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As a prison officer, you'll be trained for every situation.

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All new prison officers will begin their career by completing a Custody and Detention Professional Apprenticeship which should take 12 - 18 months to complete.

Week 1 to 10

Following a local induction at your 'home' prison you will go on a foundation training programme at a designated learning centre. This will usually be close to your 'home' prison location.

Week 11 to 25

You will be back at your 'home' location where you will carry on with your training with regular support from apprenticeship coaches.

You will also have 2 checkpoints to review your progress:

Checkpoint 1 (weeks 25 to 28)

This will include 1 week of portfolio work outside of your regular working area and 1 week at a Learning and Development Centre.

You will spend 1 week at a designated learning centre. This week is an opportunity to reflect on your current progress and prepare for the Gateway at the end of your apprenticeship.

You will receive full pay and expenses.

What to expect during training

The apprenticeship prepares you for life as a prison officer. You will learn and practise all the key skills and behaviours that are vital to the role including:

  • how to look after people in custody
  • search and security procedures
  • de-escalation techniques

You will receive an NVQ Level 3 Diploma in custodial care and, for those starting in adult prisons, a level 3 professional apprenticeship qualification in Custody and Detention when you complete the course.

Opportunity and progression

Training continues throughout your probation. There may be a further 2-week residential course if you work in a high security prison.

Training is available throughout your career. You could choose to specialise in working with vulnerable prisoners, become a dog handler or train as a physical education instructor.

Read more about the professional apprenticeship

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