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2005-06 ISSUE DATE:

3 June 2005
This PC outlines the required modules of the revised curriculum for the IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
Probation Service Officer (PSO) development programme, which was
originally outlined in Annexe 2 of PC 136/2001 (A Proposal for PSO
Development, induction programmes and beyond). As well as re-defining the
content of the programme this PC confirms funding and quality assurance
April 2007
arrangements for the programme. The NPD is aware that developments in
Offender Management and Interventions over the next year will require
further consideration of staff training hence the applicability of this revised TO:
curriculum to the 2005-06 year as an interim step towards those new Chairs of Probation Boards
arrangements. Chief Officers of Probation
Secretaries of Probation Boards
ACTION Consortium Directors
Chief Officers are asked to work with Consortium Directors, through their
regional probation consortium board arrangements, to ensure that the CC:
existing PSO development programmes, and any new programmes, are Board Treasurers
consistent with new curriculum and that the programme conforms with the Regional Managers
NPD’s quality assurance arrangements for programmes. Consortium
Directors are required to submit business plans covering proposed AUTHORISED BY:
programmes for approval.
Paula Cairney, Assistant Head of
Existing PSO Induction and Development programmes have been operating ATTACHED:
for four years and the curriculum needs to be revised to meet current Annex A: Curriculum
Annex B: Business Planning &
Quality Assurance
PC 136/2001 Probation Staff, Recruitment and Training – Funding for posts
Training Consortia.


Mike Ashe, Training Projects Manager - HR Section, NPD – 0207 217 8115

National Probation Directorate

Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW

NPD funding continues to be available this year (2005-06) for the development of Probation Services Officers (PSOs) at
the per capita rate of £800. This budget is allocated to regional training consortia on the basis of the number of new PSOs
being recruited in the region during 2005-06. A table of PSO numbers and budget allocation is included at annexe C in
order for consortium directors to manage the delivery of the revised programme.

The aim of the PSO Induction and Development Programme is to ensure that on completion the learner has sufficient
knowledge and skills to work effectively with offenders who pose a low to medium risk of harm. The target learner group is
PSO or equivalent grade staffs who have been recently recruited to the Service. New entrant PSOs should, ideally,
complete the programme within nine months of appointment. Whilst clear priority should be given to newly appointed
PSOs the programme may also be appropriate for staff who have not previously attended an induction programme or who
are new to post.

The programme is a programme of learning which will inform practice and give guidance to staff through various stages of
learning. There should be a planned entry into the programme to ensure that staff benefit from the learning at the right
stage of their development within the work environment.

Staff who participate in the programme are referred to learners and staff (or others) who deliver the programme as
facilitators. Learners will acquire the basic underpinning knowledge to carry out their day to day tasks. They will gain
confidence to apply the knowledge gained on the programme to their work. Their learning will be assessed as an integral
part of the programme. Programmes will be most effective where there is on-going assessment of how learners apply the
knowledge and understanding gained to their day to day practice and where line managers are able to assess, monitor
and evaluate PSOs increasing effectiveness in the work place having attended the programme. Learners should also
have a responsibility for assessing and evaluating their own learning.

Facilitators will lead the programme, delivering teaching and enabling, supporting and assessing learning.

The programme will be delivered within a planning quality assurance framework (see annexe B) for which the consortium
director is responsible. The framework covers three key subjects: planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Consortium Directors are required to submit for approval a business plan for the programme in their region to the NPD
HR Training Section confirming proposed arrangements for allocation of NPD funding. Arrangements will additionally be
made with consortia for a programme approval visit to take place once the programme is running.

The curriculum for the programme is described in terms of learning outcomes for learners and divided into twelve subject-
specific learning modules (see annexe A for the detail): Orientation to the Criminal Justice System; Introduction to the
Criminal Justice Act (2003); Interviewing and Communication Skills; Offender Management ; Risk of Harm; Introduction
to Effective Practice; Interventions ; Motivational Skills; Handling Difficult Situations ; Enforcement and Compliance ;
Interagency working; Promote Equality, Manage Diversity and Anti-Discriminatory Practice.

There is some work being undertaken to provide learning materials for modules 3 and 4 and when these are available
programme organisers will be advised. In general, however, the curriculum provides the outline of each module and
programme organisers will use these for guidance.

Certification will not be possible given the short duration of the programmes in this new format. However, it is anticipated
that some programmes will continue to be out-sourced and some providers may be able to offer academic credits as part
of the programme. As an interim measure programme organisers may wish to include NPS/NOMS certification of
attendance and completion of the programme in their business plans for the programme.

PC41/2005 – PSO Induction and Development Programme 2005-06 2

Annex A - PC 41/2005 PSO Induction & Development Programme 2005-06





This programme will be delivered in the context of agency policies and procedures and is relevant

to all Probation Service Officer (PSO) grade staff or equivalent.

The programme is intended as a starting point for an individual’s learning and development.

PSOs will also require, depending on their specific role, specialist training to complement this


Provided the curriculum is delivered, the preferred method of delivery is left open in order to meet

best local needs in terms of geography, recruitment patterns and other operational requirements.

