Prison Officer Eligibility Criteria 2015

How to become a prison officer

As a prison officer, you would be tasked with the responsibility of supervising both young and adult inmates in prisons, remand centres and young offenders institutions. This is a very difficult job, which requires the ability to remain calm in high pressure situations and make quick decisions. You’ll have to deal with angry and abusive prisoners, who will test your patience to the limit. If you are someone who feels well equipped to handle all of this, and want to aid the justice system, then this could be the perfect job for you. In order to become a prison officer, you must first meet a number of set requirements:

  • Age. You must be over the age of 18.
  • Nationality. It is essential that you are one of the following: A UK National, a commonwealth citizen, a British protected citizen, a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or a Non-EEA national with family members who are EEA National’s from another member state, who has moved to the UK with an approved purpose.
  • Immigration Status. You must have indefinite leave to remain in the UK and be free from any immigration control restrictions.
  • Employment. In order to apply, you must not be currently employed by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). If you are someone who has previously worked for NOMS, you can only reapply if you: were originally recruited by fair means, successfully completed probation in your previous appointment and were not dismissed for attendance or poor performance.
  • Disability. Prison Officers are required to be fully mobile and be prepared to serve at any establishment, as well as work night shifts. Applicants with disabilities who still meet the minimum criteria for the role, can apply under the Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS).
  • Political. No person employed as a Prison Officer can be a member of: The National Front, The British National Party, Combat 18, or any other group or organisation promoting racism.
  • Medical. You will need to meet a minimum standard of eyesight in both eyes, as well as having a blood pressure that measures at no higher than 170/80, and a good level of fitness.
  • Financial. Applicants who are subject to undischarged bankruptcy will not be considered.
  • Criminal History. Any of the following may damage your chances, and will need to be clarified in detail on your application form prior to submission:

-Past or current warnings, cautions and reprimands.

-Past or current criminal convictions.

-Current probationary status

-Any previous traffic offences.

-Any previous penalty notices, conditional or absolute discharges.

-Any previous or ongoing criminal investigations.

How to pass the prison officer tests

Think you’ve got what it takes to become a prison officer?

Make sure you check out our how to become a prison officer careers guide and online resources which are specifically designed to help you pass the selection process with ease!

Being a Female Prison Officer

40 thoughts on “Prison Officer Eligibility Criteria 2015

  1. jade baello says:

    Nice ideas – I was enlightened by the info . Does someone know where my assistant would be able to get a fillable a form copy to fill in ?

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Tracy,

      There is no upper limit as such, but unfortunately your age would likely count against you in this case. It’s worth applying though, as you might still be successful!

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

  2. Mike says:

    I was medically discharged for PTSD from the Army, it does not affect my ability to work or to work under stressful conditions.

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Mike,

      You may be questioned on this during the selection process, but as long as you can provide the prison service with suitable answers, it should be fine =].

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi there,

      As part of the Prison Officer selection process, you will need to pass a health screening and a fitness test. It’s likely that the prison service will assess the seriousness of your condition against the requirements for the role – as to whether this proves an issue is ultimately down to them, but it is unlikely to rule you out completely.

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

    • David chapman says:

      I’m 63 I have applied and passed the on line tests and booked my arc will I be accepted or will my age stop me progressing

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Darren,

      As long as you can pass the prison officer selection tests, and prove yourself capable of performing in the role, then this shouldn’t be an issue. During your Prison Officer Entry Level Training, you receive a full prison officer wage.

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi there,

      It would depend on if you can pass the physical tests – but unfortunately yes it is likely that your age could count against you during the application. The normal retirement age for Prison Officers is 60.

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

  3. Alan Yates says:

    I’m 75, very fit.and looking for a new career.
    Will I be considered too old or would it be negated by passing a fitness test.

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi there,

      Unfortunately yes it is likely that your age would count against you here – we think the best thing to do would be to contact the prison service directly to see what they say.

      Sincerely,

      The How2Become Team

      • Ann says:

        Hello, would type 1 diabetes be a hinderance to joining the service, I know in many cases the old rules no longer apply, but can still be seen as reason to deny employment.
        Many thanks

        • Gemma Butler says:

          Hi Ann, in the past it has been a disqualifying condition due to needing medication which during an emergency you may not be able to get immediate access to, or needing to take needles into the prison.
          However, this could be considered on a case-by-case basis so it would be best to confirm this with the service you are applying to.

    • Gemma Butler says:

      Hi Becky,

      This may depend on the conviction but applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis so should not stop you from applying.

      Kind regards,
      The How2Become Team

  4. Megan says:

    Unfortunately when I was younger I made silly choices and had a caution at aged 16, nothing went further as I followed their advice and attended young offender meetings , since then I have not committed another offence , Would I still be able to apply?

    • Gemma Butler says:

      Hi Megan, yes you can still apply. You may have to declare the caution you received and it will be considered but it will not automatically stop your application.

  5. Laurence winters says:

    I got criminal conviction for breach of the peace which is now spent ( 2011) would this prevent me becoming a prison warden

    • Gemma Butler says:

      Hi Laurence, I would recommend contacting the Prison Service you want to apply to for clarification on this

  6. George says:

    Hi
    I had a DUI and it is time spent now. Iam 41yrs old serving in the Army as a SNCO Can i apply for a prison officer.
    George

    • Gemma Butler says:

      Hi George, thanks for your comment! This should not be a barrier to your application – you must disclose this of course but all applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and it is not an automatic refusal.

  7. John says:

    Can you apply for a youth offenders prison if you have spent convictions for Threatening behaviour – Fear or provocation of violence with illegal weapons.

    • Gemma Butler says:

      Hi John, that’s a great question – you will certainly have to disclose your conviction/s but this should not put you off applying.

      In this situation, your case will be reviewed on an individual basis so there is no ‘blanket ban’ that prevents you from being able to apply.

  8. Jade says:

    My boyfriend is an inmate (UK) I know I wouldn’t be able to work at the prison he is currently in but would him being an inmate stop me from getting a role as a prison officer or would they accept me as long as I clarify it??

    • Gemma Butler says:

      Hi Jade, this should not automatically prevent you from applying but you will definitely be required to disclose it. It may be worth contacting the prison you wish to apply to for clarification before applying.

  9. Emma says:

    I’m 52, fit and have a degree in psychology along with a masters In the same subject. Would there be any jobs available for me in the prison service. I have bi polar 2 but that doesn’t effect my everyday life. I haven’t worked for a long time, but have done voluntary work In mental health-challenging behaviour for 5 years. Thank you

    • Gemma Butler says:

      Hi Emma, thank you for your comment 🙂

      There are a multitude of roles available within the prison service and with your qualifications and experience you should be able to find something suitable. Your bipolar diagnoses should not be a barrier to entry but you will be required to disclose this during your application so appropriate medical information can be obtained (medications etc).

  10. Sheila Barker says:

    I am 63 next year and am also considering a change of career from Hospital Nursing Assistant to Prison Officer. I am interested to know if you were successful to go all the way and are now working in a prison. Was age a barrier?

    • Julia Adamska says:

      Hello Sheila! Thank you for your comment. There is no maximum age requirement to become a Prison officer however, you will have to be 18 years or older. If you feel like you will be able to handle your daily responsibilities then I would recommend you to try😊

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