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https://prisonjobs.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/05/new-prison-officer-apprenticeship-scheme/

New prison officer apprenticeship scheme

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Career progression

A group of prison officers

Being a prison officer involves a great deal of skill, specialist training and professionalism. We want to make sure the expertise you gain during your training is formally recognised, and so from January 2020, anyone successfully applying to become a prison officer in England will work towards a level 3 Custody and Detention Professional Apprenticeship qualification as they train.

On-the-job training – learn while you earn

Learning shouldn’t just be about the classroom, so our prison officer training programme will now run as an apprenticeship and you’ll be learning on the job every day! You will be gaining specialist training alongside your regular day-to-day prison officer duties over a period of 12 to 18 months. You will be assessed at the end, when your line manager and apprenticeship coach agree you are ready, and you will gain a formal level 3 qualification at the end.

But an apprenticeship isn’t only about gaining a new qualification, it will help you to become the best prison officer you can be.

When you think about apprenticeships, you might think they are only for school leavers, but they are actually for people of all ages who want to learn while they earn in a real, work-based environment, and benefitting from the experience of the colleagues around them.

Mixing classroom learning with real life experience

You will start off with a 4-week induction at the prison where you will be working. During this time you will get to know your colleagues, learn how the prison runs and understand a bit more about life in a prison. You will also work towards a level 2 functional skills qualification if you haven’t already achieved a GCSE grade C / level 4 or above in English and Maths.

After your induction, you will have 8 weeks of training at a learning centre, which is likely to be close to your prison. Here you will learn the fundamental skills that you will need throughout your prison career.

The rest of your training will be back at your prison, with regular support from your apprenticeship coach.

Roughly half way through your first year, you will have 2 weeks out of your regular duties at the prison to do some dedicated learning, and 1 of these weeks will be back with other apprentices at your learning centre. At the end of your first year, you will be given another week back at your learning centre to reflect on your current progress and start to prepare for your final assessments.

Testing how far you’ve come and what you’ve learned

There is no need to worry too much about the assessments just yet. You will be supported all the way through by your apprenticeship coach, your line manager, and all your colleagues. Everyone wants you to succeed, so you will only be put forward for assessment once your coach and line manager agree that you are ready.

You will need to have reached level 2 functional skills in English and Maths to complete the course and do your assessments.

Future development throughout your career

When you join the prison and probation service, you’ll find there is an emphasis on continuous learning, which won’t stop once you earn your qualification. There are a lot of apprenticeship opportunities at all levels available for staff as they progress through their careers.

So if you’re ready to become a prison officer apprentice, find out more about how to apply and start your journey at our recruitment website.

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34 comments

  1. Comment by Nicole Walker posted on

    Can Type 1 diabetics apply for this apprenteship?

    • Replies to Nicole Walker>

      Comment by Helena posted on

      Hi Nicole,

      Each case is taken individually and referred to occupational health. Please make sure you declare all medical conditions when applying.

      Thanks,
      Helena

  2. Comment by Usman Hussain posted on

    Is the wage the same?

    • Replies to Usman Hussain>

      Comment by Helena posted on

      Hi Usman,

      Yes, the wage will remain the same.

      Thanks,
      Helena

  3. Comment by Uz posted on

    It says we need to complete a level 2 in functional maths and english, what if we've already achieved a C grade in english n maths will we still have to do it?

    What happens If we are unable to pass the English or maths functional skills level 2 during the training?

    • Replies to Uz>

      Comment by Helena posted on

      Hi Uz,

      If you’ve already achieved a level 2/Grade C or above in Maths and English - you won’t need to do it again.

      Thanks,
      Helena

  4. Comment by Uz posted on

    Why has this changed once again , it quite frustrating, it seems it has been made harder, those who previously did their poelt training seem to have it alot easier?

    • Replies to Uz>

      Comment by Helena Lynch posted on

      Hi Uz,

      We’re always looking for ways to improve the recruitment process, so that we can make sure we get the best out of our applicants. We’ve introduced the apprenticeship in order to provide more support when joining the service.

      Thanks,
      Helena

  5. Comment by kellie posted on

    Hi I've passed my online tests and awaiting a date for my ARC for a Youth Justice Worker position, I want to be as prepared as possible are there any video examples for the role plays or anywhere I can find roughly what I will be asked in the interview? Thank you

  6. Comment by Jack posted on

    What sort of qualities are they looking for in the interview at the ARC? I know it's focused on your strengths but is there anything specific they're looking for?
    Thanks

  7. Comment by Chris Stuttard posted on

    Is it possible to undertake the apprenticeship scheme before being accepted into the prison service?

