Jobs in the justice system - HMPS additional eligibility
Everyone who applies to join HM Prison Service as an officer must meet the following requirements.
The Civil Service nationality rules apply to all posts in the Prison Service. In order to be eligible for employment an applicant must be one of the following:
- A UK National
- A commonwealth citizen
- A British Protected person
- A national of the European Economic Area (EEA) (see below)
- Non-EEA nationals who are family members of an EEA national from another member state (non-UK) who has moved to the UK for an approved purpose.
The category of family members are:
- The EEA national's spouse (this does not normally include the spouse of a UK national)
- A descendant of an EEA national or the spouse who is under 21 years of age
- A dependant relative in the ascending line of the EEA national or the spouse
People with any other nationality cannot be employed in the Prison Service unless they fall within the terms of the Aliens' Employment Act 1955.
List of European Economic Area (EEA) Member States:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria**, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania**, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland*, United Kingdom.
*An international treaty means that from 1 June 2002 Swiss nationals have a similar right to live in the UK as EEA nationals.
** From 1 January 2007 Bulgaria and Romania joined the EEA. The UK is limiting access for low-skilled workers from these countries to its labour market, restricting them to existing quota based schemes which will fill vacancies in the agricultural and food processing sectors. Skilled workers will continue to be able to work in the UK if they get a work permit, qualify under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, are a student, or self employed. Consequently Prison Service vacancies are not currently open to nationals from these countries.
British and non British citizens, who are resident overseas and fulfil the requirements, are eligible to apply but should note that it may not be possible to carry out the full vetting procedures whilst they are living abroad, If this is so it may not be possible to offer them a full position.
You must be free from immigration control and have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
Prison Officers require a national security vetting level and for these posts, applicants should normally have been resident in the United Kingdom for three years prior to their application. In certain circumstances it may be possible to obtain the necessary security clearance for applicants who do not meet the residency requirements. However, this would need to be considered on an individual basis.
Membership of groups or organisations considered to be racist
You must not be a member of a group or organisation that the Prison Service considers to have racist philosophy, aims, principles or policies.
You must not be an un-discharged bankrupt.
Applicants must be aged 18 before they can be appointed. The normal retirement age is currently 60 for prison officers, but they may remain in post beyond that age subject to performance and fitness. There is no maximum age for applicants but they must meet the competencies and fitness levels required.
Medical (Pre-Fitness test/pre-employment health assessment)
Prison Officers need to be reasonably physically fit and healthy. You will be required to pass a medical examination and a fitness test
Pre Appointment Checks
A number of enquiries will be carried out into your Nationality, Health and other matters. This will include the checking of databases, such as the Electoral Register to help confirm your identity and also checks to enquire if you have a criminal record. To enable these enquiries to be completed you will need to provide your original birth certificate and/or your passport.
Criminal Records Bureau
All Prison Officers will be subject to the provisions of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and those appointed will be subject to an Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) registration check obtained through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). This is a check to ensure you are a suitable person to work with children and vulnerable adults, categories that include all prisoners.
Guaranteed Interview Scheme for People with Disabilities
The Prison Service operates a guaranteed interview scheme for people with disabilities (as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) who meet the minimum criteria for appointment. If you wish to apply for consideration under the scheme, please complete the appropriate section of the application form.