The RAD or Recruitment assessment day, is the final face to face stage of the prison officer recruitment process. At this day you will undertake a range of assessments, from tests of your interaction with others in role plays, to a repeat of the POST tests and finally a medical assessment and fitness test.

If you pass the POST tests, you are next invited to the prison officer assessment day, the RAD. During this assessment day you are examined on a range of skills needed to be a successful prison officer.

What should you wear?

“What should I wear at the prison officer assessment day?” is one of the most common questions asked. The answer is something that you feel comfortable with. You have to perform the fitness test (bleep test) wearing those clothes. Can you do so wearing a suit and tie or do you think that you'll perform better wearing something more comfortable?

The choice is yours, but the general consensus is that you won't be able to perform as well wearing a suit. As long as you don't show up wearing ripped and dirty clothes, it doesn't make a huge difference. However, make sure you are well represented to show the best impression you can. That means wearing something comfortable but not overly so. You are assessed on your performance in the activities, not on how you look, so as long as you look nice enough, your choice of clothes won't matter.

Prison Officer Role Play Scenarios

You will be asked to carry out five role play exercises, each one lasting 10 minutes. The prison officer role play scenarios are used to assess the following competencies:

  • Non-verbal listening skills
  • Suspended judgement
  • Displaying understanding
  • Assertion
  • Respecting others
  • Acting with integrity

For each of the competencies you will get a grade and you have to score at least B's to be considered. The scenarios reflect the type of situations you may face in your life as a prison officer. You are given 10 minutes before the session starts to read the profiles of all five people you will see during the role play, as well as a few minutes before going into each room, to refresh your memory. You are expected to approach the role plays in the same way you would in your professional life. You can learn more about the prison officer role plays by looking at the NOMS official video.

Repeat POST Tests

These are the same POST tests that you have already taken. As opposed to the previous POST tests which were taken online, these are paper and pen based. They are not as long as the original tests, and are used to validate your previous scores. As there is often a significant time period between taking this test and the previous POST tests, make sure you are fully prepared for the prison officer selection test questions with our POST preparation pack.

Prison Officer Interview

For some job applications you will also have an interview that will last between 20-60 minutes. Generally it is more like a conversion than a formal interview. They want to find out if you fit in with the other prison officers. As a team you have to be able to trust each other completely, so this interview is a chance for you to show you can trust others and others can trust you. The questions are fairly standard, such as:

  • Why do you want to become a prison officer?
  • Why do you think you will be good at the job?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years time?

The best way to prepare for the prison officer interview is by having a mock interview. At JobTestPrep we provide an online preparation pack that gives you complete preparation and feedback, so you'll know exactly what to do in the real thing.

Medical Assessment

As a prison officer you need to be fit as well as healthy. You have to go through a series of medical tests, including:

  • Health questionnaire
  • Blood pressure (no higher than 170/80)
  • Eyesight test (either unaided or with spectacles/contact lenses, measured by Snellen equivalent of 6/12)
  • Calculation of your BMI

Fitness test

If your medical assessment was successful you will be able to take the fitness test. There are five sections that test your strength, agility, general fitness and ability to use protective equipment.

Prepare for Success

We have gone through the prison officer recruitment process and pointed you in the direction of our preparation packages. The exercises you will experience in the prison officer recruitment process are challenging in that they are all designed to test you on a specific set of skills. If you cannot prove you have these skills you will not be offered the job. We hope you have enjoyed this article and look forward to helping you with your preparation.