Probation workers win royal approval

PROBATION workers have been given royal approval as they shared a prestigious award.

Durham Tees Valley Probation Trust (DTVPT) received recognition for the excellence of their work as the Probation Service nationally was awarded the British Quality Foundation’s (BQF) Gold Medal for Excellence.

It is the first time that a public sector organisation has won at the annual event.

The ceremony in London was attended by Princess Anne and the award was accepted by the Probation and Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt.

He said: “This prestigious award recognises the professionalism of probation staff and the excellence of their work.

“This very public recognition of not just what they do but, perhaps more importantly, how well they do it, will be a source of pride for probation staff.”

The award is said to be among the most rigorous business award schemes in the UK and gives national recognition to an organisation that stands out as an example of excellence to others and demonstrates continued commitment to sustained improvement over a number of years.

Sebert Cox, chairman of the Probation Association (PA) and of DTVPT, added: “This is important because the Government very much expects us to compete against private sector organisations for services such as community payback, otherwise known as unpaid work.

“So we need to be able to compete and win. It’s very much about striving for excellence and being enterprising.”