. "Probation Officer"'s posts have always had a hint of the misogynistic and intolerant, I'm sad to say. I'm going to be charitable and put it down to difficult working conditions.

  5. Pso colleagues in our nps office twiddling their thumbs with 15 cases each whilst we carry over 40 per cent over on the wmt. Cant get po recruits amymore. The ones they interviewed were all unemployable. Frustrating as they coukd have set a new po on at 30k who coukd run with a full caseload. Instesd they are paying these 14k for having half a caseload. I think the long term plan is train them up so they can run most cases. Then chop po roles but tr is on its last legs. No way they can continue for muchh longer. Gone by xmas.

  6. As an experienced CM ( 19yrs + and PSO in old money )in a CRC I and many others like me hold 70+ cases of predominantly medium risk DV cases - we are now also expected to run groups ( non accredited at this stage however this is on the cards to change ) - I feel extremely sorry for very naive CM's who have been dropped from great heights into roles they have no skills or experience to complete as they have been " hoodwinked " by the powers that be who are looking for cheap quick fiexes to the qualified staff shortages in both sides of CRC and NPS - as frustrating as all of this is I suggest that WE aim our anger / frustrations etc at those that have imposed these changes upon us and not each other as the more divided we are the further we fall and I as one am not sure I could feel any lower ( however Im also not sure that they can't knock what's left of my stuffing out of me )

  7. Beggars belief that pso's in nps have caseload of 15 and in crc up to 70! How can that be fair?

    1. It isn't. Not their fault either. It's the madness of employing someone in the wrong role/ PO NPS and PSO CRC, simple.

  8. How many experienced PO's, PSO's have left the NPS or CRC's for various reasons since 2014?

    I was shafted into the CRC, took voluntary severance after over 20 years since completing DipSW under the then Home Office sponsored route.

    Although having worked in the same local area for the duration of my employment, no NPS Managers (former colleagues) acknowledged my departure. There are class divisions, newly qualified NPS PO's arrogance is beyond belief. Yes a 2 - tiered probation system is now firmly embedded. Damage is beyond repair in terms of culture, beliefs and staff attitudes.

    Content working in health and social care and would never wish to return to probation work.

    1. 8.35 sorry to hear about your shoddy treatment and good to hear there is life after probation. It would be good to get the figures as you suggest. We have lost so many and with that all the experience, beliefs and identity. Staff are continuing to leave so that the minimum numbers needed to operate are no longer met. The truth about this growing scandal is now surfacing.

  9. 09.19 spot on ... criminology degrees from poor universities providing an army of docile robots ....

  10. Started as a pso in April and was quickly transferred to court as overstaffed at the office. Two months in and still just shadowing. It's frustrating for us too! Don't know why recruitment is ongoing as seems to be overstaffed for pso everywhere in nps. Meanwhile po colleagues are stressed to the max.