Correctional Officers

The opportunity

A job with NT Correctional Services is a rewarding and challenging career. Correctional officers work as part of a team, responsible for the safe, secure and humane management of prisoners.

There are two recruitment pathways:

Working as a correctional officer in the Northern Territory offers job diversity and security. The role opens up a range of career opportunities, and the work is interesting and challenging. You can make a significant contribution towards the rehabilitation of prisoners to help reduce the risks of reoffending and make our communities safer for everyone.

Your key responsibilities will include:

  • Supervising, monitoring, supporting and managing prisoners.
  • Employing appropriate security measures to ensure the safe custody of prisoners, including monitoring property and equipment and random searches for contraband.
  • Advising prisoners of their rights and responsibilities while in custody.
  • Ensuring prisoners maintain acceptable levels of hygiene and cleanliness by conducting regular cell inspections.
  • Contributing to prisoner rehabilitation plans.
  • Providing reports on prisoner rehabilitation, security, welfare and behaviour.
  • Undertaking escorts - transporting and supervising prisoners outside the correctional centre.
  • Responding to emergencies including prisoner conflict, injuries and medical crises.
  • Participating in ongoing training to maintain currency of core qualifications.

The benefits

Correctional officers enjoy a range of great benefits including:

  • Flexible working conditions. Correctional facilities operate on a 24-hour roster system seven days a week.
  • Working in a culturally diverse environment.
  • Employment security.
  • Paid training to attain nationally recognised qualifications.
  • Opportunities for promotion and career development.
  • Supplied uniforms.
  • Subsidised gym memberships*
  • Up to seven weeks annual leave each year - conditions apply
  • Career advancement opportunities and support

*Terms and Conditions Apply.

Trainee correctional officers

Salary during the training period:

  • Week 1 - 8 salary of $55,235 plus 9.5% superannuation
  • Week 9 - 11 salary of $55,235 plus 9.5% superannuation and 34% consolidated allowance

After training is completed:

  • Salary of $61,372 plus 9.5% superannuation and 34% consolidated allowance.

Experienced correctional officers

A generous salary, including allowances:

  • Applicants holding a Certificate III in Correctional Practice salary range is $61 372 - $65 448, plus 9.5 per cent superannuation, plus a 34 per cent consolidated allowance.
  • Applicants holding a Certificate IV in Correctional Practice commencement salary is $67 333 plus 9.5 per cent superannuation, plus a 34 per cent consolidated allowance.

The person

To meet the demands of the role of a correctional officer we’re looking for people from all walks of life who demonstrate integrity, maturity and life experience.

To be considered for this opportunity you must:

  • Be of good character, with strong communication and organisational skills, and understand the value of being a team player.
  • Have skills and ability to work in a cross cultural environment.
  • Be an Australian Citizen; a New Zealand citizen who has entered Australia on a valid passport; or a Permanent Resident of Australia.
  • Hold an  eligible First Aid Certificate with six  months validity upon commencement.
  • Current Australian “C” class driver licence with the ability to drive a manual vehicle upon commencement.
  • Must meet and observe the Northern Territory Chief Health Officer’s - Public and Environmental Health Act 2011 COVID-19 Directions at the time.

To be considered as a trainee you must:

  • Demonstrate the required literacy, numeracy and aptitude through testing.
  • Demonstrate a good level of fitness by participating in a fitness assessment.
  • Have completed Year 10 with the ability to successfully undertake the CSC30120 Certificate III Correctional Practice as determined by a Language, Literacy and Numeracy test during the recruitment process.

To be considered as an Experience Correctional Officer you must:

  • Have employment as a Correctional Officer within the past two years.
  • Have a minimum of two years’ experience working as a correctional officer. Training time does not count toward minimum requirement.
  • Certificate III in Correctional Practice or equivalent is essential.

The training

Trainee correctional officers

All trainee correctional officers undergo an intensive eight week, off-the-job training course, followed by three weeks of on-the-job training. During training recruits are required to establish and maintain an appropriate level of fitness and demonstrate an understanding of custodial practices and procedures.

During the first 12 months of employment as a correctional officer, you will be engaged on a fixed term contract and fully funded to complete a CSC30120 Certificate III in Correctional Practice.

This program requires both satisfactory performance appraisals and completion of assessment activities. Upon successful completion, you will be offered ongoing employment.

