Prison Officer Entry Level Training (POELT)
All new prison officers must complete an 8-week training course at the beginning of an appointment. The course aims to equip you with the necessary knowledge, skills and values needed to become a confident, safe and accountable prison officer.
POELT is shared between home establishments and a training venue. This could be the Prison Service College at Newbold Revel, Rugby, or one of the local POELT training centres.
As part of your training you will also be required to pass a fitness test. The fitness test consists of five test components:
- Grip strength test
- Multi stage fitness test
- Dynamic strength test
- Speed agility run test
- Shield test
Click here for further information on how you can prepare yourself to pass these tests with ease.
Watch the Fitness Test video
Week 1 - Establishment induction:
You will complete a formal induction programme at your home establishment. The purpose of this week is workplace familiarisation and to meet your line manager and colleagues.
Weeks 2, 3 and 4 - PSC Newbold Revel, or local training centre:
This period combines classroom based learning, practical training and team building exercises. Students are assessed throughout to identify progress and development needs, with a written exam to confirm learning at the end of this phase.
Week 5 - Establishment based week:
This important element gives you the opportunity to get to know your colleagues and workplace. Supported by your training manager you will meet set objectives, some of which are detailed below:
- Meet Healthcare staff to discuss local healthcare issues
- Under supervision, take part in rub down and full searching
- Meet the Diversity Officer to discuss local roles and procedures
- Under supervision, take part in cell searching and Accommodation Fabric Checks
- Observe the adjudication process
- Lock and unlock cell doors under supervision
Weeks 6, 7 and 8 - PSC Newbold Revel, or local training centre:
This period consolidates earlier learning and provides new skills and knowledge through realistic prison-based scenarios. Classroom work continues, with more practical assessments including C&R (Control & Restraint), with a second exam to pass. A graduation ceremony is held on the last Friday morning.
There are many establishments across the estate that gives new officers the opportunity for a further period of work place learning.
Your knowledge, skills and attitude are continuously assessed through a range of techniques. There are a number of practical tests including C&R and searching techniques and two written exams. These exams form part of the overall assessment and are not a stand-alone measure of ability. Overall performance forms the basis of your end of course report.
Custodial Care NVQ (CCNVQ) Level 3
Prison Officers need to be occupationally competent to perform assigned duties and establish reliable and safe working practices. The Prison Service requires staff to demonstrate this by achieving the Custodial Care NVQ Level 3.
All newly recruited prison officers will be required to complete CCNVQ within 12 months of starting their employment as a prison officer. This will give you the satisfaction of achieving a formal qualification as well as increasing your confidence to carry out your role effectively.