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Security, Health & Safety

Key Threat Manager – 40455
£42,626 - £55,302


We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit:

Overview of the job

This role sits within Security Group and is responsible for the delivery of programmes of activity to address key strategic threats to operational security and stability in prisons. Activity can be specific to one, more or all threats. The threats are currently drugs, mobile phones, staff corruption, and intelligence.

It is HQ based but requires some travelling due to the wide geographical spread of pilot projects and establishment visits, connected with the Key Threats.

The post has no direct line management responsibility but may be required to oversee the work of other Key Threat Managers, other Security Group colleagues and potentially operational staff seconded in for specific projects.

The post holder does not need to be operational however the business objectives of the post are focused on supporting the operational frontline. The post therefore requires strong understanding of the operational world, both custodial, policing and more broadly.


The post holder is responsible for the maintenance, improvement and introduction across some or all prisons of a range of measures to address key strategic prison security threats.

Threats are identified through intelligence, by the operational line and/or are Ministerial priorities. At present, the measures fall under four broad strands of work

  • improve NOMS intelligence processes and policy;
  • reduce the availability of drugs in prisons;
  • reduce the availability of mobile phones in prisons; and
  • prevent and tackle staff corruption

In relation to one or more threats, the post holder is responsible for the delivery of all:

  • Government and NOMS strategy;
  • stakeholder management (internal and external; public and private sectors);
  • operational policy;
  • advice to prisons;
  • contract management;
  • briefing (parliamentary questions (PQs), Freedom of Information requests (FOIs), Minister’s Cases (MCs), Treat Official correspondence (TOs), submissions);
  • procurement; and
  • the Agency’s interface with parliament, ministers, Whitehall and senior officials.

In addition to responsibility for the standalone measures to address the threats, the post holder is also responsible for working across the Agency and government to ensure the threats are suitably addressed in other policies that may impact them but on which the post holder does not lead. Examples of such policies, in light of the current threats, are:

  • searching;
  • detection dogs;
  • adjudications;
  • visits;
  • prisoner communications;
  • prisoner property;
  • law enforcement agencies; and
  • the government drugs, alcohol, rehabilitation of offenders and organised crime strategies.

As the intelligence picture develops and/or operational and Ministerial priorities shift, the focus of the post holder’s efforts may need to change. The post holder must be flexible such that their focus can be redirected to whichever threats are the greatest at a given time. Potential future threats include gangs, organised crime and/or Rule 39 abuse.

The post has no direct line management responsibility but may be required to oversee the work of other Key Threat Managers, other Security Group colleagues and potentially operational staff seconded in for specific projects. It reports to the Head of Key Threats.

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties

The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities and duties:

Operational policy

In relation to one or more threats, responsible for maintaining, updating and introducing operational policy to assist prisons addressing the threat(s), typically by way of PSIs. Ensuring that policies and infrastructures are aligned with operational need.

Operational Advice to prisons

In relation to one or more threats, responsible for regular operational policy, support and good practice advice given to prisons to protect the integrity of existing security infrastructure and enable delivery of key security initiatives

Advice can be given in person, via email/letter, over the telephone or by sending global communications on current issues.

In relation to one or more key threats, assume the role of the national policy expert.

Good Practice

Responsible for ensuring good practice in relation to one or more threats is recorded and shared with prisons appropriately.


In relation to one or more threats, responsible for delivering trials of new operational approaches to the threat(s). Examples include new mobile phone denial or drugs detection technology and the drug free wings pilots. Including issuing guidance and advice to prisons as to their operation, working with stakeholders across NOMS, the third sector, private sector providers, CAST, OGDs, often to remove barriers to progress. Supporting local project managers for these projects and evaluating their success.


Responsible for responding to technology providers looking to trial products in prisons and/or sell to prisons. Involves close working with CAST, the NOMS Science Advisor, law enforcement colleagues and the providers to ensure technology deployed across prisons is effective and is used safely.

With science advisors and procurement colleagues, responsible for investigating new technologies, particularly those that are portable/can be flexibly deployed.

Support the management of the NOMS Service Level Agreement with the Home Office Centre for Applied Science & Technology (CAST). Working closely with the NOMS Science Advisor.

Legislation/law/legal advice/litigation

Responsible for ensuring the legal risks associated with one or more threats, and the policies in place to manage them, are properly understood and appropriately addressed, advising senior managers on the way forward.

Where necessary, responsible for the passage of primary or secondary legislation to equip prisons with new/refined powers to tackle one or more threats.

