What you'll do

Across three years in one of our positions within the South of England, you will follow a structured scheme that will immerse you in every area of our organisation and beyond.

Prison Officers are at the very forefront of our service, keeping our prisons safe and secure, and helping offenders turn their lives around. Understanding what they face on a daily basis is imperative, so when you join the scheme you’ll complete our training course.

Following the training course, you’ll put your newfound knowledge into practice and work alongside our Prison Officers for three months.

Your next move will be towards a Head of Department role, and we’ll give you all the opportunities and support you need to get there.

The role we play has a significant impact on society, and as such other areas of the Criminal Justice System. We’ll give you the opportunity to see this for yourself, as you gain perspectives from the police, courts and probation among others.

All the experiences we give you will go into making sure you will have the necessary skills to be ready to take the deputy governor assessment within the three years. Once you are accredited you are then able to apply for any deputy governor roles that come up across the estate. From here you’ll be able to truly lead your prison and affect change.

What you'll need

A prison is a unique environment and could be very different to anywhere you’ve worked before. You’ll need to be a strong character, resilient in the face of challenging circumstances, but equally empathetic to understand the needs of colleagues and offenders alike. Therefore, life experience is just as important as your education.


The prison service is a 24/7 operation, so you’ll need to be flexible too, and able to take on some antisocial hours like evenings, nights and weekends. This will be reflected in additional pay on top of your basic salary. The job is recognised within HMPPS as a band 8 role and the minimum candidates will start on nationally is £47,607 (inc Required Hours Allowance) and in London the minimum will be £50,144 (inc RHA).


While set qualifications are not a mandatory requirement, higher education courses such as a degree or NVQ level 5 and above are desirable as it evidences an ability to learn at a demanding level and manage your time effectively. While it’s desirable that you have a 2:2 degree in any subject, it’s not mandatory. We’re just as interested in what you’ve achieved throughout your career, so make sure your CV clearly evidences this. Ideally, you’ll have significant work experience and we would hope to see examples of how you have developed extensive people management skills and excellent communication skills, as well as assertiveness and integrity. Additionally, if you also have a keen understanding of working in an operational setting, no matter what the type of business, as well as managing large contracts, this too would be highly desirable.


We’ll also test your endurance and agility using a bleep test with a shuttle run between two points. Additionally to ensure your own safety as well as others we will test your upper body strength to see if you can hold a 7kg riot shield and grip a piece of equipment.

“I think there are some myths about how interesting or how diverse or varied the role might be, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised as a fast-track individual who's not worked in the prison service coming in, just how interesting the role can be."

Pia, Governing Governor