The prison and probation services operate within the framework of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Agency. For historical reasons the two services have different employment structures. Prison Service staff are civil servants and are directly employed by the NOMS agency. Probation service staff are not civil servants and are employed by a probation board or trust.
Information on the career histories of National Offender Management Service headquarters (NOMS) staff does not include national probation service (NPS) experience. It is therefore not possible to provide figures of how many NOMS headquarters staff have a NPS background. Career history information that is available shows that 1,776 NOMS headquarters staff have previous experience in Prison Service establishments and are considered to have a prison background, although not all would have worked with offenders.
All NOMS headquarters staff other than those seconded from the NPS are civil servants. On 31 December 2009 there were 4,375 directly employed civil servants in national and regional offices and the shared service centre.