POA Circulars

130 | 19.12.2016

POELT Training Course Length remains at 10 weeks

Following intensive pressure & resistance from the HR Whitley Committee and with the full backing of the NEC applying pressure at ministerial level, we have been successful in thwarting plans to reduce training available to future Prison Officers from 10 weeks down to 8 weeks. This follows previous good work of the Executive with NOMS in securing an increase from 6 weeks to 10 weeks, which commenced in January of this year.

Whilst it is imperative to the safety of colleagues around the estate that we support the recruitment of new Prison Officers at pace we firmly believe that this should not be at the expense of appropriate training and support for new & current Officers, which we believe should go much further. Ongoing training and support is essential to maintaining up to date knowledge and skills to undertake the role of a Prison Officer and should not be underplayed by the employer or at ministerial level.

Much more work needs to be done in securing the future professionalization of the Prison Officer role and ensuring Government and Ministers recognise the important role Prison Staff have to play in keeping security, but also mentoring Prisoners away from a life of crime. Prison Officers are frontline operation staff that should be bracketed the same as Police Officers, Fire Fighters and other associated roles and the NEC will continue to work on gaining appropriate recognition, support and training for our members.

Yours Sincerely

Mike Rolfe
National Chair