We are currently recruiting more staff into the National Probation Service (NPS). Changes to the recruitment process and eligibility criteria for probation officers have been made resulting in increases in both the volume and diversity of probation officer applicants. A national campaign to recruit probation officers is underway and successful candidates will start in July 2019.
Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) contracts require each CRC to maintain a sufficient level of staff and ensure that its workforce is competent and adequately trained. CRCs have the authority to manage staff numbers as per their business and operating models. Robust assurance of performance is provided through operational contract management backed up by regular Operational Assurance audits.
A probation worker’s tasks are not based solely on the number of cases they are managing, but the level of supervision each case requires. The Ministry of Justice publishes quarterly statistics showing the total caseload of both the 21 CRCs and the NPS in the Offender Management Statistics Bulletin, England and Wales: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/offender-management-statistics-quarterly
On 16 May 2019 the Government made an announcement by setting out plans for the future of probation in England and Wales. From spring 2021, our reforms will see a stronger role for the National Probation Service in managing all offenders, and therefore varying the work of NPS staff. We are in the process of gathering data on all staff across the probation system to inform our workforce planning for the new model.