Working in a prison is no ordinary job. But if you have the communications skills, the resilience, and the dedication, it could be a very rewarding career. Day to day, you’ll help to create a safe, secure environment where rehabilitation is supported and encouraged. In return, you’ll receive a secure job and rewarding career, as well as great training, excellent benefits and the chance to change lives for the better.
- Level 3 diploma qualification (as part of your 10 week training)
- 25 days annual leave plus bank holidays (pro rata where applicable)
- civil service pension
- career development and progression opportunities
- work-life balance options
- childcare voucher scheme
- annual season ticket loan
- access to a range of other benefits through the Prison Service Sports Association
- Retail discounts
Existing Prison Officers are not eligible to apply for this campaign
- You will be responsible for supervising and managing prisoners decently, lawfully, safely and securely, ensuring that the routines of the prison operate effectively.
- Working closely with colleagues throughout the prison, you will keep the prison safe and secure for all by conducting searches on prisoners, staff and visitors and responding to and effectively managing the day-to-day challenges prisoners can present as ‘first on the scene’ and back up support. While the role of a prison officer is not a desk job, keeping detailed records on centralised systems and completing timely reports are also an essential part of the role.
- You will need to follow national and local regulations and policies, and build and maintain strong professional relationships with your colleagues and the people in your care, while supporting prisoners to achieve their rehabilitation goals.
Becoming a prison officer
You do not need any formal qualifications to become a prison officer but you will be tested against a variety of values and criteria.
All candidates are required to pass an online application that includes a maths test and situational judgement test that assesses how you would react in scenarios you may face as an officer.
You can practice for those tests here: https://prisonandprobationjobs.gov.uk/prison-officer/tips-for-applying/
Recruitment Assessment Day (RAD)
If you pass the online tests you will be invited to attend a Recruitment Assessment Day (RAD). You can learn more about the RAD here: https://justicejobs.tal.net
The RAD has three elements that you will need to pass to progress with your application:
- Role play – you will be assessed on three 10-minute role play simulations. The role-play simulations will be based on situations you could face as a Prison Officer; however you do not require prior knowledge of the Prison Officer role to be successful.
- Watch our video to learn about the role play scenarios
- Written test – you will be given some written scenarios to read and answer questions about – your maths and written English will be assessed as part of this; you do not require prior knowledge of the Prison Officer role to be successful.
- Fitness test and health screening – You will have an eye test and basic health screening, which includes a blood pressure check to ensure you are well enough to complete the fitness test on the day. Your fitness test will then test your strength and agility in order to assess your ability to complete the physical demands of the job.
This is a PASS CAMPAIGN for prison officers. Candidates who are successful in passing the RAD will be allocated to the next available vacancy.
Full security and identity checks will be required prior to taking up post. All staff are required to declare whether they are a member of a group or organisation that does not fit with the prison service values of diversity and inclusion.
On appointment you will be booked onto a ten-week Prison Officer Entry Level Training (POELT) programme, which is usually provided residentially. As part of this course you will gain a Level 3 Diploma in the management and care of individuals in the custodial environment, which will give you a number of transferable skills, including communication, knowledge and understanding of working in custodial care, current legislative and organisational requirements and working practices.
Additionally, you will have a one week of familiarisation session both before and after training in your establishment.
It is a requirement to pass the POELT course, which is designed to equip you to work as a prison officer, but your initial training will continue throughout your first year of service. You will be required to complete all parts of your training in order to complete your 12-month probationary period.
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