In relation to one or more all threats, respond to litigation from prisoners of members of the public in relation to any of the areas above, including instructing MoJ lawyers, Treasury Solicitor and/or counsel. Ensure HQ assists in the management of judicial reviews, litigation, at Inquests, and other high profile investigations including where necessary drafting witness statements or contributions to others.

Training courses

Responsible for the development, implementation and ongoing maintenance of training curriculum in relation to one or more key threats.

Contract management/procurement

Manage contracts relating to one or more threats as required. Some of these are complex and valuable such as the MDT contract (£1.8m pa).

Monitoring prisons’ spend under various contracts.

Responsible for the procurement of replacement contracts as they expire and also for new equipment/service to be provided by the private sector – drafting specifications, evaluating bids, supporting procurement colleagues, working with other government colleagues.

Stakeholder Management

The point of contact for other government department (OGD) colleagues for one or more threats, working closely with them. All of the threats are areas of significant Ministerial and government interest, particularly the Home Office Drug Strategy Unit, RIPA Policy Team and Strategic Centre for Organised Crime, the Department of Health’s Offender Health Unit and the Cabinet Office/No. 10.

In relation to one or more threats, liaise with a range of stakeholders, internal and external, private and public sector, and manage working relationships with them in relation any of the areas above. Includes Ofcom, statutory commissioners, HMCIP, OGDs, Mobile Network Operators, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and CAST.


In relation to one or more threats, submit briefings, submissions, PQs, Tos, MCs and

FOIs in relation to any of the key threats, including the collection, collation and calculation of relevant data.

Other duties

As required, represent line manager and on occasion the Head of Group at meetings and briefings.

The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The Job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the Job Holder.


The 4 Competency Framework clusters and their respective 15 competency indicators are shown below:

Setting Direction:

Seeing the Big Picture; Changing & Improving: Making Effective Decisions Delivering Results:

Achieving Commercial Outcomes; Delivering Value for Money; Managing a Quality Service: Delivering at Pace Engaging People:

Leading and Communicating; Collaborating and Partnering; Building Capability for All NOMS Specific Skills and Behaviours:

Achieving a Safe, Decent and Secure Environment; Showing Drive and Resilience; Caring; Persuading and Influencing; Acts with Integrity

In choosing competencies to recruit to, the recruiting manager should select around 4, but no more than 6 competency areas to include in the advert.

There may be additional professional competencies a Recruiting Manager will also need to include if recruiting for one of the designated Civil Service Professions e.g. HR, Health & Safety, Statistical Service, IT.

Please refer to the Civil Service Learning Portal – Professions Page for further details.

NB: you need to be registered on Civil Service Learning to access the portal pages.

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s, including HMPPS, terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Standard working hours for this post are 37 hours per week excluding breaks which are unpaid.

If you are a current NPS employee, this vacancy may be available on a Loan basis for up to 2 years. Applications are invited from suitable qualified staff.

The Loan/Secondment is subject to the approval of the selected candidate’s Business Unit, which should be obtained before confirmation of appointment.


Annual Leave

-The holiday year runs from 1 March. If you work a non standard work pattern your leave entitlement may be expressed in either hours or days as appropriate. Leave entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis and you will be advised of your actual entitlement on appointment. If you were appointed internally and your leave was previously calculated in days, this will continue to be the case.

Bank, Public and Privilege Holidays

You are entitled to 9 days (66 hours 36 minutes) in recognition of bank, public and privilege holidays. These hours are added to your annual leave allowance. There is a requirement to work some public and bank holidays subject to your shift pattern and the operational needs of the establishment


-The Civil Service offers a choice of two pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Work Life Balance

-HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS) is keen to encourage alternative working arrangements. Work life balance provides greater opportunities for staff to work more flexibly wherever managers and establishments can accommodate requests to do so. HMPPS offers flexible working subject to completion of a satisfactory probationary period and NVQ

Season Ticket Advance

-After two months’ service, you’ll be eligible to apply for a season ticket advance to purchase a quarterly or longer-period season ticket for travel between home and your place of work

Childcare Vouchers

For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers


-HMPPS is committed to staff development and offers a range of training and development opportunities, including areas such as Equality and Diversity, Dealing with Challenging Behaviour, Suicide Prevention and Anti Bullying Programmes

-There are opportunities to access promotion programmes and HMPPS provide a variety of training appropriate to individual posts

-All staff receive security and diversity training and an individual induction programme into their new roles


-All candidates are subject to security and identity checks prior to taking up post

-All external candidates are subject to 6 months probation. Internal candidates are subject to probation if they have not already served a probationary period within HMPPS

-All staff are required to declare whether they are a member of a group or organisation which HMPPS considers to be racist

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.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.