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First time prison officer recruitment scheme

Get your career off to a great start and gain a wealth of experience by joining one of our busier prisons.

About the first time prison officer recruitment scheme

Choose to apply for either a men’s prison or a women’s prison and you’ll be allocated to a prison that has the most need for prison officers at the time. 

You can select:

  • up to 3 location preferences for male prisons
  • your order of preference for women’s prisons

Wherever possible, we aim to find you a role at one of your selected choices.

What you need to know

If you choose not to accept a position at the prison you’re offered, you will not be offered another choice and your application will end.

You will not be able to transfer to another prison until you have been in post for at least 23 months.

After you’ve been in post for 23 months

You can:

  • ask to stay at your current prison and potentially qualify for a permanent relocation package
  • transfer to a prison closer to your permanent home (within 60 to 75 minutes travelling time)
  • transfer to another prison – this will depend on whether there are vacancies at that prison, and you may have to compete with other officers who also wish to transfer

If you transfer to another prison after your first 2 years, your pay will change to match the salary paid at that prison.

Benefits of the scheme

As well as the great benefits you get from being a part of HMPPS, you’ll get:

  • an additional £1,500 each year on top of your salary, for 2 years
  • an opportunity to earn more through our ‘Payment Plus’ scheme (an additional payment for any hours you volunteer to work over your contractual hours)
  • your accommodation costs (up to £659 per month in London or up to £589 elsewhere) paid for up to 23 months
  • the cost of a monthly trip home repaid
  • comprehensive paid training and career progression opportunities

Locations currently available

This scheme is only available in some of our busiest prisons where we have the most need for prison officers.

Men’s prisons

The scheme is currently available at the following prisons. Some prisons link to a page to find out more about working there. Come back to this page to apply under the First time prison officer recruitment scheme.

Our prison officer pay table shows what your salary will be when you start.

Women’s prisons

The scheme is currently available at HMP Downview, Sutton, Surrey.

Our prison officer pay table shows what your salary will be when you start.

You can apply to both men’s prisons and women’s prisons but you need to do 2 separate applications. This is because there’s an extra part to the assessment to work in a women’s prison.

If you’re not interested in working away from home, search for prison officer vacancies near you.