Correctional careers with Serco

The role of correctional staff is multi-faceted, providing safe and secure custody to those entrusted into our care, protecting the community and reducing reoffending.

Corrections is fundamentally a people profession, transforming lives and the wider community, by not only the supervision of individuals, but also through interpersonal contact, positive relationships, role modelling, mentorship and support of the behavioural change process toward a crime-free life. 

Whilst no two days are ever the same, Correctional Case Officers have a number of core responsibilities, including professionalism, safety and security, inmate interaction, risk management, cultural responsiveness, and teamwork. 

Sharing the core responsibilities of the Correctional Case Officer, the Correctional Supervisor has additional accountability, including management and support of Correctional Case Officers, care and wellbeing, management of accommodation and core day, support of operational regime, contractual and legislative governance, and resource management.

Correctional staff play an integral role in the care, supervision, rehabilitation and security of the Centre. 

Comprehensive training and preparation will empower Correctional staff to perform Correctional functions to a high level and manage risk through thorough risk assessment processes and systems.

Specialist functions 

Correctional staff also have the opportunity, through career progression, to take on ‘specialised’ functions within different security and operations teams, including:

  • Visits Officers
  • Reception Store
  • Intelligence Unit
  • Gatehouse Operations
  • Dog Unit Operations
  • Emergency Response Team (ERT)  
  • Master Control Operator

The role of the Emergency Response Team

The Centre will maintain a highly trained Emergency Response Team (ERT) to assist with safety and security in a broad range of tactical situations. ERT Officers are Correctional Case Officers who have successfully passed the ERT Training Course and are then certified to conduct specialist duties and responses in addition to their Correctional Case Officer role. 

What makes a good ERT Officer? 

To be a good ERT Officer, you'll need excellent communication, interpersonal and people management skills. You'll be security focused, calm under pressure and physically fit enough to operate for extended periods using specialist ERT equipment.

You'll need to pass some initial testing to ensure you meet the required fitness standards for an ERT Officer before you can attend the ERT Training Course. There will be an opportunity when submitting your online application to express your interest.

Receive Specialist Training

If you meet the required fitness standards, you will be provided with comprehensive training to equip you for safe and secure resolution of incidents. The training aligns with major law enforcement stakeholders, extending your Correctional Case Officer training and enhancing your communication and tactical skills. 

The Emergency Response Team are provided ongoing training and are supported by the Clarence Correctional Centre Security & Operations Manager.

Available Correctional roles

  • Correctional Supervisors (CS)
  • Correctional Supervisors – Dog Unit (CSDU)
  • Correctional Case Officers (CCO)
  • Correctional Case Officers – Dog Unit (CCODU)

Available Security and Intelligence roles

  • Security and Intelligence Manager
  • Intelligence Supervisors
  • Intelligence Officers
  • Safety & Equipment Coordinator (Armory)

It’s not easy being trusted with the safety and security of someone in custody

Every inmate reacts differently and you will see a full range of emotions from; apathy, anger, remorse or trauma. For the person in custody it can be one of the most stressful situations they will ever encounter, but for you it’s an everyday part of your job.

Make no mistake, this is a role where your contribution counts - helping to give offenders structure within their lives, being a role model to encourage positive choices and ensuring that the inmates are supported during their rehabilitation journey. When you are on duty you will act as mentor and will assure the safety, security and decency of inmates and perform a pivotal role within the correctional centre and the community it serves.

Can you do it?

Yes you can if you have the resilience, integrity and professionalism to handle an ever-changing day, irrespective of the challenging situation you may face. Your natural patience, understanding and commitment to helping people will stand you in good stead and give you the authority needed for this role.

A correctional environment demands the best, and our people come to us from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. What they will have in common is an ability to relate to people, exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, a commitment to supporting their colleagues, maintaining the highest level of integrity and the knowledge that what they do will have a positive impact on their communities.

Are you eligible to be a Correctional Case Officer?

