66884 - Inspector

The national salary range is £51,767 - £59,590, London salary range is £55,720 - £64,135. Your salary will be dependent on your base location
12 Months
London, National
London, National
Please note: Some of our MoJ Office locations, such as our Liverpool Justice Collaboration Centre, require higher levels of National Security Vetting. The MoJ is working to open more Justice Collaboration Centres and Justice Satellite Offices over time. Click here to learn more about where our currently open Justice Collaboration Centres and Justice Satellite Offices are, to identify where you may be based and understand National Security Vetting requirements of each location.
Grade 7
Grade 7
Full Time
Senior Leadership, Inspector of Education and Training, Other, Analytical, Investigation

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit:


HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMI Prisons) for England and Wales is an independent inspectorate which reports on the treatment of, and conditions for, those in prison, young offender institutions and court custody suites in England and Wales, and immigration detention facilities in the United Kingdom. HMI Prisons also inspects Border Force customs custody (jointly with HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services) and secure training centres (jointly with Ofsted). By invitation, HMI Prisons inspects some military detention facilities, as well as prisons in Northern Ireland and in other jurisdictions with links to the UK, such as the Isle of Man. 

The role of HM Inspectorate of Prisons is to provide independent scrutiny of the conditions for and treatment of prisoners and other detainees, promoting the concept of ‘healthy establishments’ in which staff work effectively to achieve positive outcomes for those detained and for the public.

The Inspectorate’s work constitutes an important part of the United Kingdom’s obligations under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment. This Protocol requires signatory states to have in place regular independent inspection of places of detention.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons is an Arm’s Length Body (ALB) of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The Chief Inspector of Prisons is a Crown Appointee, while the staff of the Inspectorate are civil servants employed by the MoJ. The established values of the Inspectorate are:

  • Independence, impartiality and integrity are the foundations of our work.
  • The experience of the detainee is at the heart of our inspections.
  • Respect for human rights underpins our Expectations.
  • We embrace diversity and are committed to pursuing equality of outcomes for all.

We believe in the capacity of both individuals and organisations to change and improve, and that we have a part to play in initiating and encouraging change.

About the Role

HM Inspectorate of Prisons are looking for Inspectors to inspect all types of prison and other forms of custody. Our Inspectors play a pivotal role within the organisation inspecting the conditions and treatment of prisoners and detainees against our Expectations criteria, which describe the standards establishments should achieve.

Inspectors must be confident interacting with detainees and staff throughout inspections. They must be able to analyse complex information from a range of sources and come up with accurate and objective conclusions under time pressure. They also need the ability to write up key findings in a clear, concise and evidence- based way. These roles require excellent team players who can support colleagues when working as part of an inspection team but are also able to spend long periods inspecting and working alone.

Most inspections take place over two weeks, so the role of an inspector requires a considerable amount of time working away from home. For example, if you are coordinating an inspection for your team, you might be away for two nights on the first week, and then four or five nights on the following week. This will sometimes include leaving on Sunday afternoon to start work early on a Monday. If you are just attending the full inspection week, rather than coordinating, you will only be required to attend the second week. It is essential that inspectors are very flexible, but the Inspectorate will offer a balanced workload that provides time at home between inspections. Across the year, you are likely to complete on average 18 or 20 weeks away on inspection. When not inspecting, time will be used for report writing, project work and other tasks as required.

Frequent travel within the UK (and possibly abroad) will be required, and you will spend at least one week in three away on inspection, as well as travelling for meetings and other events. You will also need to be available to come to London for internal and external meetings on a regular basis. A preparedness to travel and work away from home is a key requirement of the role.


You will:

  • inspect the conditions and treatment of prisoners and detainees, using HMIP’s own Expectations inspection criteria
  • interact with detainees and staff throughout inspections, seeking their views
  • work under significant time pressure during inspections
  • spend a lot of your time working on your own each day in the custodial environment (you will be trained in jailcraft and carrying keys)
  • at speed, interpret complex information and draw accurate and objective conclusions from a range of evidence sources
  • draft key findings in a clear, defensible and evidence-based way
  • discuss, evaluate and debate findings with the team leader and other team members
  • need to be an excellent team player throughout the inspection weeks, Support colleagues throughout the inspection weeks and constructively contribute to on-site discussions and judgements
  • brief senior managers in the establishment about your developing findings, and participate in the debrief at the end of the inspection
  • write up your evidence-based findings clearly and concisely the week after an inspection, to tight timescales and wordcounts (and using information technology)
  • monitor policy and practice in relation to those in custody and help ensure that your team, and the Inspectorate in general keeps up to date on these developments
  • attend meetings and conferences, where required, on behalf of the Inspectorate
  • assist with policy papers, briefings and thematic reviews as

Essential Knowledge, Experience and Skills

All candidates will need to have:

  • Experience of working with people at senior levels
  • Experience of developing or influencing policy
  • An interest in working across the range of custodial environments but mainly in prisons
  • Experience that demonstrates support for and understanding of the Inspectorate’s work and values
  • Experience that demonstrates excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to write high-quality evidence-based reports at pace
  • Sound interpersonal, communication and relationship building skills
  • The ability to thrive working as part of the inspection team, but also able to spend long periods inspecting and working alone

You will be working in difficult and challenging environments. The best candidates will offer a combination of the following skills:

  • Think in an objective and analytical manner with the ability to analyse a range of oral, written and statistical evidence
  • Make accurate judgements under pressure and support their findings with evidence
  • Be committed to continuous improvement, in an environment where performance matters
  • Adhere to HMIP’s code of conduct and core values at all times
  • Be flexible, adaptive and creative in solving problems and dealing with change
  • Be resilient in the field and meet tight deadlines
  • Deliver difficult messages in a constructive manner
  • Be able to manage confidently potentially difficult and challenging situations
  • Be able to engage constructively with prisoners and other detainees
  • Be extremely flexible and supportive to colleagues
  • Work closely with colleagues, custodial staff and detainees throughout inspections


  • Understanding of policy, debates associated with detention and custodial environments
  • A background in inspection or investigation
  • Extensive understanding of immigration detention policy and debates
  • Legal understanding of detention and immigration issues
  • An ability to work across very varied detention environments, including detention centres, small holding facilities and overseas escorts.

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on 'modernised' terms in their current post or onto 'unmodernised' MoJ terms if they are on 'unmodernised' terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.


The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.


The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.


The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.


The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.


  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits, retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on GOV.UK or Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

Expected 6th. 13th & 14th February 2023 (subject to change)
Expected w/c 9th January 2023 (subject to change)

01/12/2022, 23:55 hours.

If you require any assistance please call 0845 241 5359 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com Please quote the job reference - 66884.
Counter-Terrorism Check (CTC)
Please note the successful applicant will need to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Security Check for this post.

To apply for roles in MOJ you will need to confirm your employment history for at least 3 years prior to the date of application so that pre-employment checks (BPSS) can be undertaken. If you have spent significant time abroad (a total of 6 months in the past 3 years) you would be required to give a reasonable account of the reasons why. 

For some roles you will be required to successfully complete National Security Vetting at Counter Terrorism (CTC), Security Clearance (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) level as a condition of appointment. To meet CTC/SC/DV requirements you will normally need to have been resident in the UK for at least 3/5/10 years prior to the date of application (The level of checks that are required are stated in the advert).

If you do not meet the above requirements, you may still be considered if, for example:

  • You've been serving overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of HM Government
  • You were studying abroad
  • You were living overseas with parents

In such cases you will need to be able to provide referee cover for the period(s) of residence overseas. The duration of overseas residence and the country of abode will also be taken into account.

Success Profiles will enable a fairer and more inclusive method of recruitment by enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical/professional skills required for different roles. This flexible approach to recruitment focuses more on finding the right candidate for the specific role. To find out more about Success Profiles to support your application please click here for further guidance.

In the event that we receive a large volume of applications we reserve the right to conduct the sift based on one lead behaviour. The chosen lead behaviour for this campaign is Making Effective Decisions.
if you feel that your application has not been treated in line with the Civil Service Recruitment Principles, please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com) in the first instance

We have provided detail of the assessment stages and areas being assessed to help you prepare for completing your application form, and to advise of what will be assessed following this, if you successfully pass the application stage.

Application form stage assessments

Working Together - 250 word limit
Communicating and Influencing - 250 word limit
Making Effective Decisions - 250 word limit
Delivering at Pace - 250 word limit
Seeing the Big Picture - 250 word limit
A sift based on the lead behaviour, Making Effective Decisions, may be held if a large number of applications are received. If a large number of applications remain after the initial sift, your application will be progressed to a full sift, where all behaviours will then be considered.

Interview stage assessments

There are 2 interview stages for this vacancy.
Working Together
Communicating and Influencing
Making Effective Decisions
Delivering at Pace
Seeing the Big Picture

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

The "Making the Civil Service a Great Place to work for veterans" initiative includes a guaranteed interview scheme to those who meet the minimum criteria to provide eligible former members of the Armed Forces with opportunities to secure rewarding jobs. Allowing veterans to continue to serve their country, and to bring highly skilled individuals with a broad range of experience into the Civil Service in an environment, which recognises and values your previous service in the Armed Forces.
For further details about the initiative and eligibility requirements visit : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/making-the-civil-service-a-great-place-to-work-for-veterans

Redeployment Interview Scheme

Civil Service departments are expected to explore redeployment opportunities before making an individual redundant. The MoJ are committed, as part of the Redeployment Interview Scheme, to providing opportunities to those who are 'at risk of redundancy'.

MoJ are able to offer an interview to eligible candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns. Candidate's will not be eligible for the Redeployment Interview Scheme if they are applying on promotion.

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

· UK nationals

· nationals of the Republic of Ireland

· nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

· individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020

· Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules

This Vacancy is closed to applications.