HL Deb 14 September 2001 vol 627 cc4-5WA
Lord Hoyle

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What professional training is given to governors and prison officers. [HL644]

Lord Rooker

There is an extensive range of training available to all staff in the Prison Service, from the initial training for new prison officers, through to specific operational training courses and opportunities for staff development.

The initial training for new prison officers is an 11-week course that is partly residential and partly establishment based. This gives a thorough introduction to the Prison Service and equips officers to maintain security and contribute to prisoner resettlement.

Serving officers are offered further training to meet the needs of security and the prison regime.

Security training covers, for example, control and restraint techniques, security management, control room, searching, hostage incidents and use of X-ray equipment.

Training in prisoner management and care includes, for example, courses for staff who work with young offenders or women prisoners, for those involved in delivering offending behaviour programmes, and for physical education officers.

Officers are able to pursue a national vocational qualification in custodial care, based on newly-developed national occupational standards which were launched in January this year.

A new approach to leadership and management development is now being created. It will include a leadership programme and direct support and advice to establishments. This review will take account of the recommendations of Lord Laming of Tewin.

Details of all current training courses can be found in the latest edition of the Prison Service's Directory of Training, copies of which can be found in the Library.