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Prison Officer Entry Requirements

Prison Officer Entry Criteria

Essential Requirements:

(Based off the most recent 2023 Campaign as outlined in the Public Appointments Service Information Booklet. For a full list of eligibility criteria and information please refer to the official Information Booklet on the PAS website)

A: Age

Be at least 18 years of age i.e., must have been born on or before the 4th of August 2004;

B: Educational Qualifications Applicants must have achieved

Applicants must have achieved:

(i) have obtained in the Established Leaving Certificate a minimum of grade D3 (O6 post 2017) at Ordinary level, or C3 (F5 from 2017) at Foundation Level, in at least 5 subjects*; or

(ii) hold a minimum of a Level 5 Major award** (120 credits) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ); or

(iii) hold a recognised qualification (at Level 5 or greater), deemed comparable to the above in terms of both level and volume of learning as determined by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)

In certain cases, a Pass in the Applied Leaving Certificate may be deemed equivalent to a Leaving Certificate.
*A Pass or above in the Links Modules subject may be counted as one subject.

** A Fetac Level 5 or 6 major award will have 120 Credits (Please note any certificate which has a lower number is only a Minor Award and is not sufficient to determine eligibility).

Note: A combination of two or more exam sittings may be permitted in determining eligibility

C: Citizenship

Eligible candidates must be:
a) a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA consists of the Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway; or
b) A citizen of the United Kingdom (UK); or
c) A citizen of Switzerland pursuant to the agreement between the EU and Switzerland on the free movement of persons; or
d) A non-EEA citizen who is a spouse or child of an EEA or UK or Swiss citizen and has a stamp 4 visa; or
e) A person awarded international protection under the International Protection Act 2015 or any family member entitled to remain in the State as a result of family reunification and has a stamp 4 visa; or
f) A non-EEA citizen who is a parent of a dependent child who is a citizen of, and resident in, an EEA member state or the UK or Switzerland and has a stamp 4 visa.

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What is a Recruit Prison Officer?

Based off the 2023 PAS (Public Appointments Service Information Booklet)

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. They are  looking for individuals who have the capacity to relate to and engage with prisoners, act with professionalism, tolerance and humanity and the ability to role model positive social behaviour. They must also have the ability to think on their feet in dealing with situations which require security and control.


Prison Officer Assessments & Interview

We run renowned preparation courses for the aptitude tests and competency-based interview that candidates will face as part of the selection process. These recruitment competitions can attract thousands of applications and those that succeed are those that are prepared and perform well in the selection stages. Get a full tuition on the Recruit Prison Officer assessments and prepare with us for your interview. We have a proven track record with over 30 years of assessment industry experience.

Prison Officer Preparation Course
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Please note: We are not affiliated with the official recruiter and our courses are optional.

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