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Operational Support Grade - HMP Maidstone (Prison Support Role)

Job at The Ministry of Justice in Maidstone, Kent

Overview of the job

It takes teamwork to support our prisons.

As an Operational Support Grade, you will look after the day-to-day running of a busy prison, working in a close-knit team to carry out a range of support services – everything from patrol and gate duties, to managing deliveries, supervising visitors, and monitoring phone calls and CCTV. You will work shifts and nights to keep things running. Unlike our prison officers, your contact with offenders is limited, although depending on the particular prison you may interact with offenders occasionally.

You don’t need any qualifications to do this job. Helping to keep a prison running smoothly and safely requires good judgement, common sense, responsibility and, above all, teamwork.

In addition to your base pay, you will receive:

annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after 10 years’ service (calculated on a pro-rata basis)9 days bank, public and privilege holidaysaccess to a paid Level 2 apprenticeship in customer serviceaccess to the generous Civil Service pension schemeseason ticket loans, retail discounts, an Employee Assistance Programme and a Cycle to Work scheme

National B - £21,468

The salary figures quoted are for a 37 hour working week inclusive of a 17% unsocial hours working allowance and any additional market supplement payment that will only be paid at certain locations.


You will work an average of 37 hours per week and most prisons work with a changing shift pattern which can include working some nights, weekends and public holidays (these days are added to your holiday allowance). For an example of the shift times that you could be working please visit our website

Responsibilities, activities and duties

You will be flexibly deployed to perform operational roles across the prison as required. Responsibilities, activities and duties are likely to include:

gate/portal duties: ensure the secure entry and exit of staff, visitors, vehicles; carry out searches of staff, prisoners, visitors, contractors and vehicles; issue and collect staff keys/radios control room: operate the establishment radio system and monitor CCTV ensuring all suspicious activities are reportedvisits: book visits; identify and process visitors on their arrival, escort them if requiredcensors/correspondence: monitor/log mail and report any illicit or contraband items, maintaining the preservation of evidence night duties: ensure cell doors are locked/secure and all prisoners are safely accounted for reception: assist in supporting appropriate tasks in reception; photograph prisoners; collate documentation for the property process; search/x-ray incoming prisoner property and parcels; receive items for prisoners and check all seals are intact on property storage prisoner supervision: supervise prisoners as required; undertake prisoner clothing/property exchange and assist officers with free flow movementfood delivery: food trolley delivery and collection, which may involve the use of an electric tug vehicle driving duties: transport prisoners and their escort to their destination in the cellular vehicle; collect mail from local sorting office phone calls: monitor the Personal Identification Number (PIN) system, maintaining the log of PIN Phone requests from prisoners; complete all relevant paperwork keeping an audit trail of conversations; check that legal numbers are registered solicitors procedures and protocol: understand and conform to national and local policies, responding appropriately to invoke emergency procedures and the actions required in relation to incidents

How to apply

Stage 1

Tell us about yourselfClick apply and fill in your personal details on our application formTake a short online testWhen you apply, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to take our online test. This is a behaviour-based assessment that assesses whether you have the right natural strengths and behavioural preferences to become an Operational Support Grade. You will complete a series of mini-tasks that are designed to elicit your natural behavioural preferences (e.g. how you naturally tend to make decisions). Whilst the tasks themselves aren’t set in the context of the role, they are designed to observe the behaviours that are most important for the role. This will take around 40 minutes to complete, but there is no time limit.You don’t need to be a gamer to do well on this test. We’re just looking for your natural ability to succeed in the role.

Before you take the real test, we recommend taking a practice assessment through our Firefly Freedom mobile app. This will help prepare you for the real test.Download the practice test onto your mobile device by clicking one of the below links. You will need the code ADJT to take the test.

Android Download | iOS Download

Stage 2

If you pass the test, we’ll invite you for an interview.

At the interview we will assess you against the following Success Profile behaviours -

Communicating and InfluencingDelivering at PaceManaging a Quality ServiceWorking Together

The interview will be of a blended nature consisting of behaviours and experience

If you pass the test, we’ll invite you for an interview. Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions the interview may be conducted in a digital format using Skype or similar applications, we will confirm the arrangements with you in the interview invite.

Success Profiles

Success Profiles will enable a fairer and more inclusive method of recruitment by enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical/professional skills required for different roles. This flexible approach to recruitment focuses more on finding the right candidate for the specific role. To find out more about Success Profiles to support your application please click here for further guidance.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are taking measure to ensure both candidate and staff safety, as a result, some prisons are now conducting on-line pre-recorded video interviews. All details will be sent to you before your interview.

The interview is the ideal opportunity to tell us more about yourself, your work history or personal experiences, so we can get to know you better and assess how you will be suited to prison work.

For more information please visit our website:

Job offers: ‘merit’ vacancy

This is a ‘merit’ job vacancy. If you are successful at the interview you will be added to a merit list based on your score.

When all applicants have completed the assessment, the prison will make job offers to those with the highest scores first when positions become available.

You can stay on the merit list for 12 months. After this, you’ll need to apply again.

The jobholder must be able to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence in English or (when specified in Wales) Welsh.

Allowance Details

In addition you will receive 17% unsocial working allowance. This has been included in the salary figures quoted.

ID 68758 Sectors:
in Maidstone, Kent, England
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