First, you'll need to meet our essential criteria, which includes having the right to work in Australia. Beyond that, we'll check things like your general health and physical fitness. We'll also expect you to pass a basic language, literacy and numeracy test alongside the ability to demonstrate the personal qualities we're looking for, when you come in for an assessment day.

These tests aren't just to make the selection process easier, they're designed to make sure you have the right skills and attitude to get the most from the role.

Career progression

Within Serco there is career progression. If you wish to continue with your correctional career, you can progress and/or specialise in Corrections. There are also other departments within the centre that you can move in to such as; facilities management, industries, education, security and intelligence. The Correctional Case Officer role is the stepping stone to a career pathway and may specialise in areas such as Industries, Dog Unit, Emergency Response Team, Rehabilitation and Reintegration and leadership roles.

Recruitment process

If you would like to pursue a correctional career with Serco, you will go through the following recruitment journey, which will take approximately 12 weeks. 

1. Online Application     

All applicants will be required to apply online, where you will need to complete an applicant profile and upload your resume. You will receive an automated email confirming receipt of your application.

You can apply for roles directly via this website. When roles are advertised, links will be added to this website that will direct you to the online application.

2. Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) Online Testing          

You will then be invited to complete an online LLN assessment, which covers aspects of reading, writing, oral communication, learning and numeracy to confirm your ability to undertake the role you have applied for. You can practice a similar test using this sample link. This is a sample test only and not the full test that will form part of the recruitment process. This sample test provides feedback on whether you may require more development. 

3. Screening & Video Interview

If successful in the LLN assessment, you will then be invited to complete a Pre-Recorded Video Interview, where you will be required to record yourself answering specific behavioural based questions.  

4. Assessment Centre

If successful in the Video Interview, you will be invited to attend a one-day Assessment Centre, which involves a number of aspects, including:

  • Welcome & Introduction – Working as a Correctional Case Officer 
  • Behaviour Based Interview
  • Team Work Exercise
  • Report Writing Exercise and
  • Agility Test

5. Online Testing          

If successful in the Assessment Centre, you will be invited to complete Online Psychometric and Emotional Intelligence testing to access your ability to empathise with others and assess others' emotions.

6. Probity & Medical Assessment           

You will then be asked to undergo probity checks and a medical assessment, including:  

  • Two (2) work reference checks
  • Completing and submitting compliance paperwork 
  • A National Criminal History Check
  • Various Security checks and clearances
  • Full pre-employment medical and physical functional assessment, including drug and alcohol testing.

7. Verbal Offer 

If you are a preferred applicant, you will be verbally offered a position subject to obtaining State Approval.

8. State Approval          

Once you accept your verbal offer, Serco will coordinate your employee authorisation and clearance with Corrective Services NSW.

9. Formal Officer         

If your application is approved, you will be given a formal written offer that set out your terms and conditions of employment including your start date.

Onboarding & Initial Training Course (ITC)

After you have received your formal offer, you will attend an Initial Training Course (ITC) and you will be required to have 100% attendance.

The ITC will provide high quality training where you will obtain your nationally accredited Certificate III or IV in Correctional Practice. Experienced Officers will support those commencing their career as a Correctional Case Officer.

Getting fit and ready for recruitment

Serco is committed to ensuring the safety and good order of our centres. Wherever we work, we aim to protect people through robust efficient training and the continuous improvement in our systems and processes, to control risks and ensure the safety of our people. Our ability to provide this service requires all employees to be qualified, trained and capable of executing their responsibilities as safely as possible, and without risk to themselves or the people in our care.

A correctional centre work environment can involve many activities that require lifting, bending and quick response. To effectively measure an employee’s risk in safely performing these duties, we require Corrective Services staff, such as Correctional Case Officers and Correctional Supervisors, to have a good general level of fitness and health. 

