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How To Become a Prison Officer in the United Kingdom


The information presented in this article is primarily focused for individuals interested in become prison officers in the U.K. and surrounding areas and includes the requirements for prison officer positions with the HM Prison Service, or Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

Click here for details on how to become a correctional officer within the United States and then select the state that you are interested in for more information.

The HM Prison Service manages and operates prisons and other types of facilities throughout the United Kingdom. Click here to view a prison and probation map of all available locations.

Minimum Requirements

  • You must be 18 yrs. old or older
  • Must be physically fit, in good health, and be able to pass a fitness test and medical examination
  • You must be a citizen of the UK or the Commonwealth, European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), British Protected, or have the right to stay and work in the UK for an indefinite period as a foreign national
  • Must be able to pass a background and security check
  • Must not be an un-discharged bankrupt

For positions that require a national security clearance level investigation, prospective applicants should be or have been a resident in the United Kingdom for the past 3 years before you apply. If you do not fully meet this requirement a determination would be made on a case-by-case basis.

Salary and Benefits

Prison Officers working with the HM Prison Service can expect to earn a national starting average of £18,720 for a 37-hour workweek.

Benefits for prison officers include annual leave, 10.5 days for holidays, choice of two pension schemes, season ticket advance, childcare vouchers, and opportunities for training are available.

Prison Officer Jobs

You can click here to check for Prison Officer Jobs posted on the Justice.gov.uk official website, but if there aren’t any current posting there, check out the job box below for the must current and up to date prison officer job postings.

Application Process

If you meet the minimum requirements for a current vacancy for a prison officer position, complete the application. Once received you will be forwarded a link to take the online version of the Prison Officer Selection Test (POST), which assesses your basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics, and must be completed within 7 days.

Successful completion of this step and you will receive an invite to attend the Recruitment Assessment Day (RAD), which you’ll take the fitness test and other assessments.

By successfully completing all of the required assessments for prison officer recruitment, pre-appointment medical and background checks, which could take up to 8 weeks to receive the completed response. You will then be offered an available prison officer appointment or placed on a reserve list for future vacancies.

For more information visit http://www.justice.gov.uk/about/hmps.

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One Response to How To Become a Prison Officer in the United Kingdom

  1. Carrie Washington April 10, 2016 at 9:31 am #

    I’m a correctional officer in Texas. I would like to move to England, became a citizen in England and work the same field I’m in now.