Prison Custody Officer (PCO)

Job Title: Prison Custody Officer (PCO)
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Manchester
Salary: £22,700 per annum
Start Date: 2019-06-25 00:00:00
Reference: SDX/TP/RF3208/ND
Contact Name: Lucy Mellor
Contact Email:
Job Published: June 25, 2019 09:31

Job Description

Great Prison Custody Officers (PCOs) are key to the smooth running of our prisons.  They have an important role to play in supporting prisoners with their rehabilitation and creating a positive and safe environment. 

What makes a great PCO?

We’re looking for people who will be a natural fit for the job.  Background and experience are not important. It’s the kind of person you are that matters. We can teach you the rest.

Are you responsible, reliable and good at building trust with others?

Are you the sort of person who:

  • Is reliable, true to your word and can always be depended on to get things done?
  • Always treats others fairly and with respect?  Are you able to see past bad behaviour and start each day afresh?
  • Is quick to notice things, such as changes in people’s moods or when something isn’t quite right?
  • Is consistent – people know where they stand with you.  Do you stick to the important rules (or if not you have very good reasons not to)?
  • Can easily connect and talk to all sorts of people from different backgrounds on their level?
  • Is straightforward and ‘tell it as it is’?
  • Helps others out including helping people find ways to help themselves?
  • Keeps calm under pressure

Recruitment process:

  • Full completion of application form on Sodexo careers website by 4 August 2019. (You must have completed the online security questionnaire and have a CV uploaded or your application will automatically be rejected)
  • Fitness test/induction day including introduction and Q&A: 16 - 18 August 2019
  • Face to face interview:  19 - 23 August 2019
  • Start Date of course: 8 October 2019. (You will be required to complete a mandatory 10 week training course.  No annual leave can be taken during this period.)
  • Number of Jobs Available - 30

Please note: initial communication will be via email, please monitor your junk and spam folders to ensure you are aware of next stage requirements.

Package description

£22,700 per annum. Excellent benefits including free meals and parking, group discount schemes and pension with 28 days holiday.

40 hour shift pattern working week, including evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

We may consider applications for job share or part time hours.

Please note: initial communication will be via email, please monitor your junk and spam folders to ensure you are aware of next stage requirements.

Main responsibilities

What’s the job like?

You might be working on a main wing with a team of other PCOs responsible for prisoners.  Your role will involve everything from managing the regular prison routines, (locking & unlocking, supervising meals and recreation time to escorting people to prison work and education). You’ll need to deal with the more challenging aspects of prison life such as abusive and violent behaviour. You’ll be working with all sorts of prisoners including those on long sentences, people convicted of serious crime and vulnerable individuals.

Why be a PCO?

People enjoy it for many reasons.  Some enjoy the variety and challenge of working with very different people and dealing with all sorts of issues. Others get a buzz from seeing the prisoners improve and progress (however small the changes). 

Many PCOs appreciate the security and stability of the regular work routines. Others appreciate shift patterns, which allow them flexibility to carry out their responsibilities outside of work.

You will be required to complete a 12 month apprenticeship and upon successful completion, you will achieve a Level 3 standard in Detention and Custody that is recognised nationally in the field, along with a salary increase to £23,312.

If you do not already have Maths & English level 2 that you can evidence, then you will need to complete Maths & English as part of your apprenticeship. Full support, coaching and guidance will be offered during the apprenticeship to ensure your success.

Ideal candidate

Our great PCOs come to us with all kinds of work and life experience. Some have worked in retail, healthcare, call centers and as taxi drivers. Others are ex-military, police and security services personnel. The work you’ve done before doesn't matter. What matters is that you’re ‘made of the right stuff’ – the rest you will learn during our intensive 10-week training course and then in the job with the support of experienced colleagues.

About the company

In the UK and Ireland, Sodexo employs some 35,000 employees to deliver integrated facilities management services to clients at over 2,000 locations in the corporate, healthcare, education, leisure, defence and justice sectors. With an annual turnover of over £1bn, we provide everything from catering, cleaning and reception to security, laboratory and grounds maintenance services, enabling our clients to focus on their core business.

We are building on our support to the Armed Forces community through the development of specific pathways within our recruitment process to  support ex-forces personnel and reservists, those applying for jobs with us who meet the ideal candidate criteria for the role advertised are guaranteed to progress to the selection process.

Sodexo and our clients are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults within a regulated activity. Certain roles will require applicants to undergo screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and/ or Disclosure Scotland.

Please note all roles within Sodexo Justice are subject to security and recruitment checks which may include a Social Media Check. You will also be asked to provide 3 years’ worth of references and request employment history details from the HMRC.