Prison Officer - HMYOI Cookham Wood

United Kingdom
08 Mar 2018
17 Mar 2018
Engineering, Defence
Contract Type
Full Time

Prison Officer - HMYOI Cookham Wood

Her Majesty??????s Young Offender Institution

HMYOI Cookham Wood, Sir Evelyn Road, Rochester, Kent, ME1 3LU

Salary: GBP28,950 (based on 39 hours and including any additional allowance), with potential to earn more depending on contract hours and overtime. Minimum contract hours for prison officers are 37 hours. The standard working week for a prison officer is based on a 39 hours shift pattern. Working 39 hours is dependent on completing training and opting in to a 39 hour week for the higher salary.

This is no ordinary job. This is an opportunity to change lives - to help vulnerable young people aged 18 to 21 who usually have complex needs, to develop their potential. At HMYOI Cookham Wood you will look after young people who have been remanded or sentenced to periods of detention; your job will be to make sure their experience gives them a real chance to make a good life for themselves.

Your role is about mentoring, planning, organising and overseeing a young person??????s stay at HMYOI Cookham Wood. You will have an opportunity to frame some of the most vital years of their lives; you will allow them to have a more fulfilling childhood, and play a crucial part in helping them to prepare for adulthood.

This role is always challenging, and you will need to maintain safety and security while providing support and supervision as well as balancing the competing requirements of control and care, sanction and treatment, rehabilitation and education.

Forging strong relationships with each young person, you will create individual plans with personal goals. You will facilitate their personal, social and emotional development, and help them engage in constructive activities and prepare for education, work or training on release.

Training and benefits

By taking on such responsibility for our young people and the public, you can expect a lot in return. That includes the opportunity for professional development, to study for a degree in youth justice or complete specialist training, giving you the skills to make real progress in your career. You will also receive a number of other benefits, including

  • Level 3 diploma qualification (as part of your 10 week training)

  • 25 days annual leave plus bank holidays (pro rata where applicable)

  • civil service pension

  • work-life balance options

  • childcare voucher scheme

  • annual season ticket loan

  • access to a range of other benefits through the Prison Service Sports Association

  • Retail discounts

Existing Prison Officers are not eligible to apply for this campaign

Do you have what it takes?

First and foremost, you will care about making a real difference for young, often vulnerable people through support and rehabilitation. You will recognise that puberty can lead to emotional volatility - and this can be enhanced by complex needs. You are willing to develop an understanding of those needs, which could be rooted in mental health, violence, substance misuse, gang culture, sexual health or extremism. We will help you to become a skilled communicator, so that you can develop positive relationships with young people and work with them to change their behaviour.

Becoming a prison officer for a Young Offender Institute

Essential requirements

You do not need any formal qualifications to become an officer in a young offender institution, but you will be tested against a variety of values and competencies.

All candidates are required to pass an online application that includes a maths test and a situational judgement test that assesses how you would react in situations you may face as an officer.

If you pass the online tests you will be invited to attend a Recruitment Assessment Day (RAD).

The RAD has three elements that you will need to pass to progress with your application:

  • Role play - you will be assessed on five 10-minute role play simulations. The role-play simulations will be based on situations you could face as an Officer at a YOI, but you do not require prior knowledge of the Prison Officer role to be successful.

  • Written test ?????? you will be given some written scenarios to read and answer questions about ?????? your maths and written English will be assessed as part of this; again, you do not require prior knowledge of the Prison Officer role to be successful.

  • Fitness test and health screening ?????? You will have an eye test and basic health screening, which includes a blood pressure check to ensure you are well enough to complete the fitness test on the day. Your fitness test will then test your strength and agility in order to assess your ability to complete the physical demands of the job.

This is a MERIT CAMPAIGN for prison officers. Candidates who are successful in passing the RAD will be allocated to a vacancy in order of merit based on their performance at the RAD. As a result no candid ate will be allocated to a vacancy until all candidates have completed the RAD or by the closing date of assessment, whichever is earlier. The merit list of successful candidates will remain open for 12 months from the date of the RAD closing, after which you will no longer be considered for a vacancy. If we are unable to offer you a position at the establishment you have applied for by the end of this 12 month period, we may be able to offer you one at another establishment without a merit list.


On appointment, you will be booked into a ten-week Prison Officer Entry Level Training (POELT) programme, which is usually provided residentially. As part of this course you will gain a Level 3 Diploma in the management and care of individuals in the custodial environment, which will give you a number of transferable skills, including communication, knowledge and understanding of working in custodial care, current legislative and organisational requirements and working practices.

Additionally, you will have a one week of familiarisation session both before and after training in your establishment.

It is a requirement to pass the POELT course and it is designed to equip you to work as a Prison Officer, but your initial training will continue throughout your first year of service and you will be required to complete all parts of it in order to complete your 12-month probationary period.

Officers working with young people may also complete specific training and development leading to a level 4 qualification