Working for HMPS

We employ people in a variety of officer, healthcare, chaplaincy, managerial, support and administrative roles.

To find out more about a career in the prison service and apply for the latest opportunities, visit

You can also search for a job on:

As well as meeting the civil service rules, anyone applying to join HM Prison Service (HMPS) must:

  • be free from immigration control and have no time restrictions
  • not be a member of a group or organisation that HMPS considers to have racist philosophy, aims, principles or policies
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt

See the Prison Officer Success Profile 2018 (ODT, 50.3KB) to learn more about the behaviours, strengths and ability areas we are looking for when selecting prison officers.

(Download the Success Profiles: Candidate Overview to learn more about what each different element is.)

Prison support

We employ operational support grades for a wide variety of duties, including:

  • checking in visitors
  • supervising visitors
  • patrolling perimeter and grounds
  • escorting contractors and vehicles
  • searching buildings
  • searching prisoners property

Operations Assistant entry level training

There is some basic training you’ll need to do before you can begin your career as an operations assistant. You’ll start with a 2 week training course at the Prison Service College (PSC) at Newbold Revel, Rugby, or one of the local training centres. This will give you all the necessary knowledge, skills and values needed to become a confident operations assistant.

To find out more about this role and to apply, visit

Prison officer

To begin with, depending on your location and contracted hours, you could earn up to £30,000 when you start, as well as a full range of benefits.

Some of the other benefits are:

  • great training
  • opportunities for career development
  • 25 days’ annual leave plus bank holidays (pro rata where applicable)
  • civil service pension
  • worklife balance options
  • childcare voucher scheme
  • annual season ticket loan
  • access to a range of other benefits through the Prison Service Sports Association
  • blue light card

Prison officer entry level training (POELT)

There’s a lot of basic training you’ll need to do before you can begin your career as a prison officer. You’ll start with a 10-week training course at the Prison Service College (PSC) at Newbold Revel, Rugby, or one of the local POELT training centres. If you are successful in passing POELT, you will also be awarded a level 3 diploma in the management and care of individuals in the custodial environment.

Additional eligibility requirements

In addition to normal HMPS eligibility requirements, all prison officer applicants must:

  • have the right to work in the UK
  • have been a UK resident for at least 3 years (High security estate only)
  • be the minimum age of 18
  • pass security and identity checks prior to taking up the post
  • pass a health screening and a fitness test
  • pass a 12-month probationary period
  • declare if they are a member of a group or organisation that does not fit with the prison service values of diversity and inclusion

For more information on this role visit

Forensic psychologist

You can join HMPS through 3 different routes.

Interventions facilitator

To apply, you must have 5 GSCEs (Grade A* to C) or equivalent, including maths and English.

Trainee forensic psychologist

To apply, you must have a psychology degree conferring Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society and be eligible for entering into supervised practice. This most usually means that you will have completed an accredited MSc in forensic psychology.

Qualified psychologist

This includes managerial or strategic roles, leading other staff. Or it may be a more specialist role, involving direct assessment and intervention services.

To apply, you must be registered with the Health and Care Profession Council (HCPC), and have chartered status.

For more information and to apply, visit

Instructional officers

Instructional officers provide prisoners with vocational training, such as in engineering, plastics, printing, tailoring, footwear, woodwork etc.

To find out more about this role and to apply, visit HMPPS careers - Instructor


The majority of the work is primary care. But because prisoners’ problems are often complicated, we need healthcare professionals with specialist knowledge in areas such as substance misuse, management of communicable diseases, mental health etc.

As well as having clinical skills, prison healthcare workers need good people skills, so they can create positive relationships with prisoners.

There will be more detailed requirements for each role in the job advert.


We work with chaplains from a wide range of faiths and appoint chaplains based on their skills and ability to meet prisoners’ needs.

Catering, building and allied trades

There are a wide range of industrial careers available within HMPS, including agriculture, catering, building and allied trades.

The type of industrial roles we recruit for include:

  • engineers
  • electricians
  • caterers
  • fitters/plumbers
  • gardeners
  • carpenters


There are excellent opportunities to progress in management within HMPS. Your work could involve:

  • managing and leading a team of support staff
  • providing specialist support in areas such as IT, HR, or training
  • acting as a decision maker
  • helping to create new policies

For some posts you may need to have certain minimum educational or professional qualifications. These will be in the job advert.


The main duties of an administrative assistant can include:

  • keeping records
  • filing papers
  • inputting data
  • photocopying
  • switchboard duties
  • letter writing
  • dealing with telephone or written enquiries

The main duties of an administrative officer usually include:

  • providing clerical support such as processing and receiving information
  • maintaining files and records
  • data analysis
  • linking or cross checking information and assembling cases
  • procuring goods or services
  • placing orders, dealing with suppliers, and chasing deliveries