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

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

Staff Benefits

On top of your salary, you’ll get a generous annual leave entitlement and have access to a range of Civil Service benefits, including: 

  • discounted gym memberships (if you work in a prison, you’ll have access to a free on-site gym) 
  • season ticket loans, a cycle-to-work scheme and bike loans to help manage travel costs to your workplace 
  • reward and recognition vouchers 
  • retail discounts
  • technology and smartphone discounts
  • great training
  • opportunities for career development
  • 25 days’ annual leave plus bank holidays (pro rata where applicable)
  • civil service pension
  • work-life balance options

Prison support

We employ operational support grades (OSGs) 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

Operational support training

You’ll attend a 2 week training course at the Prison Service College (PSC) at Newbold Revel, Rugby, or one of the local training centres on or soon after joining. This will give you all the necessary knowledge, skills and values needed to become a confident operational support grade.

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

Prison officer

Working in a prison is a truly unique experience. No two shifts are the same. You’ve got to be resilient, confident and a great communicator.

Our prison officers perform a vital role in society, in an environment like no other. We are peacekeepers, teachers, counsellors. 

To begin with, depending on your location and contracted hours, you could earn between £32,000 - £38,000 when you start, as well as a full range of benefits.

Prison officer foundation training

As a prison officer you’ll be trained for every situation. Whatever the challenge, you’ll have the support you need from your team.

Before you start your role, you’ll complete the prison officer foundation training. During the training, you’ll learn and practice all the skills and behaviours that are vital for the role.

Additional eligibility requirements

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

  • be the minimum age of 18 at the point you commence employment
  • pass security and identity checks prior to taking up the post
  • pass a health screening and a fitness test
  • have been a UK resident for at least 3 years (High security estate only)
  • 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 Overview of the prison officer role – Prison and Probation Jobs

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).

For more information and to apply, visit

Instructional officers

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

To find out more about this role and to apply, visit the Overview of prison education, skills and work roles – Prison and Probation Jobs.


Working as a prison caterer is a great opportunity to put your catering skills and qualifications into practice, while making an impact far beyond the kitchen.

Skills required: experience of working in an industrial-sized kitchen, resourceful and supportive.

Must have a minimum level-2 certificate in food hygiene and food production in hospitality.


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


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 and electronic documents
  • inputting data
  • photocopying
  • switchboard duties
  • letter writing
  • dealing with telephone or written enquiries
  • booking prison visits

The main duties of a Business Administrator 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