Career Progression in the CRC?

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2014 Police & Justice Conference
25 June 2014

Conference, the Probation Service has now been split into 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC) and one National Probation Service (NPS). However, the process that saw staff assigned to the CRCs and NPS was not an agreed process, nor was it fair, in many cases it was purely arbitrary with staff names being drawn out of a hat.

This left a bad taste in our member’s mouths, there is a strong feeling from staff in the CRCs that they have been assigned to the 2nd class service, that they have been abandoned and that any chance at career progression has ended.

The assignment process saw Probation Service Officer (PSO) staff currently undergoing training to become a probation officer (PO) automatically assigned to the NPS, as this training provision is only provided by the NPS, whilst their colleagues who had just completed the training, prior to the split, were assigned to the CRC because of the protections put on newly qualified staff working with high risk offenders and the requirement of NPS staff to work solely with high risk offenders.

This injustice was further compounded by an advert from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) seeking graduates to come and work for the newly formed NPS to train as probation officers whilst being employed as PSOs, whilst CRC staff were denied the right to apply.

Our members in the CRCs who have just qualified are stunned and feel let down, they feel that their noses have been rubbed in it, with many feeling they have wasted the last few years of their life as they worked towards the PO qualification.

The MoJ contract with the newly formed CRCs requires the private sector owners, once the sale of shares in a CRC has been agreed, to train and develop their staff, but, it does not require them to use the nationally accredited and recognized NPS PSO, PO and Admin training programmes.

The private sector CRCs are able to access the training programmes via the NPS, nothing bars them from doing this, just political ideology that the private sector should not be fettered or handcuffed to what training they have to use.

Conference calls on the SGE via the auspices of the National Probation Committee to:

1)Campaign across the 21 CRCs for the new private sector employers to adopt the NPS training programme for PO, PSO and Admin staff

2)Work with the NPS via the NNC to promote the availability and desirability to the CRC of their training programmes.

3)Work with the Probation Institute to promote and develop a single national accredited pathway for all probation staff, at all grades be they CRC or NPS.