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Prison Custody Officer (PCO)

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

Great Prison Custody Officers (PCOs) are key to the smooth running of our prisons.  They have an important role to play in supporting prisoners with their rehabilitation and creating a positive and safe environment.

What makes a great PCO?

Given the nature of the role, we are predominantly looking for female applicants as part of this recruitment drive, however we will consider applications from male candidates, who will be considered as part of a subsequent campaign. Background and experience are not important. It’s the kind of person you are that matters. We can teach you the rest.

Are you responsible, reliable and good at building trust with others?

Are you the sort of person who:

  • Is reliable, true to your word and can always be depended on to get things done?
  • Always treats others fairly and with respect?  Are you able to see past bad behaviour and start each day afresh?
  • Is quick to notice things, such as changes in people’s moods or when something isn’t quite right?
  • Is consistent – people know where they stand with you.  Do you stick to the important rules (or if not you have very good reasons not to)?
  • Can easily connect and talk to all sorts of people from different backgrounds on their level?
  • Is straightforward and ‘tell it as it is’?
  • Helps others out including helping people find ways to help themselves?
  • Keeps calm under pressure

Exciting new approach to our comprehensive programme

Exciting opportunity for all newly recruited Prison Custody Officers.  You will be trained in line with the Custody and Detention Officer level 3 apprenticeship standard. This programme will provide you with the technical knowledge, skills, behaviours and on the job support to be an effective Prison Custody Officer.

  • Not yet qualified in English & Maths? Our new approach will give you the support to achieve this for the duration of the programme.
  • You will complete an evidence portfolio that will show you have met the requirements of the standard.
  • Your first 9 weeks will be a mixture of on and off the job training followed by the remainder of the programme putting your newly found skills, knowledge and behaviours into practice within the establishment
  • You will receive fantastic support by monthly one to one reviews with your nominated line managers to support, monitor and review your progress.

Role Responsibility

What’s the job like?

HMP/YOI Bronzefield is a female prison and as such there are specific duties that can only be conducted by a female officer, such as the searching, escorting and personal care of residents.  Your role will involve everything from managing the regular prison routines, (locking & unlocking, supervising meals and recreation time to escorting people to prison work and education) to one to one support work with your allocated residents.   One to one work will involve helping residents to settle into a new environment and feel safe and calm, working with them to identify and resolve issues and concerns, as well as supporting them through their sentence to engage in development and rehabilitation activity. 

You’ll need to deal with the more challenging aspects of prison life such as abusive and violent behaviour.  A willingness to understand trauma and its impact on behaviour is also important.  You’ll be working with all sorts of residents including those on long sentences, people convicted of serious crime and vulnerable individuals.  You will be liaising with all departments to help support our culture of decency and rehabilitation.

The Ideal Candidate

No previous experience required

Our great PCOs come to us with all kinds of work and life experience. Some have worked in retail, healthcare, call centres and as taxi drivers. Others are ex-military, police and security services personnel. The work you’ve done before doesn't matter. What matters is that you’re ‘made of the right stuff’ – the rest you will learn during our intensive 9-week training course and then in the job with the support of experienced colleagues.

Why be a PCO?

People enjoy it for many reasons.  Some enjoy the variety and challenge of working with very different people and dealing with all sorts of issues. Others get a buzz from seeing the residents improve and progress (however small the changes).

Many PCOs appreciate the security and stability of the regular work routines. Others appreciate shift patterns, which allow them flexibility to carry out their responsibilities outside of work.

Package Description

Excellent benefits including personal and professional development opportunities, season ticket loans, free meals, free parking, subsidised gym membership, group discount schemes, pension and 28 days holiday.

Please note: initial communication will be via email, please monitor your junk and spam folders to ensure you are aware of next stage requirements.

Recruitment process:                      

  • Full completion of application form on Sodexo careers website by 1st October 2019.
  • Face to face interview: 14th – 25th October 2019
  • Start Date of course: 2nd December 2019 (You will be required to complete a mandatory 9 week training course.  No annual leave can be taken during this period however exceptions will be made over the Christmas period. This will be discussed further at interview stage.)

Please note: initial communication will be via email, please monitor your junk and spam folders to ensure you are aware of next stage requirements.

About the Company

In the UK and Ireland, Sodexo employs some 35,000 employees to deliver integrated facilities management services to clients at over 2,000 locations in the corporate, healthcare, education, leisure, defence and justice sectors. With an annual turnover of over £1bn, we provide everything from catering, cleaning and reception to security, laboratory and grounds maintenance services, enabling our clients to focus on their core business.

Sodexo and our clients are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults within a regulated activity. Certain roles will require applicants to undergo screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and/ or Disclosure Scotland.

Please note all roles within Sodexo Justice are subject to security and recruitment checks which may include a Social Media Check. You will also be asked to provide 3 years’ worth of references and request employment history details from the HMRC.


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