The national probation service will continue to use the probation qualifications framework to ensure the competence of its staff. For the new community rehabilitation companies there will be a contractual requirement to have and to maintain a work force who have appropriate levels of training and competence. On 3 December we announced that we will be setting up a new probation institute that will promote the sharing of good practice to those working across the probation profession.
We are contributing some £90,000 towards the cost of setting up the probation institute. The remainder will come from the Probation Association and the Probation Chiefs Association. I am grateful to them and to the probation trade unions for working together so successfully to bring forward the proposal, which we entirely support and which will help to underline the professionalism and continuing professional development of those who work in rehabilitation.