As part of the application process for a Correctional Case Officer or Supervisor you will be asked to attend a one-day Assessment Centre. One of the activities you will undertake on the day is an Agility Assessment. You don’t need to be super fit or an athlete, but we do need to assess your ability to operate effectively as a Correctional Case Officer. An instructor will lead you through the assessment, but as a guide you can expect the following:    

  • a warm up consisting of a range of motion exercises and light stretching;
  • holding yourself in the plank position for a maximum of 1 minute;  
  • complete a multi stage shuttle run (of about 150m); 
  • complete as many sit-ups as possible to a maximum of 10; 
  • complete as many push-ups as possible to a maximum of 10; 
  • Lift a heavy weight (maximum 30kg) and carry for 20 metres; 
  • Jump and hop on the spot. 

If it has been a while since you got your body moving, you may want to get some practice in now and build your general fitness level as some preparation will normally help you to complete the assessment. You will also need to maintain the required level of fitness throughout your employment as employees are assessed annually to ensure they remain capable of executing their responsibilities as safely as possible.

Other preparation 

  • Identify a minimum of two (2) referees.
  • Have in ready reach your qualifications and transcripts, if required.
  • You will need to complete a National Criminal History Check, ID Check and Work Rights. To enable seamless process, ensure you have all your documentation up to date and accessible.

Frequently asked questions

If you have a question that is not answered below, please get in touch via ClarenceEnquiries@serco-ap.com 

Is there a minimum age requirement?

You must be 18 years of age or older to work in a correctional environment. 

What qualifications do I need?

You are not required to hold any prior qualifications. You will be required to undertake an online Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) assessment as part of the recruitment process to confirm your ability to undertake a Certificate III or IV in Correctional Practice.

What experience do I need to have?

Our Correctional Case Officers come from very diverse backgrounds. It is more important for you to have the right people skills including excellent verbal and written communication, ability to exercise authority as well as maintain high levels of integrity and professionalism in a variety of challenging situations.  

Will I need to work shifts?

Yes, the Clarence Correctional Centre operates 24/7 and staff will work various shift patterns, which will include day, night and weekends.

How will I prove my right to work in Australia?

You will need to have a valid passport or birth certificate together with a valid permit or visa, if applicable, which shows your right to work and remain in Australia.

Why do I have to do fitness tests?

To ensure you have a level of fitness to respond to any emergency situations that may arise.

What do I wear to the assessment centre?

Please wear professional attire and bring a change of clothes appropriate for fitness testing.

If I am added into a talent pool, how long can I expect to wait for the next training place?

If you are added in to the talent pool, you will have regular contact with the talent specialist where they will provide process updates. Please keep in mind recruitment will ongoing up to commencement of operations and start dates will be aligned to the Operational Ramp Up Model.

Will I be trained to become a Correctional Case Officer?

Yes, there will be a 10-week Initial Training Course (ITC) where you will be trained in communication, law and legislation and the use of force.

When starting the ITC, do I have to have 100% attendance in order to pass the course?

The Initial Training Course (ITC) is a 10-week intensive training course during which 100% attendance is mandatory. If you have a holiday booked during this time and you are not able to re arrange, we will invite you to the next available ITC.

Will I get paid during the ITC?

Yes, you will be paid. When you start the ITC this is the first day of your employment with Serco.

Where will the ITC be held?

The ITC will be held at the Clarence Correctional Centre or in the surrounding local area.

Do previous convictions identified as part of my National Criminal History Check disqualify me from employment?

As part of the standard recruitment process, candidates will undertake a National Criminal History Check. A previous conviction does not mean you will be automatically disqualified from progressing. The National Criminal History Check is only one part of the process and each candidate will be assessed on their own merits and the circumstances of any previous conviction will be considered. The most important thing is to be upfront and disclose this information early in the process. Please also ensure that you declare any non-recorded convictions at the pre-screening stage including the offence, year and outcome. Notifying us early will assist us in determining your application.

Who will I be employed by?

You will be employed by Serco Australia Pty Limited.

Serco has been delivering essential public services in Australia for more than 30 years.

What type of inmates will be at Clarence Correctional Centre?

Clarence Correctional Centre will hold a number of security classifications and legal statuses. The design and operations of the centre are aligned in accordance to inmate risk. The centre consists of three facilities - male maximum, female and male minimum.

Will there be transport available to Clarence Correctional Centre?

Driving is required to get to the site.

Free parking on-site to accommodate all employees.

