“On becoming a probation worker” The formation of the probation worker in 18 different countries of the EU

Duration: September 2018 - January 2019 
Professors: Vivienne de Vogel en Jacqueline Bosker
Researchers: Joep Hanrath, Kimberly Verbaan


The Confederation of European Probation detects a clear need for a central record of training and qualification requirements, standards or curricula for probation and community supervision practitioners in EU Member States.

Hogeschool Utrecht (UAS) has been commissioned to conduct a survey to collect an overview of qualification requirements and training of probation workers in order to set up a network to share knowledge, competencies and expertise among members’ states.

Research question

What kind of formation precedes the start of a career of a probation worker in the various EU Member states and how does it develop throughout his or her career?


The survey addressed the following:

  • the services delivered by the organisations and the level of education required for its performance;
  • the admission procedures used and the required entry qualifications;
  • required training prior to admission, as part of the introduction or as follow-up during employment;
  • topics for future training.


  1. Probation services cover four areas of which monitoring & report are the most important.
  2. The minimal entry level of education is tertiary level 5-6-7 ISCED/ (BA-MA).
  3. All organisations select and train new recruits. Introductory training is compulsory and different forms of on-the-job learning are offered.
  4. Contrary to the general tertiary level of education, the introduction training focuses on specific skills and knowledge aiming for general standards of effective probation work.
  5. Probation workers develop their skills over time through experience & training;
  6. Need for further training focuses on specific themes related to general standards for effective probation work as well as topics related to self-efficacy and protection from burn out.


Report On becoming a good probation worker

Working with Mandated Clients

Working with mandated clients

About the Research Group