CEP Matchmaker Project

The Confederation of European Probation (CEP) was established in 1981 as the network of probation organisations in Europe to share knowledge, exchange expertise and support developments in the field of community sanctions in Europe.

CEP members and their staff represent a unique reservoir of knowledge and expertise about positive ways of working with people who offend to promote rehabilitation, reduce re-offending and make communities safer. Most importantly, CEP facilitates its members in working together, sharing expertise, learning with and supporting each other.

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, CEP and its members were innovators in sustaining that positive engagement and sharing. Social media, new technology, greatly increased level of remote working and online meetings and conversations have sustained that contact. The CEP newsletter features on working during Covid-19 and, more recently, the Day in the Life of a Probation Officer articles have attracted very large readerships and exceptional interest. There is a clear strong desire among CEP members to learn more about how others, in similar posts, work and live in other countries.

The CEP Matchmaker Project has been developed from ideas and suggestions by CEP members. It seeks to harness that curiosity and use the new communications media to facilitate direct contact, sharing of experiences and learning opportunities among members.

CEP Matchmaker Project brings together individuals, teams, organisations or groups among CEP members with a shared professional interest.  Through peer-to-peer links and activities the aim is provide opportunities for sharing, exchanging and learning together as well potential other benefits.

In the Matchmaker Project an individual or team of officers with a particular curiosity or expertise in a field of work can ask CEP to make contact with colleagues to establish a link with others with shared interest or knowledge. For example, teams working in a rural area, with prisoners on release from custody or supervising older persons could seek others sharing similar challenges in other jurisdictions to share experience, learn from each other and establish their own engagement.

In the Matchmaker Project CEP will act as a contact point and matchmaker between interested members and their staff to bring people together. It will establish contacts and links between services, teams or individuals with common interests and curiosity to meet up with each other to share and explore experiences together. Once in contact the members will determine the topics, mode of contact, level of engagement and any development.

The use of Zoom, Teams and other similar online communications media developed during the Covid-19 pandemic will be a good initial contact medium and minimise costs involved for participants.

If you or your organisation are interested in participating in the Matchmaker Project please contact the CEP secretariat: secr@cep-probation.org. Anna Esquerra Roqueta is available to answer your questions and assist you in joining the Matchmaker Project. CEP will develop a noticeboard of topics and themes of interest on the CEP website and will act as matchmaker to bring colleagues together.

CEP is ready to facilitate and provide support for exchanging and mutual learning!