On becoming a good probation worker

Woman talking in a group

The Confederation of European Probation (CEP) wants an overview of how probation workers are trained in the different countries in the EU. Our research set out to establish this overview.


The objective was to create an overview of the training that probation workers receive and need in the various EU countries. By doing this, we hope to establish a network in which knowledge, skills and expertise are shared by all of the countries concerned.

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?


  • Probation services can be broken down into four categories; categories; monitoring and reporting are the most important of these categories.
  • The minimum qualification required is tertiary level 5-6-7 ISCED/ (BA-MA).
  • All organisations select and train new recruits. Introductory training is compulsory and different forms of on-the-job learning are offered.
  • The introductory training focuses on the specific skills and knowledge necessary for probation work to be effective.
  • Probation workers develop thorough experience and training.
  • There is a need for further training on themes focusing specifically on effective probation work, but also for training about subjects like self-efficacy and how to avoid burn-outs.

For more information, download the extensive research report: Report On becoming a good probation worker.


01 September 2018 - 01 January 2019


We used a survey to conduct this research. It covered the following points:

  • The services that probation organisations provide and the level of education necessary;
  • The procedures in place in probation organisations and the qualifications that candidates are required to have;
  • Compulsory training when becoming a probation worker or during the course of a probation worker’s career;
  • Subjects for future training.

HU researchers involved in the research

Related research groups

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?

Vivienne de Vogel | Professor | Working with Mandated Clients

Vivienne de Vogel

  • Professor
  • Research group: Working with Mandated Clients