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National Offender Management Service: Probation

Volume 504: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will take steps to increase the number of staff at the National Offender Management Service HQ who have a background in probation. (312663)

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) fully recognises the benefits of using the specialist skills of probation staff in appropriate posts. Where there is a business need for a particular post to be filled by someone with a probation service employment background, NOMS headquarters groups may second or advertise externally, in line with NOMS and civil service recruitment policy.

NOMS has recently obtained special permission from the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners for secondments from probation services to last for up to three years, rather than the two years normally allowed by the Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles. Certain senior posts in the regional teams within NOMS headquarters are now reserved for probation service personnel on secondment. In addition, NOMS is developing a facility for vacant posts, where appropriate, to be simultaneously advertised internally to Ministry of Justice employees, and as secondment opportunities to probation service employees.