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OSG to prison officer fast track

Become a prison officer or youth justice worker with our new OSG fast track scheme

Apply now

Overview

We are creating a new fast track application process exclusively for OSGs, to make it easier than ever to become a prison officer or youth justice worker and progress your career.

As you already have some of the knowledge and experience needed, we have shortened the application process:

  • skip the online tests
  • go straight through to the assessment centre (ARC)
  • speed through vetting
  • be prioritised over external applicants.



If successful, you could be in post as early as January. If you don’t succeed, not to worry. It won’t have any impact on your current OSG role and you can try again in six months’ time.

Apply now

As an OSG you already have the knowledge of what it’s like to work in a prison and the expertise that comes with being in the service. With all the training, support and teamwork you need, this is the chance to use your experience to take the next step in your career.
Take on more responsibility, push yourself with a challenge and be rewarded by working closely with prisoners to help turn their lives around.

 

“You get to interact with a lot of prisoners and you get to see people from all walks of life and the impact that you can actually have.” Alvin, prison officer at HMP Highdown and former OSG
 As you already have some of the essential knowledge and experience needed, we have shortened the usual application process:
  • Step 1: Fill out a our short application form. This gives you the option of selecting your preferred prison plus two alternatives.
  • Step 2: After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll be invited straight through to an assessment centre (ARC), skipping the online tests.
  • Step 3: If you’re successful at ARC, you’ll be prioritised through the allocations process and speed through vetting, unless you are transferring to a high security prison and not already CTC cleared.
  • Step 4: You will undergo your POELT training and start in your new role as early as January.
“I found it really helpful (coming from an OSG role) in a sense of getting to know the prison, staff and prisoners. I would definitely suggest becoming an officer after becoming an OSG. ” Danielle, Prison Officer at HMP Brixton
If you pass the assessment and are offered a job as a prison officer your pay will be calculated as a promotion in line with HMPPS pay policy and you will move to the appropriate spine point. You will also be entitled to any additional payments operating at the prison to which you are appointed.
You will start on a 37 hour contract until your initial training is complete. After this you can choose to increase your hours to 39 or 41 hours a week.
Listed below for illustrative purposes are the starting salaries across England and Wales, however please note the 2020/21 pay award is pending. Your exact salary will be confirmed once you are issued with a contract.

Example starting salary for a 39 hour week (including 17% unsocial hours allowance):

Inner London

Brixton, Pentonville, Wandsworth and Wormwood Scrubs:

37 hours £29,553*
39 hours £31,025*
41 hours £32,497*

* includes market supplement of £3,000 and 17% unsocial hours allowance

Outer London

Downview, Feltham and High Down:

37 hours £30,094*
39 hours £31,485*
41 hours £32,877*

* includes market supplement of £3,000 and 17% unsocial hours allowance

Belmarsh and Isis:

37 hours £28,094*
39 hours £29,485*
41 hours £30,877*

* includes market supplement of £3,000 and 17% unsocial hours allowance

South and South East

Aylesbury, Bedford, Bullingdon, Coldingley, Cookham Wood, Elmley, Grendon, Highpoint, Huntercombe, Medway, Send, Stanford Hill, Swaleside, The Mount and Woodhill:

37 hours £27,293*
39 hours £28,529*
41 hours £29,765*

* includes market supplement of £5,000 and 17% unsocial hours allowance

Chelmsford, Erlestoke, Guys Marsh, Lewes, Littlehey, Rochester and Whitemoor:

37 hours £25,293*
39 hours £26,529*
41 hours £27,765*

* includes market supplement of £3,000 and 17% unsocial hours allowance

Other locations

All other government-run prisons in England and Wales:

37 hours £22,293*
39 hours £23,529*
41 hours £24,765*

* includes 17% unsocial hours allowance

Eligibility

To be able to apply, you need to be a directly employed OSG, appointed through open and fair competition, and have passed your six month probation period. If you are employed on a fixed term contract basis, then you must have completed six months effective service and also have been appointed through open and fair competition.
To be a Prison Officer or Youth Justice Worker, you need to:
  • be at least 18 years old
  • have the right to work in the UK (If you are not a UK or EU citizen, but you have approximately 30 months or more leave to remain in the UK entitlement at the point of application you may still apply)
  • be reasonably fit and have good eyesight
  • be able to speak with confidence in English or (when specified in Wales) Welsh.