In order to provide guidance programme operators are advised that the curriculum is based on

approximately 60 to 70 learning hours for the delivery of all twelve modules.

In designing programmes to deliver this curriculum consideration should be given to the provision

of opportunities for learners to reflect on their learning and their personal development.
Learning Modules

1 Orientation to Criminal Justice System:

Learning Outcomes:

a) Demonstrate an understanding of the range of agencies which form the community

justice and criminal justice system.
b) Identify the key purposes of the agencies within the CJ system.
c) Identify and understand the aims of the National Probation Service/NOMS and
understand how it relates to the wider CJ system and your role.
d) Explain the relationship between legislation, policy development and national
e) Demonstrate an understanding of how principles of promoting equality, valuing
diversity and anti discriminatory practice apply within the CJ system.

2 Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Learning Outcomes:

a) Have an overview of the Act and understand the relevant sections.

b) Understand the sentencing principles and provisions of the Act.
c) Understand the work undertaken by probation staff in the courts.
d) Develop an understanding about the implications of the Act for own practice.
e) Apply principles of promoting equality, valuing diversity and anti discriminatory
practice in relation to implementing the CJ ACT 2003.

3 Interviewing and Communication Skills:

Learning Outcomes:

a) Integrate oral and written communication skills into practice.

b) Identify barriers to effective communication and how these can be minimized.
c) Identify how to maintain personal and professional boundaries in working
d) Be able to plan, prepare for, undertake and record interviews.
e) Apply principles of promoting equality, valuing diversity and anti discriminatory
practice in all aspects of communication.
4 Offender Management

Learning Outcomes:

a) Understand the key offender management components for community and custodial
b) Understand and apply the core skills required to assess and manage offenders
effectively according to criminogenic needs and assessed risk
c) Identify the key partners of NOMS and explain what each can contribute to the
provision of offender management services.
d) Contribute towards the selection and sequencing of interventions, and effectively refer
offenders to appropriate resources.
e) Apply principles of promoting equality, valuing diversity and anti discriminatory
practice in offender management.

5 Risk of Harm

Learning Outcomes:

a) Understand the current definitions of risk, and risk management and public protection
procedures, and the importance of a victim perspective.
b) Understand the dynamic nature of risk and the need to continuously review
assessments according to criminogenic need.
c) Understand and contribute to methods for identifying, predicting and managing risk
within agency policies and procedures
d) Understand the link between good practice, risk assessment and public protection
e) Apply principles of promoting equality, valuing diversity and anti
discriminatory practice in assessing risk.

6 Introduction to Effective Practice

Learning Outcomes:

a) Understand the principles and methods of cognitive-behavioural work and how it can
be applied to understanding and changing offending behaviour.
b) Understand the findings of research as it relates to the development of programmes
in general; programme integrity, targeting, dosage, group size, and level of staff
c) Understand the key components of effective practice and how this relates to your
practice including, criminogenic needs, responsivity, pro-social modelling, risk
assessment and community based interventions.
d) Demonstrate an understanding of how principles of promoting equality, valuing
diversity and anti discriminatory practice should be applied in relation to cognitive-
behavioural work.

7 Interventions

Learning Outcomes:

a) Understand the range of regional cognitive behaviour programmes available for work
with offenders.
b) Understand the work undertaken by staff in approved premises.
c) Understand the work undertaken by staff in delivery of enhanced community
punishment and unpaid work.
d) Understand the work undertaken by staff in the resettlement of offenders.
e) Understand the work undertaken by staff in respect to basic skills, employment, and
drugs and alcohol.

8 Motivational Skills

Learning Outcomes:

a) Understand the key principles of Motivational Interviewing.

b) Understand the significance of being able to encourage and motivate offenders to i)
consider the effects of their behaviour on others ii) think through options iii) own and
be responsible for their decisions iv) see the need to change their behaviour.
c) Demonstrate an ability to encourage and motivate individuals to change.
d) Identify good practice in working within professional boundaries
e) Apply principles of promoting equality, valuing diversity and anti discriminatory
practice when using motivational skills.

9 Handling Difficult Situations

Learning Outcomes:

a) Communicate with individuals who are distressed, anxious, angry or in denial.

b) Handle disagreements constructively, recognizing and managing the impact of an
incident on self and others.
c) Understand the different levels and causes of conflict.
d) Assess potentially difficult situations and contribute towards identifying strategies to
reduce risk.
e) Apply principles of promoting equality, valuing diversity and anti discriminatory
practice in handling difficult situations.

10 Enforcement and Compliance

Learning Outcomes:

a) Understand the importance of ensuring that offenders know sentence requirements,

their responsibilities and the consequences of non compliance.
b) Understand and, where appropriate, apply actions that need to be taken in response
to non compliance.
c) Understand how to promote and support compliance in offender management.
d) Identify good practice in working within professional boundaries
e) Apply principles of promoting equality, valuing diversity and anti discriminatory
practice when considering or undertaking any aspect of enforcement.

