The role of a Prison Officer is a complex and challenging one, demanding recruits undergo rigorous training. In order for them to have the desired impact within their role they require the skills for management of not only the safety and security of prisoners, and the custody and detention environment, but also the expertise needed to support vulnerable individuals and a culture that facilitates the rehabilitation of offenders

To ensure that such training is delivered and assessed to a consistent standard, in 2015 SFJ Awards Level 3 Diploma in the Management and Care of Individuals in Custodial Environments, was developed with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), an agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). This regulated qualification has since been awarded to 11,078 Prison Officers, providing clear and quality assured recognition of their knowledge, understanding and skills, and giving employers and the public confidence in the quality and value of the training received.

With the introduction of the new Custody and Detention apprenticeship in England in 2018, it was timely to review the qualification and bring it up to date to align with this new standard. Furthermore, to provide a consistent level of training across England and Wales, the new qualification will also be included on the new Custody and Detention apprenticeship framework in Wales.

Rachel Henson, Talent and Capability Consultant, Apprenticeships Team, MoJ said:

“A thorough review of the SFJ Awards L3 qualification was fundamental to underpin the development of the Welsh Apprenticeship Framework, to align to the Custody and Detention Apprenticeship Standard in England, and provide a range of training options to grow the workforce.“

Through its latest redevelopment, the new SFJ Awards Level 3 Diploma in the Management and Care of Individuals in Custody or Detention qualification has a broader remit. It is now suitable for individuals seeking to gain the expertise needed to work within a range of secure environments, including prisons, detention centres, custodial establishments, young offender institutions and secure escorting services.

Richard Turrell, Talent and Capability Consultant, MoJ commented:

“This qualification was previously delivered in-house, whereas now, having worked with SFJ Awards, this training is recognised as a professional high-quality qualification, across the whole Custody and Detention environment, on a national scale.”

The SFJ Awards qualifications team worked in partnership with not only the HMPPS/MoJ, but alongside other sector employers including: G4S Care and Justice, Serco, GeoAmy, Sodexo, and the Ministry of Defence, combining the awarding body's expertise in qualification design and delivery with national employer requirements, and sharing best practice to ensure that the revised qualification provides managers with the confidence they seek in the skills and expertise of their staff. 

Redevelopment has also included an increased focus on assessment in the workplace to confirm competence in practice, meaning employers have a trusted way of ensuring that officers develop skilled practices to ensure individuals in custody or detention are treated with dignity and respect and helped to find a new way of life, whilst maintaining a safe, secure, and structured environment.

Tony Summers, Head of Learning, Capability and People Development, G4S said:

“G4S Custodial and Detention Services UK will use SFJ Awards’ new custodial qualification as part of the Custody and Detention Officer Apprenticeship framework in Wales. The apprenticeship is a key element of developing the capabilities of new officers and ensures our employees in Wales are given the same opportunity for development as colleagues in England. The apprenticeship will be part of the induction of all new officers at HMP & YOI Parc.”

The new SFJ Awards Level 3 Diploma in the Management and Care of Individuals in Custody or Detention qualification is available today, regulated in England and Wales. By updating the content, it now not only supports apprenticeship development but its value to the sector has been enhanced by making it accessible to staff working in an even wider range of custodial contexts.

Find out more about SFJ Awards Custodial Care qualifications here and get in touch with their team for more information on how these qualifications can help provide your workforce with the skills they need to deliver high quality care and services today.

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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