Get your prison officer career off to a great start and gain valuable experience plus an attractive benefits package
Does the idea of having your accommodation costs paid for up to 3 years, an enhanced salary, and the ability to gain the variety of experience you only get working in one of our larger prisons sound attractive if so this scheme might be for you.
This scheme is available at a number of prisons across England and Wales, and you’ll be assigned to the one that has the most need for officers at the time of your appointment.
As a prison officer, you’ll be part of a diverse team, making an impact, doing meaningful work in our prisons.
Working in a prison is fast-paced and varied, and no two days are the same. You’ll work with a range of people and perform a variety of tasks – from keeping the prison safe and secure, to helping vulnerable people through a difficult time in their lives. Once you’ve qualified, you’ll have a range of opportunities to specialise and progress your career and earning potential.
It can be a challenging job, but in return you will get good pay, training, benefits and have the support of a strong team.
Find out more about this varied role and day-to-day life as a prison officer
During the recruitment process you will be assessed on the behaviours, strengths and abilities you need to become an effective prison officer. These include:
communicating and influencing
managing a quality service
making effective decisions
Your natural strengths are assessed to find out what motivates and energises you. We will also assess your numerical, written English and spoken English abilities.
How to apply
The online application begins with important details such as your National Insurance number and right to work in the UK.
You will then be invited to complete stage 1 of the online tests to see if you have the basic judgement and numerical skills expected of a prison officer.
If you are successful, we will invite you to stage 2 of the online tests to see if you have the right natural strengths and preferences.
Due to the number of positions currently available, this vacancy is only open for a short period of time and only individuals who perform highest at the online tests will be invited to our online assessment centre.
National Start on First Deployment (Prison Officer) (prisonandprobationjobs.gov.uk)
The online assessment centre
If you pass the online tests, we will invite you to an online assessment centre.
We test to see if you have the abilities, behaviours and strengths to be a prison officer.
Once you’ve successful completed the online assessment centre, we will invite you to complete a medical and fitness test. This will cover an eyesight test, hearing test and basic health screening, including a blood pressure check.
We will tell you what to expect and bring before the day.
Read more about the application process
To become a prison officer, you will need to:
be at least 18 years old
have the right to work in the UK
be reasonably fit and able to pass our fitness test
have good eyesight in both eyes (both with and without corrective lenses)
For safety reasons, everyone training to be a prison officer needs a suitable standard of hearing (without the use of hearing aids).
To work in a high security prison (category A) you must have been a resident in the UK for the last 3 years.
You don’t need qualifications to become a prison officer. Personal qualities are more important. You need to show:
communication and influencing skills
commitment to quality
care and understanding
The initial training is 37 hours a week. After training, you can choose to work 37, 39 or 41 hours a week. Your annual salary will reflect your weekly hours.
Your pay will depend on where you work and your weekly shift hours. The salaries quoted below are based on someone working a 39 hour contract.
Warren Hill, Full Sutton, Gartree, Hollesley Bay, Long Lartin, Onley, Portland, Stocken, Swinfen Hall, The Verne,
*As these prisons do not attract a market supplement, you’ll be paid a Recruitment and Retention Premium of £1,500 at the end of each full year you stay at the prison (up to a maximum of £4,500 if you stay for 3 years)
The following prisons pay a market supplement of either £3,000, £5,000 or £6,500 a year depending on location. These market supplements are included in the salary figures quoted below:
Berwyn, Norwich, Wayland and Whitemoor
Elmley, Highpoint, Swaleside, The Mount, Winchester,
Aylesbury, Bullingdon and Woodhill
We will pay your accommodation costs (£659 per month in London or £589 elsewhere) for up to 3 years.
You will be able to re-claim the cost of a monthly trip home by public transport.
If there’s no market supplement available at your prison, you’ll be paid a Recruitment and Retention Premium of £1,500 at the end of each full year you stay at the prison (up to a maximum of £4,500 if you stay for 3 years)
After two years you can decide whether to stay at the prison permanently or move to one that’s in travelling distance of your home at the time of applying.
You are only eligible for this scheme if you are applying for your first prison officer position – not if you’re looking to move from one prison to another.
25 days’ annual holiday (rising to 30 days after 10 years’ service)
paid time off for public holidays and 1 extra privilege day
Civil Service pension of up to 20% of your salary
Rental deposit loans
cycle to work scheme, travel loans and other benefits
Read more about prison officer benefits
Training and career progression
You will start your prison officer career by completing a paid Custody and Detention Professional Apprenticeship. Taking 12 to 18 months to complete, this professional qualification will give you the specialist skills you need to become expert at your job.
You will learn and practise all the key skills and behaviours that are vital to the prison officer role, including:
how to look after people in custodysearch and security proceduresde-escalation techniques
Read more about the Custody and Detention Professional Apprenticeship
Job offers: pass vacancy
This is a pass job vacancy. If you are successful at the online assessment centre you will be offered a job immediately if there is a position available.
If there are no vacancies, you will be placed on a reserve list and will be offered a job as soon as there is a vacancy.
Your successful pass from assessment centre will be valid for 12 months if you want to apply for vacancies at other prisons.
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of Civil Servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles. If you feel the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles, you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order:
Shared Service Connect Ltd: call 0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or email Mojemail@example.com
Ministry of Justice Resourcing: email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Civil Service Commission.
We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging.
As a Disability Confident employer, the Ministry of Justice is committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. We can offer reasonable adjustments to help with the online tests and online assessment centre.
If you require any assistance, please call 0345 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am-6pm) or email MoJemail@example.com