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Operational Support Grade - HMP Swaleside - Nights (Prison Support Role)

Job at The Ministry of Justice in Sittingbourne, Kent

It takes teamwork to support our prisons.

As a Nights Operational Support Grade you will support staff during the night period in order to maintain the core requirements of the establishment, ensuring cell doors are locked and secure and all prisoners are safely accounted for.

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 A - £21,790

The salary figures quoted are for a 37 hour working week inclusive of a 17% unsocial hours working allowance which is included in the salary to reflect the requirement to work nights, evening and weekend shifts. And any additional market supplement payment that will only be paid at certain locations.


Nights shifts are normally worked over a 7 day period and are followed by 7 Rest Days, this will average 37 hours per week. You will work 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 test you will have the opportunity to practice and prepare for the real test. You will receive information and a link to access this and the actual test once you apply.

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. It will provide 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. Your Strengths will also be assessed at interview but these are not shared in advance.

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 measures to ensure both candidate and staff safety, as a result, some prisons Will be conducting live video interviews. All details will be sent to you before your interview.

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

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 which is included to reflect the requirement to work nights, evenings and weekend shifts. The allowance has been included in the salary figures quoted.

ID 68273 Sectors:
in Sittingbourne, Kent, England
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