Is there a required dress code and appearance policy?

Serco have a dress code policy which covers uniform standards, personal appearance and special requirements.

All correctional and non-custodial staff will be required to wear a uniform. Uniforms are to be worn in accordance with Serco’s Uniform and Dress Code Policy and Standards. Uniforms will be provided at your Initial Training Course or your Non-Custodial Induction Course.

What roster will I have?

The operation of the centre is 24/7. Shifts will be worked over an average of 38 hours per week. The shift types will consist of:

  • 12 hour Night – Monday to Sunday
  • 10 hour Day – Monday to Sunday
  • 8 hour Day – Monday to Sunday

All shifts will be in accordance with the operational requirements of the Centre 24/7 and rostered on a rotating roster.

Detailed shift patterns are currently in development.

Is being a Correctional Case Officer dangerous?

Comprehensive training and preparation is provided and will empower Officers both female and male to perform Correctional functions to a high level and manage risk through thorough good risk assessment processes and systems.

The Initial Training Course (ITC) has been designed to enable them to have the confidence and skills required. It is a requirement that all staff custodial and non-custodial follow protocols and procedures to identify, minimise and control risk.

Do I need a Police Check?

Yes, all staff are required to undertake a National Criminal History Check as part of the recruitment process plus annually in accordance with Serco’s policies

Is the Emergency Response Team (ERT) open to anyone?

Emergency Response Team (ERT) Officers are Correctional Officers who have successfully passed the ERT Training Program and are then certified to conduct specialist duties and responses in addition to their Correctional Case Officer duties.

All Correctional Case Officers can apply to join the ERT when roles are available. There will also be an opportunity to indicate your interest when submitting your application.

Can I move between Serco facilities?

All Serco employees can apply for positions in other facilities within the company.

Across Serco our employees work hard to make a difference every day in the lives of the people we support. For the benefit of our employees, our customers and our business, we strive to gain competitive advantage through increased leadership capability, attracting and retaining the best talent and improving our employee engagement.

As such, our Serco ASPAC People Strategy contains several initiatives and programs that have been developed so that we can focus on delivering a diverse leadership pipeline, drive retention of our top talent and provide meaningful career opportunities for our people.

As a female, is it safe to work with male inmates?

Yes, all our Correctional Case Officers (CCO) are trained professionals have undertaken the Initial Training Course. This comprehensive training and preparation will empower Officers both female and male to perform Correctional functions to a high level, and manage risk through thorough good risk assessment processes and systems.

The position of CCO is responsible for the management, supervision, care, rehabilitation, reintegration and provision of services to inmates.  A key component of the role will be to actively participate in supporting inmates throughout their sentence whilst monitoring and maintaining the security of the Centre. 

Female CCOs are an integral part of our team and from experience display high levels of natural conflict resolution skills with inmates.

Risk assessment is completed as part of placing all COOs within each functional area of Clarence Correctional Centre.

Will I receive training as a Correctional Supervisor?

All Correctional Supervisor receive full training through an Initial Training Course (ITC). The course duration is approximately 10 weeks. You will received a nationally recognised Certificate IV in Correctional Practice upon successful completion of your training.

Will I need to undertake training if I already have Certificate III or IV in Correctional Practice?

Yes. All experienced Correctional Case Officers and Supervisors will be required to complete the Initial Training Course (ITC). The ITC also provides you with relevant NSW legislative knowledge, training in our systems, processes and practices and our operating model.

What course or qualifications can I get to improve my chances to get a job in corrections?

If successful in applying for a role, full training will be provided for inexperienced Correctional Case Officers. This training will provide Officers with a Certificate III Correctional Practice accreditation to be completed within the first year of employment. 

Will I be required to carry a firearm or a baton?

The role you are employed in will dictate the type of equipment you will be required to carry.

Equipment may include:

  • Radios
  • First Aid Equipment
  • Firearms
  • Personal Protective Equipment

All staff will be trained in all types of equipment. 

Will I require a Drivers Licence?

Yes, all correctional staff will require a valid Driver’s Licence.