    • Replies to Chris Stuttard>

      Comment by Helena Lynch posted on

      Hi Chris,

      Yes although, the apprenticeship offers you all the specialist training and skills you need to be a prison officer. It’s a great way to enter the service whilst also gaining a qualification.

      Thanks,
      Helena

  8. Comment by Stephen posted on

    Hi,

    Would my dyslexia stop me achieving the qualifications

    • Replies to Stephen>

      Comment by Helena Lynch posted on

      Hi Stephen,

      Absolutely not, everyone on the apprenticeship course is fully supported through the process. You will all have access to an apprenticeship coach who will be an experienced prison officer and you’ll meet them regularly to check your progress and gain any support that you need.

      Thanks,
      Helena

  9. Comment by Liberty stavrou posted on

    Hello , I’m 17 in November, I want to be a prison officer however I know you have to be 18+ , what could I do for a year until I’m 18? Are there any apprenticeships for being a prison officer or are there any courses in six form / college ?

    • Replies to Liberty stavrou>

      Comment by Helena Lynch posted on

      Hi Liberty,

      You don’t need any formal qualifications as such for the prison officer apprenticeship, you just need to have obtained the required skills in English and Maths so we would encourage you to ensure you’ve got those however not essential.

      Thanks,
      Helena

  10. Comment by Suleman posted on

    During the 12/18 months Apprenticeship is the wage the same? And do we get paid during the whole 12/18 months apprenticeship course?

    • Replies to Suleman>

      Comment by Helena Lynch posted on

      Hi Suleman,

      Yes, the apprenticeship wage will remain the same and you will be paid for the full apprenticeship course.

      Thanks,
      Helena

  11. Comment by Mike posted on

    Hi Helena
    Do you know which provider will be completing the assessing/coaching?

    • Replies to Mike>

      Comment by Helena Lynch posted on

      Hi Mike,

      We are our own provider of the apprenticeship, but all our coaches are checked and approved by Ofsted. Once you complete the apprenticeship, you’ll achieve an NVQ Level 3 in Custody and Detention.

      Thanks,
      Helena

  12. Comment by Neil posted on

    I've been working as a OSG for the last fifteenyears. This week, I've had a long chat with my CM about Prison office apprenticeships. I'd like to know is it possible to be put on the the scheme through my current employer without going through the Assessment & Recruitment Centre?

    Thanks

    • Replies to Neil>

      Comment by Helena Lynch posted on

      Hi Neil,

      Unfortunately there’s no internal route into the apprenticeship – you will need to apply online and pass the assessment centre.

      Thanks,
      Helena

  13. Comment by Beth posted on

    What is the wage on the apprenticeship?

    • Replies to Beth>

      Comment by Helena Lynch posted on

      Hi Beth,

      The wage will remain the same as an entry level prison officer.

      Thanks,
      Helena

  14. Comment by Riley posted on

    Hi, in order to apply to the apprenticeship do I need any other training or grades other than a level 4 in my maths and English?
    Thanks

    • Replies to Riley>

      Comment by Helena Lynch posted on

      Hi Riley,

      As long as you’re not enrolled in another apprenticeship or already have a qualification in the justice sector then there are no other entry restrictions specific to the apprenticeship. You will need to have achieved the required level of skills in English and Maths by the end of the apprenticeship to obtain the qualification.

      More information here:
      https://prisonandprobationjobs.gov.uk/prison-officer/apprenticeships/

      Thanks,
      Helena

  15. Comment by Harry posted on

    Is there a minimum age to apply

  16. Comment by Jay posted on

    Hi, does the vetting for a Category A prison take longer? I know I have to have a CTC, but I'm wondering if it'll add time onto my vetting.

  17. Comment by Zara posted on

    Hello. May I have your personal email as i am trying to apply but as soon as I click on the link it is a blank page. This is something I would really like to do in my gap year

    • Replies to Zara>

      Comment by Helena Lynch posted on

      Hi Zara,

      Please could you get in touch with the SSCL Recruitment Team on 0845 241 5358 as they’ll be able to help you in your query.

      Thanks,
      Helena