Prison Officer training - Recruitment assessment day

We want you to be as informed and relaxed about your Recruitment Assessment Day as possible. You may wear whatever you feel comfortable in, provided it is clean, not ripped or torn and nothing is printed on it that could be seen as offensive in any way.

Section 1: Prison Officer Selection Test (POST)

Do I need to be good at English and Maths?

You do not need formal qualifications in English or Maths. However, Prison Officers must be able to confidently and competently read, write and calculate basic arithmetical problems. The POST assesses these abilities.

POST Numeracy Test

You will be required to complete a shorter paper based version of the on-line numeracy test.

POST Language Test

The second element of your Prison Officer Selection Test is a paper based language test that includes some observational skill questions testing the following:

  • Reading comprehension and Completing a Standard Form
  • Checking information and the Application of Rules
  • Complete your written observations of information provided

View some sample POST test questions.

Section 2: Role Play Simulations

You will be assessed on a number of short role-play simulations which will be recorded. The role-play simulations will be based on situations you could face as a Prison Officer; however you do not require prior knowledge of the Prison Officer role.

You will be assessed on 6 core behavioural skills, these are:

  • Non-verbal communication – this means maintaining eye contact, nodding to show understanding and using open hand gestures in the simulations
  • Showing Understanding – this means demonstrating that you understand the situation and sympathise where appropriate whilst listening to the concerns and problems raised by role players
  • Suspending Judgement – this means not making any inappropriate interruptions and suspending your judgements on what you are hearing in the simulation before deciding on the right course of action that should be taken or giving advice
  • Assertion – this means displaying the right level of behaviour in the situation. You will not be expected to be either too aggressive or give way to demands or pressure.
  • Respect for Diversity – this means challenging comments and stereo types made in the scenarios in an appropriate way. These may be in the form of racist, sexist, ageist or homophobic comment or other forms of intolerant language. The Prison Service does not tolerate such behaviour or language
  • Exploring & Clarifying – this basically means asking questions of the role player to gain information which will help understand the problems and assist in solving them and then clarifying that you have understood what the problems are

Section 3: Medical Screening

Medical – Pre-fitness test/ pre-employment health assessment

Prison Officers need to be reasonably physically fit and healthy, they must also be able to meet a minimum eyesight standard in both eyes. The purpose of the health assessment on the Recruitment Assessment Day, is to ensure there are no immediate medical reasons that would make it unsafe for you to proceed to the Fitness Test, also that your vision meets the minimum standards and your blood pressure is within a safe range.

During the day your completed health questionnaire will be reviewed by a nurse, your height, weight, blood pressure and eyesight will be tested, your Body Mass Index (BMI) will also be calculated. If you are successful with your RAD assessment and fitness test, an occupational health advisor will review your health questionnaire and screening results to advise the Prison service management on your fitness for employment.  More information on health requirements can be found on the medical details page.

What should you wear?

You should bring suitable clothing with you for the fitness test, i.e. tshirt, shorts/tracksuit, socks and training shoes. Not having suitable clothing to wear during the fitness test will prevent you from partaking in the test.

Section 4: The Fitness Test

Eligible candidates (subject to medical outcome) will take their fitness test during the assessment day, the test comprises of five parts:

  • Grip strength test
  • Multi-stage fitness test
  • Dynamic strength test
  • Speed agility run test
  • Shield Test

See how you can prepare yourself to pass the job related fitness test with ease by downloading the fitness test preparation information.

What should you wear?

You should bring suitable clothing with you for the fitness test, i.e. tshirt, shorts/tracksuit, socks and training shoes. Not having suitable clothing to wear during the fitness test will prevent you from partaking in the test.

Results

Although you will be informed of your fitness test result on the day, there will be some aspects of the day that will need to be moderated. We will however aim to inform you of the result as soon as possible after your assessment day.

Stage 5: Appointment Stage

HM Prison Service

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