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All of our prisons are Category B or C establishments

When you are looking to apply for one of our Prison Officer jobs within Serco, we believe that it is really important that you have a realistic preview of what it’s really like to be a Prison Officer on the ground in one of our UK custodial establishments.

Serco operate

Adult prisons across England and Scotland
0 prisoners
With an operational capacity to hold over  

Think about a Custodial Career with Serco

Discover more about the role

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 prisoners 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 prisoners and perform a pivotal role within the prison and the community it serves.

Daily duties involve
  • Supervising prisoners in all aspects of wing-based activity

  • Encouraging prisoners to go to work or complete the jobs they have within the prison

  • Attending additional education classes

  • Serving food and effectively managing prisoners at risk of self-harm

  • Operational matters such as prisoner headcounts, searching, supervision and security together with administrative processes must all be effectively delivered.

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

Hours and Shifts

The service that we provide to our prisoners is available every day of the year across a 24 hour period, meaning you will have to cover various shift patterns; including days, evenings, weekends, nights and bank holidays with an average of 40 hours per week.

Once you have passed the selection and vetting process, you will attend an 8-week Initial Training Course (ITC) at the establishment you have been recruited for, and you will be required to have 100% attendance. The ITC will provide high quality training where you will complete a Diploma in Custodial Care and undergo Control and Restraint training. You will also shadow experienced Prison Officers on shift to give you a real taste of life on the job.
Specific Requirements
First, you'll need to meet our essential criteria, which includes having the right to work in the UK. Beyond that, we'll check things like your eyesight and physical fitness. We'll also expect you to pass a basic maths and English test along side 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. 
Security Clearance
This role is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and all offers of employment are subject to security clearance checks and approval by the Home Office.
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Search and Apply

Select apply to start your journey to become a Prison Officer.

Outside grounds at HMP Ashfield

HMP Ashfield, Bristol

HMP Ashfield is a category C adult male facility near Bristol that holds 400 convicted prisoners serving sentences for sexual offences. Serco has been responsible for operating the prison since 2005 and today employs around 200 staff on site. Serco’s primary purpose at HMP Ashfield is to treat prisoners convicted of sexual offences in a safe, decent and healthy environment.

Front gates of HMP Doncaster

HMP Doncaster, Doncaster

HMP Doncaster is a category B local resettlement prison situated in South Yorkshire and houses a male population of up to 1145 individuals. As a ‘local remand’ institution, the purpose is to work with the prisoners, particularly those serving less than a 12 month sentence, to ensure that they have the support they need for resettlement as well as access to the services and support available to them after release.

HMP Dovegate Prison passenger and vehicle entrances

HMP Dovegate, Staffordshire

HMP Dovegate is a Category B adult male facility near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. Serco cares for up to 1060 male adult prisoners over the age of 21 serving a range of sentences. HMP Dovegate runs a Therapeutic Community which is the UK’s only privately owned, purpose built facility providing an environment that changes people’s way of thinking with the shared aim of changing lives for the better. 

External view of the HMP Fosse Way building

HMP Fosse Way, Leicester

HMP Fosse Way is a brand-new resettlement prison in Leicester, which will house around 1,700 prisoners who have served most of their sentences and are due for release in the area. The purpose of the prison is to offer support and training in order that the men are prepared for a successful reintegration into society with meaningful and paid employment. 

A image of the front entrance of HMP Thameside with a grass area on a sunny day

HMP Thameside, London

HMP Thameside is a local resettlement prison in the Thamesmead area of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, South-East London and is situated next to HMPs Belmarsh. Thameside is London’s only private prison. A new-build prison, successfully completed in 2012, Serco has run the facility since it opened. The prison quickly and safely respond to the needs of the custodial population within the heart of London.

Image of two female prison officers having a conversation outside

Linda Saunders

Prison Officer 

I was looking for a people-focussed role, where I could make a positive change to society. I found it as a Prison Officer, but I never expected to positively impact my career quite so much too.


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What you can expect from us

Working as a Prison Officer isn't always easy - but it is rewarding. Whilst you're ensuring the safety of those around you we'll be providing you with the accredited training and development you'll need for a long, successful, and interesting career within Serco. And as well as supportive colleagues we also give you a competitive salary and benefits package too. 

A place you can make an impact

Prison Officers are key to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of prisoners, staff and visitors in their prisons. More importantly they play a vital role in reducing reoffending rates amongst prisoners, which is key to protecting public finances. They do this through encouraging educational and vocational development and through an empathetic approach.

A place you can count on

Our prisons hold a huge amount of variety and opportunity, with Prison Officers being able to progress into Operations Management or into specialist services such as Psychology, Education, Health or the Animal unit. There are also opportunities within our Prisoner Escorting service and Immigration Centres - and of course our other prisons.

A place for you

Because of our investment in safeguarding and rehabilitation, our prisons are calmer and can be very different to public prisons. You’ll also receive all the training and advice you’ll need from your friendly and supportive colleagues with job shadowing and buddy programmes in place.


There is a clear salary structure in place to reward you as you grow and develop in to the role, meaning that you will get receive salary increases after 1, 2 and 3 years’ service. 


As well as a clear salary structure and career progression, we offer you a holiday entitlement of 23 days plus bank holidays, with your holiday entitlement rising after 1 and 2 years in service, up to 6% contributory pension scheme, and Life Assurance. Alongside Serco discounts which include cinema, merlin entertainment, online shopping discounts, discounts on mobile phone plans and leisure centre memberships.

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A image of a prison officer wearing glasses and smiling into the distance inside HMP Doncaster

Our process

A image of two prison officers having a conversation while walking outside down a garden path in front of HMP Dovegate

Start your journey to become a Prison Officer

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