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Specialist Production Instructor (SPI): Amenities and Conservation – HMP The Verne – 79001


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. To find out more about how we do this visit:

Responsibility for the maintenance of grounds and conservation areas at a prison is just the beginning of this important role. You will also help offenders to develop skills, confidence, and employability by delivering and assessing accredited vocational qualifications.

Leading a party of prisoners, you will instruct them in every aspect of gardening duties, including the use of machinery. Under your guidance, they will take responsibility for their own environment – maintaining everything from lawns to water features, to woodland, and carrying out both soft and hard landscaping. Crucially, you will deliver on the prison’s bio-diversity action plan by developing the conservation area, and monitoring flora and fauna. We will also look to you to submit surveys for land-based activities.

Perhaps most rewarding of all, you will enjoy scope to deliver a project that may lead to a truly unique achievement for you and your party. Every year, the Royal Horticultural Society judges our best kept prison garden. Perhaps next time it will be your work that leads the way. You will certainly enjoy excellent scope to develop your career with us.

Ideally, you will bring to the role a relevant vocational qualification or equivalent suitable experience. We expect you to be familiar with grounds maintenance practice across grass, turf culture, drainage, soil husbandry, ornamental horticulture, tree and shrub culture. Knowledge of different types of habitats will be an advantage.

You will certainly bring a caring and resilient approach to your work. Strong communication skills are important too – from leading, to persuading and influencing. We expect you to be committed to achieving a safe and secure environment. Please note you may be required to work some evenings and weekends.

Overview of the job    

This is a non-operational instructional job in an establishment.
Summary    The job holder will be responsible for the day to day maintenance of the grounds and conservation areas within an establishment and will deliver and assess accredited vocational qualifications to prisoners.

This is a non-operational job with no line management responsibilities.

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties    

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

•    Carry out a full range of gardening activities, giving instruction to prisoners on all gardening duties including use of machinery
•    Carry out soft landscaping – turf laying and hard landscaping – laying patio stones
•    Maintain establishments grounds and conservation areas including maintenance of lawns, ponds, water features and external grounds to the establishment including woodland
•    Deliver all actions in the establishment’s bio-diversity action plan with reference to the development of the conservation area
•    Monitor flora and fauna work within the establishment
•    Work inside/outside establishment grounds, cutting, mowing and maintaining areas in accordance with accepted practice
•    Submit surveys for Land Based Activities specific to site
•    Carry out preventive pest control measures across area of responsibility
•    Act on wildlife and conservation group’s recommendations and implement these
within the establishment’s grounds
•    Undertake small project work as advised/requested including soft and hard landscape development including erection of horticultural support structures where the situation warrants

Undertake other instructor tasks including:

•    May participate in the selection process of prisoners for the workshop/area of work
•    Induct prisoners to the workshop/area of work and train them in aspects such as Health and Safety, Control of Substance Hazardous to health (COSHH), machinery and tools usage
•    Provide support for prisoners where required; tailor learning and training requirements to individual needs
•    Set work schedules and manage targets/quality standards, maintaining delivery of contractual arrangements
•    Assess and evaluate skills of prisoners up to national qualification standards
•    Supervise and maintain discipline of prisoners within workshop/area of work, responsible for performance, motivation, discipline, appraisal and development of prisoners
•    Maintain regular communications via radio net in accordance with Local Security Strategy (LSS)
•    Open and complete Assessment Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) forms,
Violence Reduction Incident Reports (VRIR) and Security Information Reports (SIRs) when required and contribute to Incentive Earned Privileges (IEP) reports
•    Will conduct a metal detector scan or rub down search of prisoners attending and leaving their own workshops
•    Provide quality assurance against product specification
•    Log attendance and approve prisoner hours worked and wages including recording piece work where appropriate
•    Carry out fabric and tool checks of workshops and maintain security of areas, logging any tool/equipment faults. Undertake planned maintenance programme on machinery
•    Contribute to prisoner reports including parole and sentence planning
•    Complete regime monitoring information and update prisoner training records
•    Contribute to Health and Safety risk assessments relating to the workshop/work of area and specialist areas
•    Request materials and estimate usage in order to meet work targets
•    Initiate product development reviews to maintain workshop/area of work output levels, and to provide variety of work and experience for prisoners
•    Participate in self-audit and in achieving Service Delivery Indicators (SDIs)
•    Complete administration activities to support the smooth running of the workshop

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

An ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence through the medium of English or (where specified in Wales) Welsh.


•    Making Effective Decisions
•    Communicating & Influencing
•    Working Together
•    Managing a Quality Service
•    Developing Self & Others

Essential Experience    

•    Must have relevant work experience in Horticulture.
•    Must be conversant with grounds maintenance practices in areas of grass maintenance, turf culture, drainage, soil husbandry, areas of ornamental horticulture including aquatics, bedding, perennial, tree and shrub culture and a working knowledge of different types of habitats and the support each provides for: insects, creatures and animals.
•    Must have experience of using horticultural machinery/tractors.
•    Preferable for candidate to have some supervisory experience.
•    Must have current knowledge of all relevant Health and Safety and Control of Substances Hazardous to health (COSHH) regulations.

Technical Requirements    

•    Must possess a full current United Kingdom (UK) driving license.
•    Currently hold or be prepared to work towards Level 3 qualification or equivalent in horticulture
•    Currently hold or be prepared to work towards PA1 PA6 spray certification
•    Currently hold or be prepared to work towards a recognised workplace assessor qualification


•    IT Skills
•    Basic Maths
•    Basic English

Hours of Work (Unsocial Hours) Allowances    

37 hour working week (standard).



Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

Some of MoJ’s 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 provides 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 the 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. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are 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. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

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. To find out more about how we do this visit: