Prison Officer Grades of Promotion and Career Progression

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Prison Officer Grades of Promotion and Career Progression

Choosing a career as a prison officer is a wise decision, especially when you are following the leading of your heart. It is also an opportunity to help oversee and rehabilitate the lives of prison inmates. Indeed, the career is worthwhile, and rewarding. Also, the pay conditions are fair enough to compensate an officer for all their efforts. So, in any way you would look at it, you can find fulfilment working as a prison officer.

Just like other fields, the prison service job comes with grades of promotion and career progression. If you prove exceptional and diligent in executing your tasks and duties as an  officer, you can climb the higher cadres faster than you can imagine.

Grades of Promotion and Career Progression

Throughout the prison service in England and Wales, several opportunities are available for promotion and career progression. The obvious promotion pathway points in the direction of posts or grades that require higher responsibilities and employee management. There are other promotion opportunities in the prison service, which include working within specialist projects – e.g. rehabilitative activities geared towards a particular group of inmates. Also, working at training or service headquarters opens opportunities for promotion.

Prison officers that have proven exceptional with their skills and duty performance should put in an application for promotion. Promotion and career progression for prison officers involves participation in different selection procedures. These series of selection procedures have been put in place to evaluate an officers’ skills, as well as their readiness to operate effectively at a higher level.

In England and Wales, there are basically four levels of prison officers grades of promotion:

1.  Senior Officer

2.  Principal Officer

3.  Manager

4.  Senior Manager

Prison officers can also look out for promotion opportunities such as secondment to other establishments. Also, appointments may arise at Her Majesty Prison Service’s Headquarters, including area offices in the whole of England and Wales.

The pattern is a little different in Scotland; prison officers promotion in Scotland exists at first-line managerial position, as well as senior manager levels. Officers can start applying for promotion after their one year probationary period. Subsequently, applicants will be assessed purely on merit and ability.

In England and Wales, career progression and development runs on a more patterned platform when it comes to the intensive NOMS programme involving in-service staff and graduates. New intakes would go through the first service year as prison officers, then another year (or more) as senior officers. Then, they can start applying for accreditation as a junior governor (operational manager).

There are yet more promotional opportunities for specialist prison officers. However, this may require additional qualifications in the relevant areas such as nursing. Generally, specialist prison officers are first employed as prison officers and they go through the same training as other fresh intakes.

For managerial posts, the requirements may vary depending on the management qualifications or experience in possession by the officers involved.

Obviously, a lot of promotion and career progression opportunities are open to prison officers.