Essential Skills

You don’t need qualifications to become a prison officer. Personal qualities are more important. You need to show:
  • good communication and influencing skills
  • commitment to quality
  • effective decision-making
  • care and understanding.
“It was quite nice to go through the training and know the majority of the stuff that they talked around already” Sammie, Prison Officer at HMP Highdown and former OSG
Tell us if you have a disability when you apply and we can offer reasonable adjustments to help with the assessment centre.

What reasonable adjustments can we make

Reasonable adjustments remove or minimise disadvantages experienced by disabled people by putting steps in place to remove, reduce or prevent obstacles that a disabled applicant faces.
We make reasonable adjustments so that disabled candidates are not placed at a substantial disadvantage during our recruitment process.
If you would find reasonable adjustments helpful to perform at your best, you will be able to select options from a list of most-common reasonable adjustments.
If you require an adjustment that is not on the list, you will be able to select an ‘other’ option and you will be able to discuss what reasonable adjustments you would find beneficial with our Reasonable Adjustments Scheme Team.
We understand that everyone has individual requirements and we will work with you to identify these.
The simplest way for us to help put your requirements in place is by providing us with a professional assessment report. This will help to guide us as to what the most suitable adjustments are for you.
If you select ‘other’ and are unable to provide a professional assessment report, we will need to request more information from you to be able to decide whether or not reasonable adjustments can be made.
We may not be able to make all adjustments that are requested. This is because the job role of prison officer has specific requirements.

Help with your application

Please review our Prison Officer Reasonable Adjustments Scheme Guidance for Prison Officer Recruitment for more details on what reasonable adjustments can be made and what documentation we require, as this is dependent on your disability and individual circumstances.
Please familiarise yourself with the assessment centre process so you can tell us what reasonable adjustments may be required.
We ask upfront about reasonable adjustments to ensure that the recruitment process is streamlined for you.

Contact us

If you need any help with your application, please email or call our Contact Centre:

Q. Can I stay in the same establishment that I am now working?

A. You will be asked to provide three preferred prison locations. Wherever possible, we will allocate you to your first choice.

Q. Do I need my manager’s approval before I apply?

A. No. You do not need your manager’s approval to apply.

Q. What will happen to my current role if I don’t succeed?

A.  If you try for a prison officer role and your application is unsuccessful, absolutely nothing will change to your current OSG role.

Q. I am employed on a fixed term contract can I apply?

A. Yes. You can apply if you were recruited through fair and open competition and have completed six months effective service.

Q. What will I be paid?

A. If you pass the assessment and are offered a job as a prison officer your pay will be calculated as a promotion in line with HMPPS pay policy and you will move to the appropriate spine point. You will also be entitled to any additional payments operating at the prison to which you are appointed.

Q. When would I start in the new role?

A.The earliest you would start would be early January 2021.

Q. Where can I find out more about what it’s really like to be a prison officer?

A. Try our interactive questionnaire to see if you have the qualities needed to become a prison officer.

Q. I am working in HMPPS through an agency – can I apply?

A. No. You need to be employed as a civil servant to apply through this scheme which is open to existing employees only. We would welcome your application to become a prison officer, but you need to apply through a campaign that is advertised externally. Please visit our website to find jobs available to external applicants.

Q. I only work part time – can I apply?

A. Yes, you can apply if you meet the eligibility criteria above.

Q. Do I get time off to take the assessment and will my travel costs be covered?

A. You will need to apply in your own time but you should arrange time to attend ARC with your line manager. Your travel to and from the assessment centre will be paid either through a claim for mileage or tickets booked through the central booking system in line with Travel and Subsistence policy.

Q. Do I get priority over people who have applied from outside of HMPPS?

A. Yes. As a civil servant you will be given priority for vacancies over those applying externally outside the scheme.

Q. Can I apply for youth justice worker and prison officer?

A. Yes. When you choose your three preferred prisons, state three of the young offender institutions and prisons you’d like to work in – in order of preference.

Q. I’m not 18 years old yet, can I apply?

A . Yes. You need to be 18 at the point which you take up post.