Custodial care apprenticeship

Custodial care apprenticeship

Custodial care services play a crucial part in the day-to-day running of the Justice System.

At Intermediate Level, apprentices support prison officers on the operational line dealing with members of the public, visitors to the establishment and prisoners. Your main duties will include escorting visitors and contractors, reception, gate duty, searching visitors and areas, providing customer service and work in the control room. The job involves some administration, completing forms and writing reports. In some cases, such as in high-security prisons, you may be required to escort prisoners in vehicles.

For the Advanced Level Custodial care apprenticeship, apprentices work as prison officers or prison custody officers in prisons, as detention officers in an immigration or detention centre, or as escort custody officers looking after the security and welfare of adults, children and young people.

Advanced apprentices have different roles within different custodial care organisations, according to the type of environment in which they are employed and the level of security required. Your work would involve escorting prisoners/detainees, settling-in prisoners/ detainees when they arrive and supervising their everyday activities such as meals, showers or exercise. You will also carry out searches and security checks and make sure that visitors understand and follow security procedures.

The job involves some administration, completing forms, writing reports and liaising with colleagues, and management of incidents.

For all roles you may be required to work nights, weekends and bank holidays and most employers will carry out appropriate security checks. Prison officers must be 18 years old and must successfully complete medical and fitness tests.


Intermediate (Level 2); Advanced (Level 3)

Starting salary (once qualified):


Job roles:

Prison officer, Prison custody officer, Detention officer, Escort custody officer, Operational support

Issuing Authority:

Skills for Justice –