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Specialist Production Instructors – Horticulture

Teach a trade. Build a future.


HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) is looking for specialist production instructors to run our on-site prison horticulture based activities. This is a vital role in the prison service – engaging offenders in constructive activity and teaching them skills for life, so they can find employment on release.

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Things you need to know

Horticulture specialist production instructors carry out a full range of horticultural and biodiversity activities, giving instruction and training to offenders on all activities including the safe use of machinery and equipment.

This includes the day to day maintenance of the grounds, and conservation areas to a high horticultural standard incorporating ecology principles wherever possible. Cultivating and harvesting from the establishments gardens. Ensuring all crops are grown and harvested to the highest standards.

In some prisons this may include managing livestock within the establishment ensuring all daily animal husbandry tasks are carried out.

As a specialist instructor, you will deliver and assess accredited vocational qualifications to offenders to help them develop, and earn qualifications for employment.

Depending on the prison to which you are applying, these roles include:

  • amenity and conservation instructor
  • commercial horticulture
  • livestock control
  • or a hybrid of the above roles.

As a specialist production instructor (Band 4) your role is to supervise and train offenders in their work to help them develop and earn qualifications for employment, while making sure production targets and safety standards are maintained.

Day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • carrying out a full range of land-based and biodiversity activities, giving instruction and training to offenders on all horticultural activities including the safe use of tools and equipment
  • monitoring offenders work, assessing vocational qualifications and keeping training records up to date
  • maintaining correct commercial horticultural and field-scale soil husbandry, ensuring all stages of crop development are followed in accordance with best horticultural practice
  • maintaining the crops to ensure they grow and develop as well as possible
  • maintaining effective biological pest control measures and any necessary chemical crop protection programmes
  • ensuring produce grown onsite is prepared and packaged appropriately for the catering department and complies with any relevant legislation or standard
  • carrying out pat-down searches as required.
Region Prisons Band 4 Salary Minimum Band 4 Salary Maximum
Inner London Brixton, Pentonville, Wandsworth, Wormwood Scrubs £28,351 £31,529
Outer London Belmarsh, Downview, Feltham, High Down, Isis £27,072 £30,107
National All Other Prisons £24,619 £27,381


A small number of posts may require shift pattern working. In these cases, an additional 17% payment will be made. Please refer to the job adverts for further details.


As part of the Civil Service Pension Scheme, you will receive a percentage of your salary based on your contributions and membership period for the pension scheme.

Annual leave:

You will receive 25 days paid annual leave, rising to 30 days after 10 years of service.


You will be entitled to civil service benefits including:

  • access to our cycle to work scheme
  • travel loans.

To work as a horticulture specialist production instructor you need to:

  • be at least 18 years old at the time of employment
  • have the right to work in the UK
  • speak fluent English or Welsh if specified
  • hold a up-to-date UK driving license
  • have or agree to work towards a level 3 qualification in horticulture or equivalent qualification within two years
  • knowledge of all relevant Health and Safety and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH) regulations. Holding PA1 and PA6 pesticide qualifications would be an advantage
  • experience supervising an untrained workforce and hold or be prepared to work towards a recognised work place assessor qualification
  • ideally have prior experience of operating horticultural/agricultural machinery and equipment.

For Livestock Control vacancies only:

  • hold or be prepared to work towards Level Two Award in the Safe Use of Veterinary Medicine or equivalent and working knowledge of different types of livestock – animal husbandry and animal nutrition and have a good knowledge of cattle/animal breeding programmes.

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, regardless of their background. We strive for a workforce that is representative of our society and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice.

Find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

You will need to provide a CV and a number of short written statements in your application.

You will be required to provide your CV in an anonymised format known as “name blind” which will help us recruit based on your knowledge and your skills rather than your background, gender or ethnicity. This is to ensure the process is fair.

Make sure your CV includes details of any relevant qualifications and experience.

You will need to answer questions which outline your past experience – tell us about any previous roles or, if a recent college leaver, your college experience.

The Making the Civil Service a Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative includes a guaranteed interview scheme to those who meet the minimum criteria to provide eligible former members of the Armed Forces with opportunities to secure rewarding jobs. Allowing veterans to continue to serve their country, and to bring highly skilled individuals with a broad range of experience into the Civil Service in an environment, which recognises and values your previous service in the Armed Forces.

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