What is an Operational Support Grade?

It takes teamwork to manage our prisons – and you’ll be a key player, working as one of the Operational Support staff.

Our Operational Support staff are at the heart of a busy prison and will often be one of the first faces the public and people working in criminal justice see when they visit a prison.

On a shift pattern, that includes some night work, you’ll support the day-to-day running of our prisons, working to keep our establishments safe and secure around the clock.

Unlike our prison officers, your contact with prisoners is limited, although depending on the particular prison you may interact with offenders occasionally.

What does the role involve?


What will I do?

In a typical day, you could be doing anything from greeting visitors at reception, to registering offenders and carrying out searches.

Here are just some of the things you’ll do as part of our Operational Support team:

  • Welcome family members, visitors and lawyers
  • Monitor offender mail and phone calls
  • Check CCTV
  • Patrol perimeters
  • Carry out security checks and searches
  • Report contraband items
  • Occasional prison vehicle driving in some establishments

Who will I be working for?

You’ll be working for Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services (HMPPS), which is part of the Ministry of Justice.

HMPPS is responsible for managing all prison and probation services across England and Wales.

Being part of the prison and probation service means you’ll have opportunities across the entire estate.

For more information about HMPPS and what we do, click here.

Across the MOJ, we are committed to building an inclusive workplace and diverse workforce and to providing fair and accessible services. To do that we believe our staff should reflect and understand the diverse society we serve, and so we welcome applicants from all backgrounds to give people the opportunity to thrive in MoJ, regardless of their:

  • Age
  • disability or long-term illness
  • gender, gender identity or expression
  • race, ethnicity, nationality or national origin
  • religion or belief or non-belief
  • sexual orientation
  • marriage and civil partnership status
  • pregnancy and maternity status
  • social or educational background
  • Caring responsibility
  • any other irrelevant attribute

For more information on our equality, diversity and inclusion commitments, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity