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Probation officer: Salary and conditions

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  • Entrants to the profession start as probation service officers (PSOs). The salary range for PSOs is £22,039 to £27,373 on the National Probation Service (NPS) Pay Band 3.
  • Salaries for qualified probation officers range from £29,038 to £36,084 (Band 4).
  • Senior probation officers with relevant skills, experience and qualifications can earn between £35,024 and £39,818 (Band 5).
  • Salaries for experienced managers can rise to in excess of £50,000.
  • A London Weighting Allowance is added to salaries where applicable.
  • Additional benefits for NPS probation officers include eligibility to join the local government pension scheme.
  • The normal working week is 37 hours. Occasional work outside of normal office hours may be required.
  • Holiday entitlement for probation officers in the NPS starts at 25 days per year plus public holidays.
  • Probation officers may be office based, but they are expected to travel frequently around the local community within the working day. They may also visit clients in their homes.
  • Probation officers may be based in courts, in prisons or managing approved premises, which provide residential accommodation for offenders and ex-offenders.
  • Self-employment is not an option. However, PSOs and qualified probation officers can obtain temporary or sessional work.
  • Family friendly policies and practices are widely available, such as paid maternity and paternity leave and flexible working practices. Part-time work and job-share opportunities are available.
  • There are currently more women than men working in probation in all grades other than management, where the gender split is roughly equal.
  • In Scotland, criminal justice social workers carry out the work done by probation officers in England. They are employed by local authority social work departments who have responsibility for offenders.
  • In Northern Ireland, probation officers are qualified social workers employed by the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI).

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

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Written by AGCAS editors
October 2015

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