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Date Added: Tue 27/09/2022

Prison Officer

Nottingham, NG14 7DA, UK
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Company: SERCO PLC

Job Type: Permanent, FullTime

Being a Prison Officer is not always easy but it is rewarding. You’re at the forefront of ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone around you in what can be a complicated environment. But it’s also a job where your contribution really counts, as you work to give residents structure within their lives, encourage positive choices, and ensure that they are supported on their journey to rehabilitation. Day to day you’ll be involved in:

  • Supervising prisoners in all aspects of prison wing activity
  • Overseeing work and education programmes, encouraging residents to participate
  • Operational matters such as prisoner headcounts, cell searching, security, and administrative processes
  • Managing residents who are at risk of self-harm

Throughout this you’ll act as mentor and assure the safety, security and decency of everyone in your care, performing a pivotal role within the prison and the community it serves. You won’t be doing this alone though. You’ll receive an eight-week Initial Training Course that will provide you with all the skills you’ll need to be an influential PCO, covering everything from control and restraint to first aid. You’ll also receive the help of our great team, with job shadowing and buddy programmes in place to support you.

For more information on what it is like to be Prison Officer click here or you can try our PCO Careers Assistant to see if this is the right role for you - PCO Careers Assistant

What you need to do the job:

Can you do it? Yes, you can - if you have the resilience, integrity and professionalism to handle an ever-changing day, irrespective of the challenging situation you may face. Your natural patience, understanding and commitment to helping people will stand you in good stead – and give you the authority needed - for this position.

Being a Prison Officer demands the best, and our people come to us from a variety of backgrounds. What they will have in common is an ability to relate to people, exceptional communication skills, and a commitment to supporting their colleagues. You’ll need to possess excellent written and verbal communication skills and be able to pass a Level 2 Key Skills English and Maths (GCSE, NVQ or equivalent) test, which forms part of our assessment process.

The service that we provide to our prisoners is available every day of the year across a 24 hour period, meaning you will have to cover various shift patterns; including days, evenings, weekends, nights and bank holidays - with an average of 40 hours per week.

Our Selection Process:

Your application will be reviewed by one of our Talent Specialists. If you meet the criteria as set out in the advert you will be invited to a Fitness Test at HMP Lowdham Grange. You will then be invited to a virtual interview, where you will take part in a short role play, written exercise and a competency based interview. The Fitness Test consists of:

  • Bleep Test – you will be required to complete 15 metre shuttle runs in time with the bleeps and will last approximately 3 minutes and 36 seconds and will have to reach level 5.4.
  • Agility Test – running around a set course of cones under a set time.
  • Shield Hold Test – holding shield out in front of you at a 45-degree angle for one minute

Once you have passed the selection and vetting process, we will invite you to attend an 8-week Initial Training Course (ITC) at the establishment you have been recruited for, and you will be required to have 100% attendance. The ITC will provide high quality training where you will complete a Diploma in Custodial Care and undergo Control and Restraint training. You will also shadow experienced Prison Officers on shift to give you a real taste of life on the job.

Why Serco:

  • Meaningful and vital work: Prison Officers are key to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of residents, staff and visitors in their prisons. More importantly they play a vital role in reducing reoffending rates amongst residents, which is key to protecting public finances.
  • A world of opportunity: Our prisons hold a huge amount of variety and opportunity, with PCOs being able to progress into Ops Management or into specialist services such as Psychology, Education, Health or the Animal unit. It’s an ever-evolving career.
  • Great people: Because of our investment in safeguarding and rehabilitation, our prisons are calmer and can be very different to public prisons. You’ll also receive all the training and advice you’ll need from your friendly and supportive colleagues

What we offer:

  • Up to 6% contributory pension scheme
  • Serco discounts which include cinema, merlin entertainment and online shopping discounts, cycle to work scheme and discounts on mobile phone plans and leisure centre memberships.
  • Career long learning and development opportunities
  • The chance to make a positive difference to residents and the communities we support
  • A company passionate about diversity and inclusion

This role is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and all offers of employment are subject to security clearance checks and approval by the Home Office, and satisfactory employment references.

About Serco

At Serco, not only is the nature of the work we do important, everyone has an important role to play, from caring for vulnerable people to managing complex public services. We are a team of 50,000 people responsible for delivering essential public services around the world in areas including defence, transport, justice, immigration, healthcare and citizen services. We are innovators, committed to redesigning and improving public services for the benefit of everyone.

By joining Serco you will have unlimited access to our Global Employee Networks – SercoInspire (Gender), SercoEmbrace (Multicultural), SercoUnlimited (Disability) and In@Serco (LGBT & Networks). Serco Employee Networks, led by colleagues who are passionate about diversity, inclusion and belonging.


Please click on the apply button to complete your application. Occasionally we receive a large volume of applications for our roles and when that happens we sometimes bring the closing date forward, so please apply promptly to avoid disappointment.

At Serco, we see people first and foremost for their performance and potential. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive organisation that supports the needs of all. As such we will make reasonable adjustments at interview through to employment for our candidates and strongly encourage applications from a diverse candidate pool. We are open to discussions around flexibility and flexible working. We operate a hybrid work structure in many of our business areas. We are proudly a Disability Confident level 3 employer and holder of the Silver Inclusive Employer Standard. Disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the job will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities at an interview.

At Serco we support fair access to employment for those with unspent criminal convictions through the ‘Ban the Box’ pledge (some may be exempt due to the nature of the role and the security clearance required). Please contact our recruitment team directly on #removed# to discuss.

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