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Correctional Officer

No Formal Qualifications Year 10 Preferred Aptitude Tests Medical Exams Police Check On The Job Training Licence First Aid

Also known as Custodial Correctional Officer and Prison Officer.

Correctional officers are responsible for the custody, care, supervision, welfare and rehabilitation of prisoners in prisons and correctional centres.

Correctional officers can be required to work shifts, including weekends and public holidays, and may be transferred anywhere within their state or territory. In some states, case management is an important aspect of their work.

This gives individual officers the chance to work with small groups of 10 to 15 prisoners within a re-education and rehabilitation programme.

Correctional officers may specialise in areas such as dog squads, prison industries, offender programmes and field supervision of offenders on worksites outside the prison.


    Correctional officers may perform the following tasks:

  • search prisoners and cells for illegal/prohibited items
  • lock prisoners in cells
  • observe the conduct and behaviour of prisoners to maintain control, discipline and security within the correctional centre
  • advise if prisoners need special care, such as a visit to a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker
  • inspect doors, gates, grilles, locks, window bars and other security equipment, ensuring they are secure and functional
  • supervise prisoners at all times of the day, including meal times, recreation periods, sport and work assignments
  • patrol assigned areas and report to supervisors or other workers any breach of rules, unsatisfactory attitudes or adjustment problems of prisoners
  • serve meals to prisoners confined to cells
  • organise clothing, reading material, toiletries or other items needed by prisoners
  • participate in the reception, induction and discharge of prisoners in accordance with procedures
  • process, direct and observe visitors
  • perform escort duties of prisoners, both within the prison and externally when required
  • prepare a variety of reports, including admission and incident reports
  • assist with the risk/needs assessment of prisoners and provide input into their case and sentence management
  • provide leadership and act as a positive role model to assist the rehabilitation process
  • help offenders seek rehabilitation and return to the community by providing basic case management support and supervision
  • provide a timely response to emergencies or breaches of security
  • provide first aid


  • enjoy working with people
  • normal vision
  • good interpersonal skills, including being fair, sensitive and patient
  • assertiveness and self-confidence
  • good written and verbal communication skills
  • empathy and cultural awareness
  • a mature, responsible attitude towards managing people
  • able to resolve conflict and problems
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • able to stay calm in stressful situations
  • Australian citizenship or permanent residency

Interest Area

Helping/Community Service Influencing/Personal Contact


No Formal Qualifications Year 10 Preferred Aptitude Tests Medical Exams Police Check On The Job Training Licence First Aid

You can work as a correctional officer without formal qualifications, but employers usually require Year 10. To gain employment, you will need to complete an initial assessment, which includes literacy and numeracy tests and a psychological questionnaire. In the ACT, you will also have to sit a computer skills test. Applicants who progress to the interview stage must undergo a medical test and pass a National Police Check.

If your application is successful, you will join ACT Corrective Services or Corrective Services NSW and undertake a 9-week training course at the Corrective Services Academy covering correctional rules and procedures, law, weapons handling, social issues and human relations. Contact the relevant organisation to discuss your circumstances.

Additional Information

    Applicants will need to hold a valid drivers license and a Provide First Aid Certificate.


Although the number of applicants generally exceeds the number of training positions available, there is a need for more women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those with special knowledge of particular ethnic, social and cultural groups.

Correctional officers commence at base-grade officer level. Once trainee correctional officers achieve full correctional officer status, further opportunities for advancement exist.

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Job Outlook for Correctional Officer ACT Corrective Services Corrective Services NSW

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