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Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Information about how we are responding to coronavirus (COVID-19) in our recruitment process

Recruitment and the impact of coronavirus

The impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on prison officer and youth justice worker recruitment – updated Friday 4th December.

We are currently recruiting for prison officers.  Whilst we do this it is our prime focus to keep our staff and applicants as safe as possible throughout the HMPPS recruitment process.

From 23 November 2020, our  Assessment and Recruitment Centres (ARCs) will also run on a new online platform  from your own home or quiet space.  This is so we can continue to recruit and select our future prison officers, whilst keeping everyone safe.

This means that you can attend the same assessment centre you would’ve travelled to previously, from the comfort of your own home.

If you are asked to come into our Assessment Centres in person, they are COVID secure:

  • We have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and shared the results with all staff who are working at the centre.
  • We have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures are in line with government guidance.
  • We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2 metre distance at all times within the centre.

In line with current national restrictions, as an applicant applying to a key worker role, you will be able to attend an assessment centre once invited. This counts as travel for work purposes.

If you are attending our Assessment Centre online, it will be the same format as in person. You’ll do your English and numerical test, two role plays and an interview as you normally would in our face-to-face centres. However, you’ll complete your fitness test and medical test separately at one of our allocated centres whilst going through your pre-employment checks, also known as vetting.

It will be clarified in your job description or communications from us which format your Assessment Centre will take.

You can find out more about our new online Assessment Centre here  and more about the Assessment Centre in general here.

For more information on prison officer and youth justice worker recruitment, please read our updated Frequently Asked Questions below:

Is the prison service continuing to recruit?

We are now accepting applications in many of our establishments across the country.  Please visit the find a job page to view current vacancies.

When will I be able to attend my assessment?

Our assessment centres are now in full operation and we are inviting candidates based on which prisons are a priority.

If you have not yet been contacted with an assessment date, we will be in touch soon with your offer of a date.

Do I need to wear a face mask to my assessment?

Yes. In line with the latest Government guidelines, please bring a face covering to wear to at your assessment day.

I have accepted a formal offer but I am waiting for my vetting. How long do I have to wait?

We intend to continue with your pre-employment checks, so that we can welcome you on board at the earliest possible opportunity.

Can I choose to attend an online Assessment Centre?

From January 2021 all of our assessments will be delivered online.  If you have been invited to a face to face assessment centre in December and have concerns regarding this, please contact our recruitment contact centre to discuss further.

Do I need my own laptop to do the online Assessment Centre?

For those candidates invited to an online Assessment Centre, you will be sent full details of the technical requirements.  You will require access to a laptop which has a web-cam.  If you do not have access you such technology, that is not a problem, as we can arrange for you to attend one of our offices to be able to access the equipment you need.

Will I be marked differently if I attend in person?

No. Apart from the medical and fitness tests which you will not do online (you’ll do at a later date), all other elements of the assessments are the same and candidates will be marked against the same selection criteria.

I’m vulnerable to COVID-19 do I have to attend an Assessment Centre in person?

Please contact our recruitment contact centre to discuss in more detail.

I’m in Tier 3 – can I still travel to an Assessment Centre?

Yes. As an applicant applying for a designated key worker role that provides essential public services, you will be provided with a letter of authorisation, which permits you to travel for the purposes of attendance at an assessment centre.

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