Prison Officers


Career Services run preparation courses for stages of Prison Officer recruitment campaigns by the Irish Prison Service. Prison Officer Recruit competitions are national competition that recruit prison officer recruits into the Prison Service. As part of this recruitment candidates face into a selection process which involves various assessments. Our courses prepare candidates for these assessments and have helped 100's of candidates gain entry into the prison service in the past. 

We will run courses again if and when a new recruitment campaign is launched. If you are interested in being notified of when the next recruitment campaign launches, you can sign up for our free Job Alert Service here and select Prison Officers from the career list. We will notify you via email when we hear of the next recruitment campaign. 


What is a Recruit Prison Officer? 

The Recruit Prison Officer (RPO) is the entry level to the Service. When a recruitment campaign is launched the Prison Service set up a panel from which vacancies arising in the Irish Prison Service may be filled. Vacancies are usually filled at Recruit Prison Officer level initially. Following the successful completion of 3 years’ service including probation and a Higher Certificate in Custodial Care, the Recruit Prison Officer will be appointed as an Established Prison Officer. 

Prisons operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a result, Prison Officers will be required to work a basic 2,035 hours per year based on an average roster of 39 hours a week, and will be required to work shifts including night duties, every second weekend, some public holidays and over festive seasons. Recruit Prison Officers will also be required to work Additional Hours (AH) over and above basic rostered hours up to 360 hours per annum. 

Working as a Recruit Prison Officer can be complex and difficult, but it can be varied, challenging and highly rewarding. 

Information in relation to the competencies required of a Recruit Prison Officer included the following (based on the 2016 recruitment campaign)

-Directing Others 

-Supporting Others 




 -Information Handling and Communication 


2016 Recruitment Campaign 

The Public Appointments Service opened up the 2016 Prison Officer Recruitment Campaign for Recruit Prison Officers in July, 2016. The closing date for applications was the 28th July, 2016. 


What is the 2016 Prison Officer Recruit Competition? 

The 2016 Prison Officer Recruit Competition was a national competition that recruited prison officer recruits into the Prison Service. The Public Appointments Service are the official body that the run the competition on behalf of the Irish Prison Service. Applications for this position could only be made through them on  Applications were invited from suitably qualified persons who wished to be considered for inclusion on a panel from which vacancies for Recruit Prison Officer in the Dublin area may be filled. For eligibility criteria click here. 



Candidates  were only able to apply on the Public Appointment Service website here: The closing date for applications was the 28th July, 2016.



 Career Services run preparation courses for the entrance exams into the prison service see what our preparation course consists of select one of the following: 


  Stage 1 & 2 Preparation Courses


 Stage 3 Interview Preparation Courses