Changes in Probation Training in England and Wales: The Probation Qualification Framework (PQF) Three Years On

  • Caroline Skinner (Senior lecturer at The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth. Email:
  • Rachel Goldhill (Senior lecturer and regional tutor at The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth. Email:

This article draws on the personal experience of two lecturers delivering the academic programme of the Probation Qualification Framework to students employed by a number of different Probation Trusts. It considers the current qualifying arrangements and identifies a number of issues that have come to the fore over the first three years of implementation. Specifically, it establishes the importance of all stakeholders, students, the employing Trust and NOMS understanding what is of fundamental importance for work-based distance learning study. The changing composition and characteristics of the student body and the ways in which new developments in professional knowledge are included in the curriculum are explored with particular focus on the new group of graduate entrants at Part 3. The authors remain committed to the belief that those who work in the criminal justice system of England and Wales, supporting change and rehabilitation with a complex and vulnerable client group must have a nationally recognised qualification which includes both employer responsibility for quality practice based learning and a Higher Education award.

Keywords: Diploma in Probation Studies (DipPS), Probation Qualification Framework (PQF), Reflective Practice, Professional Knowledge, Desistance

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