11 Interagency Working

Learning Outcomes:

a) Explain the principles and benefits of inter agency working

b) Develop and maintain effective inter-agency relationships and channels of
c) Identify and manage factors which help and hinder effective joint working.
d) Explain how risk is managed across agencies.
e) Apply principles of promoting equality, valuing diversity and anti discriminatory
practice in inter agency work.

12 Promote Equality, Manage Diversity and Anti Discriminatory Practice.

Learning Outcomes:

a) Understand how values and ethics impact upon work in the CJ sector.
b) Identify the ways in which discrimination and oppression are built into society and
c) Explore how making assumptions, stereotyping, labelling and prejudice affects
different groups and individuals.
d) Identify the effect of equality and inequality on people’s lives.
e) Apply the key principles of promoting equality, managing diversity and anti
discriminatory practice.

Relevant Community Justice National Occupational Standards:

The modules in the PSO Induction & Development Programme can be directly related to some
of the Community Justice occupational standards and learning from the programme could be
used as evidence of underpinning knowledge for some corresponding NVQ level 3 units
(Please note these standards are subject to review during 2005-06)

E203 Contribute to the prevention and management of abusive and aggressive behaviour

D301 Help Individuals address their offending behaviour

F306 Contribute to the development and effectiveness of teams

D101 Assist in the assessment of individuals offending behaviour and in planning provision

E408 Support individuals experiencing difficulties

F403 Develop and sustain effective working relationships with staff in other agencies

D308. Deliver externally validated evidence based programmes designed to reduce the
likelihood of re-offending by offenders who pose a medium or low risk of harm.

D201. Assist in the supervision, enforcement and review of sentences served in the

E406. Support individuals who are substance users.

F307 Develop one’s own knowledge and practice.

F102. Promote people’s equality, diversity and rights.

Annex B - PC 41/2005 PSO Induction & Development Programme 2005-06


Business Planning and Quality Assurance

There should be a business plan for each programme and it should contain information under
each of the three headings listed below. Consortia are required to submit the business plan
for the programme to the NPD HR section for approval. A formal report and review of the
programme will be required at the end of the financial year.

1. Planning
• Programme based on national curriculum
• Diversity strategy for inclusion and accessibility
• Planned number of learners (by post, Area)
• Programme timetable and schedule for delivery
• Projected cost and resources
• Key Risks and contingencies identified
Target number of finishers
Target retention rate

2. Data Collection\Monitoring
• Number of starters (by post, Area, date of appointment)
• Number of finishers
• Number of non-finishers
• Diversity report on learners
• Timeliness of delivery
• Cost and resources used
• Programme compliant with national curriculum

3. Learning Evaluation
• Assessment of learners
• Assessment of facilitators
• Feedback from learners
• Feedback from facilitators

There are two additional areas of information which consortia may wish to include in their
planning for and reporting on the programme:

• Performance Evaluation
Impact of learning on performance at work within a work based
assessment framework.

• Cost Effectiveness
Value of investment of resources in terms of delivery method and impact of programme
on performance and learning.

The programme will be reviewed nationally through the NPD HR Training section together
with the Consortium national Level 3 Practitioner group which operates within the remit of
the Consortium Directors’ national forum.
Annex C - PC 41/2005 PSO Induction & Development Programme 2005-06



Tables 1-9 in this annexe show the proposed distribution of new PSO posts both by
Area and by region for 2005-06.
Table 10 provides information about the amount of budget available to regions
through the consortia to fund the PSO Induction & Development programme. This
budget is based on the £800 per capita allocation for each PSO undertaking the

Table 1 PSOs
East of England

Bedfordshire 13
Cambridgeshire 17
Essex 23
Hertfordshire 17
Norfolk 21
Suffolk 6
Regional totals: 97

Table 2 PSOs
London 177

Table 3 PSOs

Derbyshire 17
Leicestershire & 16
Lincolnshire 16
Northamptonshire 16
Nottinghamshire 20
Staffordshire 12
Warwickshire 4
West Mercia 13
West Midlands 96
Regional totals: 210

Table 4 PSOs
North East

Durham 14
Teesside 30
Northumbria 15
Regional totals: 59

Table 5 PSOs
North West

Cheshire 8
Cumbria 11
Lancashire 9
Greater Manchester 64
Merseyside 29
Regional totals: 121
Table 6 PSOs
South East

Hampshire 34
Kent 16
Surrey 1
Sussex 28
Thames Valley 21
Regional totals: 100

Table 7 PSOs
South West

Avon & Somerset 7

Devon & Cornwall 41
Dorset 3
Gloucestershire 3
Wiltshire 19
Regional totals: 73

Table 8 PSOs

Dyfed-Powys 21
Gwent 26
North Wales 18
South Wales 29
Regional totals: 94

Table 9 PSOs
Yorks & Humberside

Humberside 18
North Yorkshire 8
South Yorkshire 19
West Yorkshire 24
Regional totals: 69

Table 10
PSO Training Budget £000’s

East of England 77.6

London 141.6
Midlands 168.0
North East 47.2
North West 96.8
South East 80.0
South West 58.4
Wales 75.2
Yorks & Humberside 55.2
National total: 800.0