Northern Territory Correctional Services is a Registered Training Organisation (1074) and delivers the CSC30120 Certificate III in Correctional Practice. The department covers all costs associated with this training.

Experienced Correctional Officers

Upon commencement, Experienced Correctional Officers will undertake an intensive two week off-the-job training course, followed by one week on-the-job shadowing. This is commonly referred to as Fast Tracking. This training requires satisfactory completion of training and assessment activities.

Application and selection process

Trainee Correctional Officer

NT Correctional Services uses a bulk recruitment process to attract and recruit Trainee Correctional Officers. There are several stages in the selection process.

As opportunities become available, positions are advertised on the Careers in Government Employment Opportunities Online website.

You must submit a complete application including:

  • A one page cover letter and a resume which provides information about your ability to be employed in the role and addresses:
    • Show details of your last five years’ work experience.
    • Your understanding of Northern Territory Correctional Services and the role of a Correctional Officer.
    • How can you contribute to this role.
    • The skills and experience you have developed from working or interacting with people from diverse cultures.
    • Your communication and organisation skills.
    • Contact details of at least two work-related referees.

The screening phase of recruitment is where we review and assess your application against the selection criteria for the position. Applicants who are shortlisted from the screening stage will progress to the Fitness testing and Language, Literacy and Numeracy testing.

Fitness assessment

The fitness assessment is designed to replicate the physical demands of the position. Satisfactory completion of all the elements of the assessment indicates your capability to perform the physical requirements for the position.

To successfully complete this assessment, you must complete:

  • A continuous run comprising a series of five laps (approx. 100m per lap), with a stair ascent and descent of approximately 10 steps at the end of each lap. The total distance is 500 metres.
  • Arm thrusts x 10 (five from each arm).
  • Leg raises x 10 (five from each leg).
  • Stand/push/sit drill (burpees) x 10.
  • 20 metre dummy drag (70 kg).
  • Call a code on the radio.

The emergency assessment response must be continuous and be completed within five minutes.

There will be a slightly revised assessment for interstate applicants by undertaking the test with a fitness instructor. Further information will be provided at the time.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Upon the successful completion of the fitness assessment, you will then be required to complete Language, Literacy and Numeracy test to identify your core skills of learning, reading, writing and numeracy. Furthermore your oral communication skills will be observed during different stages of the application process.

The recruitment process and language, literacy and numeracy test identifies whether you may require any additional support to meet the qualification requirements of the Trainee Correctional Officer program.

All interstate applicants will be emailed the LLN test with instructions and may be required to sign a Statutory Declaration.

If you have progressed from fitness test and language, literacy and numeracy test, you will then need to complete online abilities testing and psychometric profiling. You will be given a time frame (usually 72 hours) in which to complete this profiling and we will send you all the instructions and information when you have progressed to this stage.

Note: Due to Covid-19, the Assessment Centres may not be included as part of the recruitment process.

Applicants who progress from the online testing may be required to participate in activities at the assessment centre. If requested to attend you will participate in individual and group activities to allow you to demonstrate your skills and ability against the essential criteria of the role.

If you are invited to attend a panel interview, the panel will comprise at least three interviewers from senior management within Custodial Operations and a representative of the NTCS Recruitment Team. We also review your pre-employment questionnaire at this stage.

Referee checks will be completed at this time, and you will be required to provide contact details for at least two work related referees.  NTCS reserves the right to contact non-nominated referees.

We will advise all successful applicants of the outcome of their application and set a start date or confirm that we have added you to the Trainee Correctional Officer register for up to 12 months and await a course date. The inclusion on the register is not an offer of employment.

If you are deemed suitable and a position is available, you must provide proof of the successful completion of the first aid certificates and Northern Territory driver's license details. We will require this information prior to finalising any offers. Successful applicants will be required to sign a 12-month contract as a Trainee Correctional Officer.

Those who are unsuccessful will be notified by email. NTCS does not automatically provide feedback on the bulk recruitment process.

Given the nature of this role you will be required to complete a criminal history check confirmed with a finger print.

A positive criminal history check will not necessarily exclude you from the process however, you must make full disclosure of all criminal convictions including any traffic and driving infringements, spent convictions or juvenile offences.

Failure to disclose may result in your application being terminated or cancellation of your appointment. It may be useful to include the circumstances surrounding any disclosure you make in the section provided in the pre-employment questionnaire and any other associated paperwork, as this will assist us to make a fully informed and fair judgment.

