Body: Parole Board for England and Wales
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sector: Judicial, Prison & Policing
Location: National
Skills required: Procurement
Number of Vacancies: 15
Remuneration: Casework fees currently range between £345 and £365 per day, depending on the role. A fee review is underway and these rates may change. Remuneration is subject to deduction of tax and NIC at source, and the role is not pensionable.
Time Requirements: Psychologist members are required to provide at least 35 days annually including preparation time for panels, which can be undertaken at home and in the evenings, to fit in with your other responsibilities. You may give more time if there is work available. There is no guarantee of work. You will be supported with ongoing training and development.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    02/07/2020 at 17:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The key task of all members of the Parole Board is to make rigorous, fair and timely risk assessments about individual cases which have the primary aim of protecting the public and which contribute to the rehabilitation of offenders where appropriate.

As a Psychologist Member of the Parole Board for England & Wales you will:

  • Analyse and critically evaluate information to identify continuing risks in parole cases referred by the Secretary of State, where information may come from a variety of sources including electronic dossiers and evidence given at oral hearings.


  • Apply psychological knowledge, skills of assessment and management of risk/dangerousness in offender populations and professional judgement to parole cases to decide whether a prisoner can safely be released into the community; to set licence conditions where release is appropriate; and, in relevant cases, to decide whether to recommend a prisoner is transferred to open conditions.


  • Be proactive to identify and resolve issues in all allocated cases at the earliest opportunity, applying the current relevant law, procedure and guidance. Seek advice from subject experts within the Board, including specialist members, and legal and practice advisors.


  • Assess parole cases on referral to conclude on the papers or set directions for effective case management of those to be considered at an oral hearing.


  • Take an active part in oral hearings ensuring all areas of risk are identified and addressed by the panel, witnesses are questioned appropriately to inform the panel’s assessment of risk, and there is a full panel discussion of a case to properly weigh the evidence.


  • Work collaboratively with other panel members to make judgements about the available evidence and to provide structured written reasons for the panel’s decision or recommendation in every case.


  • Advise panels by clarifying specific psychological issues in a case that are relevant to risk.


  • Advise panels about psychological reports including qualifications and experience of author, specific assessment tools used, overall quality of assessment and conclusions drawn.


  • Advise panels when two or more differing psychology opinions exist.


  • Work collaboratively with other panel members to make judgements about the available evidence and to provide structured written reasons for the panel’s decision or recommendation in every case.


  • Use Parole Board IT effectively to access electronic dossiers, draft reasons for panel outcomes, communicate with the panel and colleagues and to undertake learning and development activity.


  • Complete all mandatory training in line with Parole Board policy. Take responsibility for personal development by accessing materials and opportunities provided by the Board to remain up-to-date with current law, procedure, guidance and developments. Reflect individually and collectively on experiences and practice.


  • Achieve accreditation and maintain an active mixed portfolio of casework including paper panels and oral hearings. Psychologist members are eligible for oral hearing chair accreditation and other roles including duty work. This is encouraged where appropriate for business need and personal development.


  • Be an effective ambassador whenever representing the Parole Board. Contribute positively to the effective running of the organisation through non-casework activity including mentoring, quality assurance, governance, training and participation in consultation, working groups and development roles.


  • Travel in line with Parole Board policy to attend oral hearings in prisons throughout England and Wales. Also travel to the London office and other venues to attend Parole Board events, including training. Occasional overnight stays may be required and expenses will be reimbursed in accordance to the prevailing policy.

Person Specification

Essential criteria

The essential criteria below will be tested throughout the recruitment process.


  • Decision making: Demonstrable ability to conduct effective evidence-based decision making, bringing independence of mind and making sound judgements through: weighing facts and evidence, analysing and critically evaluating large volumes of complex information and identifying key issues, within tight deadlines and working on own initiative.


  • Effective interpersonal skills: able to gain respect and maintain rapport through effective communication and influencing skills. Confident to challenge opinions, work collegiately and resolve differences to reach sound decisions. Able to communicate expert knowledge in a manner a lay person can readily understand.


  • Adaptable communication skills, both written and oral: Able to communicate sensitively and effectively with a wide range of individuals, varying the approach as necessary, treating others with respect, listening actively and evaluating replies to probe issues.


  • Effective written skills: the ability to draft well-formed written accounts which accurately document, analyse and summarise evidence in support of a decision or recommendation. Able to work collaboratively to produce written reasons that accurately reflect how the panel came to its decision or recommendation.


  • Demonstrable high standards of corporate and personal integrity and conduct: including a strong desire to serve the public, evidence of commitment to equality and diversity, resilience and reflection in decision making, and personal accountability.


  • Effective time management, organisational and administrative skills: Able to identify and resolve issues at an early stage taking proactive steps to ensure cases are concluded at the earliest opportunity. Strong commitment to professional and personal development.

Additional Information


To be considered for appointment you need to be:


  • Registered as a practitioner psychologist with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC);
  • With knowledge and understanding of forensic risk assessment; and
  • No outstanding fitness to practice matters.


This is a senior position where it is expected individuals will use their knowledge of psychology, risk assessment tools and risk management skills, to work independently and in consultation with other Parole Board colleagues in deciding if an offender should receive parole.


There are circumstances in which an individual will not be considered for appointment. They include:

People who have received a prison sentence or suspended prison sentence of three months or more in the last five years

  • Current operational employees within the prison service
  • Anyone who has not been resident in the UK for three years preceding the closing date for applications
  • Those who have had their appointment terminated under the agreed protocol for termination of membership of the Parole Board.
PB150093 Psychologist Member Candidate Information Pack 8Jun20 FINAL
Declarations of interest - Parole Board
Reference request form - Parole Board
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