43624 - Trainee Forensic Psychologist - National Campaign

£27,697 - £35,324 (Salary will depend on location)
12 Months
HM Prison and Probation Service
Band 5
Full Time

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity

Overview of the job

This is a non-operational job within an establishment or a regional delivery team.


Working as a psychologist in a prison is challenging. People in prisons have almost always hurt and harmed people, but often and usually not in clear ways, they have also been hurt and harmed. The role requires a great deal of compassion and perspective to work with this reality, as well as a high level of analytical skill, competency in delivering intervention, and an ability to influence others. Some stakeholders depend on you to provide expert assessment to help them judge risk, understand behaviour and make decisions that balance the interests of individuals with those of protecting the public. Others rely on your research and consultancy skills to inform strategic decisions, improve prison conditions and support rehabilitative efforts. The demands placed on psychologists in HMPPS can be a heavy responsibility to carry, but it makes for an extremely rewarding role, with an ability to make a genuine difference at an individual, local and national level. 

Forensic Psychologists in Training work with prisoners and various stakeholders and their work is undertaken under the supervision of senior or lead psychologists. In HMPPS, psychologists at this level undertake a variety of supervised work to gain experience, and develop competency in working towards becoming a registered practitioner. This includes undertaking risk assessments and clinical assessments, writing professional reports and providing evidence as a professional witness at Parole Board hearings. It also includes delivering and supervising accredited programmes, and designing bespoke formulation-driven interventions; undertaking research and consultancy projects to provide psychologically-informed solutions to support progressive environments and regimes, and providing training to improve workforce capability. Psychologists in training employed by HMPPS may undertake training via one of several accredited routes and they are provided with a range of opportunities to progress which they are expected to use to the best advantage of their training and development.  They are responsible for ensuring they are constantly progressing to the level of a registered psychologist.

This is a non-operational job with no line management or supervisory responsibilities.

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties

The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities and duties:

  • All work will be conducted under the supervision of a registered psychologist.
  • Offer advice and assist in target/objective setting for prisoners.
  • Offer advice on the location of a prisoner (both within the establishment or potential relocation to another category establishment).
  • Write prisoner reports e.g. indeterminate sentenced prisoner reports, reports for Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) and Parole Board Reviews.
  • Raise awareness of the range of interventions available with prison officers and others so that they are better able to recognise who would benefit.
  • Interview and select prisoners to assess their suitability for accredited programmes and other interventions.
  • Prepare for and co-facilitate (usually more complex) programmes, complete reports and set objectives for prisoners following completion of the programme.  
  • Provide a clinical oversight (treatment management) of identified programmes to ensure standards are maintained and facilitators are supported in group management and related issues.
  • Participate in risk assessment of prisoners to determine their risk of harm to self, others and the risk of reoffending. Undertake Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) and self-harm assessments.  
  • Conduct relevant research including data gathering.
  • Be involved in the development, delivery and evaluation of training.
  • Provide consultancy support where required.
  • Develop and utilise skills in crisis intervention.
  • Present as 'professional witness' in Parole Board hearings
  • Take responsibility for their own Continued Professional Development (CPD) and maintain progression towards registered status.

The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation Scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the job holder.

An ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence through the medium of English or (where specified in Wales) Welsh.


  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Developing Self and Others
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together

Technical Requirements

  • Degree conferring Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with British Psychological Society (BPS).
  • Proof of successful completion of academic component of training towards registered status, this may be a BPS accredited MSc in Forensic Psychology or the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology (Stage 1).
  • Registration with a professional body, most usually the BPS.
  • Job holders must complete specific training in their specialism once they take up post.

Hours of Work (Unsocial Hours) Allowances

37 hour working week.

The jobholder must be able to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence in English or (when specified in Wales) Welsh.

Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s, including HMPPS, 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.

Standard working hours for this post are 37 hours per week excluding breaks which are unpaid.

If you are a current NPS employee, this vacancy may be available on a Loan basis for up to 2 years. Applications are invited from suitable qualified staff.

The Loan/Secondment is subject to the approval of the selected candidate's Business Unit, which should be obtained before confirmation of appointment.


Annual Leave

-The holiday year runs from 1 March. If you work a non standard work pattern your leave entitlement may be expressed in either hours or days as appropriate. Leave entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis and you will be advised of your actual entitlement on appointment. If you were appointed internally and your leave was previously calculated in days, this will continue to be the case.

Bank, Public and Privilege Holidays

You are entitled to 9 days (66 hours 36 minutes) in recognition of bank, public and privilege holidays. These hours are added to your annual leave allowance. There is a requirement to work some public and bank holidays subject to your shift pattern and the operational needs of the establishment


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

Work Life Balance

-HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS) is keen to encourage alternative working arrangements. Work life balance provides greater opportunities for staff to work more flexibly wherever managers and establishments can accommodate requests to do so. HMPPS offers flexible working subject to completion of a satisfactory probationary period and NVQ

Season Ticket Advance

-After two months’ service, you’ll be eligible to apply for a season ticket advance to purchase a quarterly or longer-period season ticket for travel between home and your place of work

Childcare Vouchers

For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers


-HMPPS is committed to staff development and offers a range of training and development opportunities, including areas such as Equality and Diversity, Dealing with Challenging Behaviour, Suicide Prevention and Anti Bullying Programmes

-There are opportunities to access promotion programmes and HMPPS provide a variety of training appropriate to individual posts

-All staff receive security and diversity training and an individual induction programme into their new roles


-All candidates are subject to security and identity checks prior to taking up post

-All external candidates are subject to 6 months probation. Internal candidates are subject to probation if they have not already served a probationary period within HMPPS

-All staff are required to declare whether they are a member of a group or organisation which HMPPS considers to be racist

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.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

If successful in passing both the online tests and sifting stage you will be invited to complete an online assessment centre that is expected to take place between 2nd - 15th June.
Online assessment centres expected to take place between 2nd - 15th June

15/05/2021, 23:55 hours.

If you require any assistance please call 0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com. Please quote the job reference - 43624.
Please note the successful applicant will need to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Security Check for this post.

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.

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

This Vacancy is closed to applications.