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How we hire

Are you right for GFSL? Are we the right employer for you?  Our recruitment process is designed to assess your skills, qualities and potential, while giving you a clear picture of the role and life at GFSL.

The vetting process will be the last part of the hiring journey. Depending upon the role, there are likely to be a range of checks that we will need to undertake. All employees will need to have valid vetting to ensure that GFSL complies with its obligations under the Cabinet Office Personnel Security Standard and the MOJ National Security Framework (PSI-07-2014) to minimise the risk to workers in, and residents of, our prison sites.

Under no circumstances can somebody commence employment prior to the GFSL Vetting team confirming that the individual’s Vetting status has been cleared.

What happens next

1. Send us
your CV

We’ll assess your GFSL application and potential. If it looks good, you’ll be progressed to the next stage and contacted by our recruitment team.

2. Telephone

We’ll arrange a short telephone interview with the Recruitment team. We’ll discuss your experience and talents to see if there’s a rapport there.

3. Face-to-face

If you impress us, you’ll be invited to a face-to-face interview with the Recruitment team; which for Operations will involve a walk around one of our prison sites so you get a feel for the working environment. For some Corporate roles this may be done via a video interview.

4. Second face-to-face interview

For Site Manager roles and Corporate roles, there will be a second interview with the Hiring Manager. It helps us both to confirm that we are definitely a good match for each other.

5. Conditional Offer

If you are successful during the interview process, one of our regional recruiters will reach out to you to make a verbal offer. It is at this point that you will discuss salary and a potential start date. This offer is conditional dependent on you passing our vetting checks.

6. Right to Work check

All employees will need to prove they have a legal right to work in the UK regardless of background. You will be guided through this process by one of the expert regional recruiters. Further information right to work legislation can be found here.

7. Vetting

Given the nature of our work, everyone will need to undergo a series of important checks to ensure that you are able to work with us. The process can typically take anywhere from 2 weeks to up to 3 months depending on the type of role you are applying for. Whilst we will make every effort to keep you regularly updated as to your status, please bear with us during this period.

8. Welcome

Once your vetting has been confirmed and you are cleared, you will be given a start date. We run two start dates every month which fall on the 1st and 3rd Monday. We look forward to seeing you soon at one of our sites or offices.

9. Onboarding

You will then follow an onboarding journey which will include completing a confidential medical questionnaire, fulfilling GFSL’s health & safety obligations. This will help us support you properly in your employment with GFSL. Other onboarding elements include being allocated a buddy, booking in training, and ensuring we have your bank details.

Our vetting process

We have a series of checks that we will need to undertake based upon the role you are applying for and the type of prison that you will be working in. These are:


All candidates will need to be checked against the Police National Computer and Exclusion List Check.

Time frame : Approx. 8 working days

Enhanced DBS

Applications for roles within Mother & Baby Units, Youth Offending Institutions or Young People Sites will need a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Time frame: Up to 6 weeks (can be quicker)


All new starters joining High Security Prisons will have to start the Enhanced Level vetting process (EL2 and Counter Terrorist Check).

Time frame: 8 weeks to three months

The following will provide more information on what’s involved:

How long does a PNC last for?

Like a DBS, PNCs will be deemed to have a 12-month expiry. Your full vetting will commence shortly after your start date.

How long does Enhanced vetting (EL2 and CTC) last for?

Generally, it lasts for 5 years but there might be instances where the expiry date is decided on an individual basis.

I know I have cautions/convictions/reprimands/penalties or warnings on my record, will this affect my vetting outcome?

Firstly, don’t panic! Just because you know you have entries on your record, does not mean you will fail vetting. Our approvals team will look at the details and apply their set criteria to reach a decision, they will take into account the date of the offense, the type of offense and the age at which it was committed. Remember to always disclose any offenses to your regional recruiter at the interview stage and be upfront and honest if you are required to provide more detailed information.

How and when will I be contacted about my vetting result?

Once we receive a decision from our approvals and compliance team, we will notify you to let you know the outcome of your vetting and next steps.