Factors considered in the assessment include:

  • Nature of the offence.
  • Scope of an individual’s criminal history.
  • Period of time that has elapsed since the offence took place.
  • Age at which the offence was committed - juvenile or adult.
  • Type and severity of any penalties or punishment and whether the individual successfully completed the court order.
  • Evidence of an extended criminal history.
  • Whether the offence is still a crime.
  • Mitigating or extenuating circumstances about the offence.
  • General character since the offence was committed.
  • Degree of rehabilitation. We may obtain further information with your consent.
  • Other factors that may be relevant for consideration such as the level of risk for NTCS.

The Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on ‘irrelevant criminal records’. Irrelevant records include such things as acquittals, withdrawn or dismissed charges, pardons and convictions for offences where the circumstances relating to the offence are not directly relevant to the situation. We do not use criminal record information for any purpose other than to determine suitability for employment to a position. Confidentiality is our fundamental consideration when handling or disseminating information and we ensure privacy by preventing unauthorised access or use of information.

Experienced Correctional Officer

NT Correctional Services uses a bulk recruitment process to attract and recruit Experienced Correctional Officers. There are several stages in the selection process.

As opportunities become available, positions are advertised on the Careers in Government Employment Opportunities Online website.

You must submit a complete application including:

  • A one page cover letter and a resume which provides information about your ability to be employed in the role and addresses:
    • Show details of your last five years’ work experience.
    • Your understanding of Northern Territory Correctional Services and the role of a Correctional Officer.
    • How can you contribute to this role.
    • The skills and experience you have developed from working or interacting with people from diverse cultures.
    • Your communication and organisation skills.
    • Contact details of at least two work-related referees.

The selection panel will contact referees so you should take the time to discuss your application with your nominated referees before we contact them. We will ask your referee to verify claims you have made in your cover letter and resume. NTCS reserves the right to contact non-nominated referees.

If you progress from the referee check stage, we will invite you to complete online abilities testing and psychometric profiling. You will be given time frame (usually 72 hours) in which to complete this profiling. You will also be provided with a pre-employment questionnaire to be completed and returned within given time frame.

If you progress from the online testing, we will invite you to attend a panel interview. The panel will comprise at least three interviewers from senior management within Custodial Operations and a representative of the NTCS Recruitment Team.

If you progress from the panel interview, our next step is to coordinate your pre-employment industrial medical assessment.

We will advise all successful applicants of the outcome of their application and set a start date or confirm that we have added you to the Experienced Correctional Officer register for up to 12 months and await a course date. The inclusion on the register is not an offer of employment. When we identify a need for additional correctional officers, we select from the people on the register.

If you are deemed suitable and you are offered employment, a six month probation period applies.

Those who are unsuccessful will be notified by email. NTCS does not automatically provide feedback on the bulk recruitment process.

Given the nature of this role you will be required to complete a criminal history check confirmed with a finger print. A positive criminal history check will not necessarily exclude you from the process however, you must make full disclosure of all criminal convictions including any traffic and driving infringements, spent convictions or juvenile offences. Failure to disclose may result in your application being terminated or cancellation of your appointment. It may be useful to include the circumstances surrounding any disclosure you make in the section provided in the pre-employment questionnaire and any other associated paperwork, as this will assist us to make a fully informed and fair judgment.

Factors considered in the assessment include:

  • Nature of the offence.
  • Scope of an individual’s criminal history.
  • Period of time that has elapsed since the offence took place.
  • Age at which the offence was committed - juvenile or adult.
  • Type and severity of any penalties or punishment and whether the individual successfully completed the court order.
  • Evidence of an extended criminal history.
  • Whether the offence is still a crime.
  • Mitigating or extenuating circumstances about the offence.
  • General character since the offence was committed.
  • Degree of rehabilitation. We may obtain further information with your consent.
  • Other factors that may be relevant for consideration such as the level of risk for NTCS.

The Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of ‘irrelevant criminal records’. Irrelevant records include such things as acquittals, withdrawn or dismissed charges, pardons and convictions for offences where the circumstances relating to the offence are not directly relevant to the situation. We do not use criminal record information for any purpose other than to determine suitability for employment to a position. Confidentiality is our fundamental consideration when handling or disseminating information and we ensure privacy by preventing unauthorised access or use of information.


Last updated: 16 June 2022

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