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Prison Officer

202203: Prison Officer – National First Deployment – 56351
Multiple Locations



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

and caring


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) (


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


Job details




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.


Essential skills


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

effective decision-making

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






Scheme Benefits


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 custody
  • search and security procedures
  • de-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

Ministry of Justice Resourcing: email

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.  



Disability support


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




Additional Information

If you require any assistance please call 0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am-6pm) or e-mail Please quote the job reference 56351.

Closing date 26th May 2022.