Tasmania Prison Service

Correctional Officer training program

Correctional Officers - Probationary are employed under a 12-month probationary contract subject to successful completion of training and assessment requirements.

After successful selection as a Correctional Officer, recruits will undertake full-time, off-the-job and workplace training for 10 weeks, prior to placement on operational duties at a correctional facility. The training provides successful trainees with the opportunity to acquire a nationally recognised qualification, the Certificate III in Correctional Practice (Adult Custodial Specialisation).

The training comprises both classroom-based learning, practical activities and job placements rotating through various posts within the prison system. Recruits placed onto posts throughout their training are doubled up with experienced Officers. Payment for all recruits during the10-week induction program is $56,001 (per annum) and hours are 8:45am – 4:45pm (although during on-post placement, recruits are expected to complete shifts from 7:00am – 5.00pm).

The training delivered is not only relevant to contemporary corrective service practice but is also comprehensive, interesting and interactive. Some of the training sessions designed to equip recruits with the knowledge required include:

  • Acts and Regulations, Standard Operating Procedures, Director’s Standing Orders
  • Written communications (including report writing)
  • Interviewing skills
  • Security rationale and procedures
  • Prisoner/detainee management
  • Case management
  • Work Health & Safety training
  • Correctional health services, prisoner programs and services
  • Searching procedures and protocols including drug detection
  • Integrated Offender Management including Case Management
  • Fire, breathing apparatus and First Aid/CPR
  • Observation skills
  • Radio, Closed Circuit TV (CCTV), X-Ray machines, alarm systems and electronic communication
  • Responding to incidents and accidents
  • Control techniques
  • Ethics and workplace behaviours
  • Roles and functions of a Correctional Officer
  • Maintaining good order and control
  • Hostage response and precautions
  • Manipulation avoidance

Application stages

Initial appraisal of application

After initial appraisal of the Resume/Curriculum Vitae and application form, applicants will be notified via email that they have advanced to Stage 1 – Written Assessments.

Written assessments

These are online tests designed to assess literacy and numeracy along with computer literacy, as well as aptitude for the job. The combined tests take around two and a half hours. The Cognify Test measures cognitive ability - problem solving, numerical reasoning and verbal knowledge. The Work Safety Assessment and Personality Factor Questionnaire cannot be studied for. Applicants are encouraged to answer all questions honestly. Trying to ‘fake’ or ‘pre-empt’ answers can be disadvantageous.

Evaluation assessment day

Applicants who successfully pass the Written Assessment phase will be invited to attend an Evaluation Assessment Day.

On the Evaluation Assessment Day applicants will undertake a number of activities, which are designed to assess applicants against the selection criteria and test suitability for the role.

The Evaluation Assessment Day is conducted on a weekday. Evaluations take approximately eight hours.

Applicants who successfully demonstrate suitability for the role of Correctional Officer will be invited to an Interview.

Interview

At the interview, applicants are asked a series of standardised questions. Applicants are not expected to have any special-   ist knowledge. However, it is expected that applicants will be aware of the role of Correctional Officer (that is the Objective, Responsibilities and Expected Behaviours outlined earlier in this document).

Workforce health assessment

A pre-employment health assessment is conducted to further assess suitability to undertake the duties of a Correctional Officer.

Applicants who successfully advance to interview may be required to complete a Workforce Health Assessment.

The TPS, in conjunction with the independent assessors who carry out the testing, will provide candidates with the details of the testing venue and appointment time.

The tests include (but are not limited to) Hearing, Lung Function, Body Mass Index (BMI), Skin Examination, Skeletal Assessment, Range of Movement (ROM), Vision Tests (near, distance, colour, peripheral), Cardiovascular (three-minute step test), Strength (grip, shoulder, neck, back, finger), Loco-motor and Nervous System.

Referee reports

It is essential for applications to be properly assessed, therefore former supervisors/managers will be contacted to discuss an applicant’s history as an employee to verify suitability for the role of Correctional Officer. If an applicant is currently unemployed their most recent employer details are required.

Note: Referees are not contacted until after interviews are conducted. Applicants may choose not to advise their referee of their application unless they reach interview stage. We do recommend that after applicants have attended an interview that they discuss their application with referees prior to us contacting them. Referees may be asked to verify claims made in the application and during interview.

Criminal background check

Criminal history background checks will be conducted on all applicants to ensure that the requirements for employment as a Correctional Officer, as outlined in the Statement of Duties, are met. These checks include State and National Police Checks. Correctional Officers are required to uphold the law with integrity.  That integrity is eroded by serious criminal convictions   and as a result, an application from a candidate who has serious convictions may not be progressed.

Applicants must make full disclosure of all criminal convictions including any traffic/driving infringements, spent convictions and juvenile offences. Failure to disclose may result in an application being unsuccessful or cancellation of appointment.

Applicants will be required to obtain their own National Police Check, but will be advised when to submit their application to Tasmania Police (or their relevant state Police Service). Only checks obtained through the Police Services will be accepted.

Offers of employment

Offers of employment are made to those applicants who are successful in all stages of the selection process. Successful applicants will be formally notified by email.

Download the Correctional Officer Handbook (PDF, 2.4 MB) as a print version of this information.


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Updated: 1st January 2021