Prison instructor Instructional officer
Prison instructors help prisoners to gain skills to help them find employment after their release.
1. Entry requirements
- to have, or be willing to work towards, a recognised teaching qualification
- experience and at least a level 3 vocational qualification in your subject area or trade
You’ll need to meet the Prison Service entry requirements, which include nationality and security checks.
You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Skills for Justice has more information about this career. FE Advice has more information about relevant teaching qualifications.
2. Skills required
- the ability to build good relationships and gain trust
- the ability to manage groups and deal with challenging behaviour
- good judgement to assess potentially difficult situations
- motivation skills to help people make the most of their training opportunities
3. What you'll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- finding out the skills and training needs of each prisoner
- planning training sessions
- preparing teaching materials
- providing group or one-to-one instruction
- updating prisoners' individualised learner records (ILRs)
- supporting prisoners working towards qualifications
- making sure prisoners are supervised at all times
- keeping the working area safe
- making sure tools and materials are counted to avoid security risks
- searching prisoners - known as a ‘rub down’ or ‘pat down’
Highly Experienced: £31,000 (qualified teacher)
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou’ll usually work 37 hours over a 5-day week. week. You’ll usually need to arrive by 8am to go through the prison’s security procedures for an 8.30am start.
You could work indoors in small factories, workshops or classrooms, or outdoors if you’re teaching farming or horticultural skills.
You may work for a private organisation which is contracted to the prison service under the Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS).
6. Career path and progressionWith experience you could progress to senior or principal officer, or move into other areas of training or instructing.
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Last updated: 13 September 2017