LJMU graduates first Probation Officers

The first Probation Officers trained at Liverpool John Moores University are celebrating their graduation from the course.

More than 60 students successfully completed their training as part of the two higher level courses: the Bachelor of Arts in Community Justice and the Graduate Diploma in Community Justice, taught at LJMU’s School of Justice Studies.

“It was a tough 15 months so it's good to have successfully completed the course,” said Emma Parkinson, who worked as a teacher before joining the Probation Service in South Liverpool.

“Getting this qualification allows me to progress to a full Probation Officer role and I feel it will open doors to other roles of higher grades,” she said.

Emma’s cohort are the first new entrants to the profession trained in the region after LJMU earned its licence two years ago from the Ministry of Justice, with students starting in 2023.

LJMU is the first new provider in 20 years as the Probation Service accelerates trainee recruitment to meet demand in the criminal justice system.

Graduate Hadiqa Ayub, said: “I feel elated. It’s been invaluable learning that is directly applicable to my probation practice. Some of the research areas we have learned about have been extremely interesting.”

Hadiqa graduated in Law and is new to probation having gone in straight after university. “Probation practice is impactful to so many lives and it’s a realm of criminal justice practice that intrigues me,” she said.

Programme Leader Ester Ragonese, said: “We’re very proud and honoured to be graduating probation officers for the first time. This is a huge new area of professional training for the School and a very worthy one indeed given the operational demands in the service.”

The team worked with HM Prison & Probation Service to co-design and develop the new Professional Qualification for Probation Officers - the mandatory training route for all officers that are employed by the service.

The full-time students who graduated at Liverpool Cathedral have completed a level 5 and 6 in 15 months.

Dan Silverstone, Director of the School of Justice Studies, said: “We are already training more than 500 professionals for the police, so to extend our expertise to educate a generation of probation officers helps us strengthen our position as a regional provider of professional graduates in Policing and Criminal Justice.”

The 4th cohort will start in September 2024.

Thanks to the academic delivery team: Justin Moorhead, Katie Aspinall, Ella Kent, Jane Erlam, Hayley Atkins, Fiona McLelland, PhD student Georgia Marriott-Smith, and support colleagues Leah Chidgey, Jen Ball, Fiona Kennedy and Kev McCormack.

More than 1,400 students graduated on Tuesday 9 July from the School of Justice Studies and Liverpool Screen School.


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