Overview of the job
It takes teamwork to support our prisons.
As an Operational Support Grade, you will look after the day-to-day running of a busy prison, working in a close-knit team to carry out a range of support services – everything from patrol and gate duties, to managing deliveries, supervising visitors, and monitoring phone calls and CCTV. You will work shifts and nights to keep things running. Unlike our prison officers, your contact with offenders is limited, although depending on the particular prison you may interact with offenders occasionally.
You don’t need any qualifications to do this job. Helping to keep a prison running smoothly and safely requires good judgement, common sense, responsibility and, above all, teamwork.
In addition to your base pay, you will receive:
• annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after 10 years’ service (calculated on a pro-rata basis)
• 9 days bank, public and privilege holidays
• access to a paid Level 2 apprenticeship in customer service
• access to the generous Civil Service pension scheme
• season ticket loans, retail discounts, an Employee Assistance Programme and a Cycle to Work scheme
National A – £20,995
The salary figures quoted are for a 37 hour working week inclusive of a 17% unsocial hours working allowance and any additional market supplement payment that will only be paid at certain locations.
Responsibilities, activities and duties
You will be flexibly deployed to perform operational roles across the prison as required. Responsibilities, activities and duties are likely to include:
• gate/portal duties: ensure the secure entry and exit of staff, visitors, vehicles; carry out searches of staff, prisoners, visitors, contractors and vehicles; issue and collect staff keys/radios
• control room: operate the establishment radio system and monitor CCTV ensuring all suspicious activities are reported
• visits: book visits; identify and process visitors on their arrival, escorting them if required
• censors/correspondence: monitor/log mail and report any illicit or contraband items, maintaining the preservation of evidence
• night duties: ensure cell doors are locked/secure and all prisoners are safely accounted for
• reception: assist in supporting appropriate tasks in reception; photograph prisoners; collate documentation for the property process; search/x-ray incoming prisoner property and parcels; receive items for prisoners and check all seals are intact on property storage
• prisoner supervision: supervise prisoners as required; undertake prisoner clothing/property exchange and assist officers with free flow movement
• food delivery: food trolley delivery and collection, which may involve the use of an electric tug vehicle
• driving duties: transport prisoners and their escorts to their destination in the cellular vehicle; collect mail from local sorting office
• phone calls: monitor the Personal Identification Number (PIN) system, maintaining the log of PIN Phone requests from prisoners; complete all relevant paperwork keeping an audit trail of conversations; check that legal numbers are registered solicitors
• procedures and protocol: understand and conform to national and local policies, responding appropriately to invoke emergency procedures and the actions required in relation to incidents
How to apply
• Tell us about yourself
Click apply and fill in your personal details on our application form
• Take a short online test
When you apply, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to take our online test. This is a game-based assessment that checks you have the right natural strengths and preferences to become an Operational Support Grade. This will take around 40 minutes to complete, but there is no time limit.
You don’t need to be a gamer to do well on this test. We’re just looking for your natural ability to succeed in the role.
Before you take the real test, we recommend taking a practice assessment through our Firefly Freedom mobile app. This will help prepare you for the real test.
Download the practice test onto your mobile device by clicking one of the below links. You will need the code ADJT to take the test.
Android DownloadiOS Download
If you pass the test, we’ll invite you for an interview. Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions the interview may be conducted in a digital format using Skype or similar applications, we will confirm the arrangements with you in the interview invite.
The interview is the ideal opportunity to tell us more about yourself, your work history or personal experiences, so we can get to know you better and assess how you will be suited to prison work.
For more information please visit our website: www.prisonsupportrole.co.uk
We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity
Job offers: ‘merit’ vacancy
This is a ‘merit’ job vacancy. If you are successful at the interview you will be added to a merit list based on your score.
When all applicants have completed the assessment centre, the prison will make job offers to those with the highest scores first when positions become available.
You can stay on the merit list for 12 months. After this, you’ll need to apply again.
Working Arrangements & Further Information
Some of MoJ’s, including NOMS, terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.
Standard working hours for this post are 37 hours per week excluding breaks which are unpaid.
If you are a current NPS employee, this vacancy may be available on a Loan basis for up to 2 years. Applications are invited from suitable qualified staff.
The Loan/Secondment is subject to the approval of the selected candidate’s Business Unit, which should be obtained before confirmation of appointment.
-The holiday year runs from 1 March. If you work a non standard work pattern your leave entitlement may be expressed in either hours or days as appropriate. Leave entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis and you will be advised of your actual entitlement on appointment. If you were appointed internally and your leave was previously calculated in days, this will continue to be the case.
Bank, Public and Privilege Holidays
-You are entitled to 9 days (66 hours 36 minutes) in recognition of bank, public and privilege holidays. These hours are added to your annual leave allowance. There is a requirement to work some public and bank holidays subject to your shift pattern and the operational needs of the establishment
-The Civil Service offers a choice of two pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.
Work Life Balance
-The Prison Service is keen to encourage alternative working arrangements. Work life balance provides greater opportunities for staff to work more flexibly wherever managers and establishments can accommodate requests to do so. The Prison Service offers flexible working subject to completion of a satisfactory probationary period and NVQ
Season Ticket Advance
-After two months’ service, you’ll be eligible to apply for a season ticket advance to purchase a quarterly or longer-period season ticket for travel between home and your place of work
-The Prison Service is committed to staff development and offers a range of training and development opportunities, including areas such as Equality and Diversity, Dealing with Challenging Behaviour, Suicide Prevention and Anti Bullying Programmes
-There are opportunities to access promotion programmes and the Prison Service provide a variety of training appropriate to individual posts
-All staff receive security and diversity training and an individual induction programme into their new roles
-All candidates are subject to security and identity checks prior to taking up post
-All external candidates are subject to 6 months probation. Internal candidates are subject to probation if they have not already served a probationary period within NOMS
-All staff are required to declare whether they are a member of a group or organisation which the Prison Service considers to be racist
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.
There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.