This article reports findings from a study investigating if, how and why concerns regarding risk are impacting on probation work in England and Wales from the practitioner perspective. It begins with a review of key debates regarding how ‘the rise of risk’ has come about and with what effects. I then briefly explain what the study entailed – its aims and objectives, methods and theoretical framework (governmentality). Findings from the study are then presented. These are at odds with the ‘critical consensus’ that risk has dramatically altered the nature of practice. The article concludes with discussion of the implications of these findings for ongoing debates regarding the significance of risk in probation practice.