Frontline futures application process

This application process is specifically for corrections officers, probation officers, programme facilitators, case managers and instructors.

Have a look at our job list and once you’ve decided what you’d like to  apply for, please log on to our eRecruit system and follow the instructions. All applications need to submitted electronically:

1. Apply

Check your eligibility

Do you have:

  • a full clean driver licence (private motor vehicle)
  • a clean criminal conviction record
  • the right to work in New Zealand for at least 2 years.

For correction officers and instructors, you will need to be:

  • reasonably fit and healthy
  • comfortable working 24/7 shift roster (corrections officers only)

Are you happy to take a drug test and understand that the Department may carry out random drug and alcohol testing on frontline employees from time-to-time?

Apply online using our eRecruit system

You will be asked to:

  • Provide contact and other essential details
  • Complete some self-assessment questions which will give you the opportunity to  explain why you are interested in the role and why you are well-suited to it
  • Declare any criminal or gang associations and conflicts of interest that you may have
  • Upload a copy of your curriculum vitae (CV) and, if you wish, a cover letter.

Note: During the application process you will also need to provide the following documents:

  • Your driver licence
  • Your passport or a certified birth certificate or proof of RealMe identity
  • Any documents relating to your legal right to work in New Zealand

2. Selection process

Getting the right people on board for our frontline roles is important to us, so we make no apologies for the fact that our selection process has a number of steps in it and is thorough. We do our best to make it as enjoyable and informative as we can for applicants, but we will need you to take the time to complete each step in the process.

A recruitment adviser will review your application and you may get a phone call to clarify some parts of your application. Then if you are shortlisted, you will be asked to complete the following steps. If you are not short-listed, you will be advised by email.

Online personality assessments

The first step is to complete a personality profile assessment. You will either be sent a link so that you can complete these assessments online, at a time that suits you best or invited to complete testing at a Corrections site. Your profile will then be compared with the standardised profile for frontline offender-facing roles within the Department.
The results of these assessments will determine if you proceed to the next stage.

Frontline Assessment Centre

If your test results are assessed to be a good fit for a frontline role, you will be invited to attend an Assessment Centre along with a number of other applicants. During the Assessment Centre you will undertake a variety of exercises which include role play/scenarios, group and observation exercises, as well as a written exercise. We will also verify your identity and ask you to complete a Police Vetting Consent form.

The assessments are designed to give you the chance to display your natural skills and abilities and to provide you with a better idea of what working in the frontline is like. There is no need to practice, just be yourself and (try to!) enjoy the session.


If you do well at the Assessment Centre, when there is a vacancy for the specific role you’re interested in, your CV will be considered by the hiring panel. If the hiring panel feels you have the skills and experience required for that particular position, you will be invited to attend an interview. If you’re interested in more than one role and have the appropriate skills and experience for each role, that’s fine, you may attend interviews for as many roles as you like.

Pre-employment checking

Before we can finalise an offer of employment, there are a few more steps which need to be taken.

Note: You may have completed some of these steps earlier in the process.

Criminal conviction check

You will have been asked to complete a Police Vetting consent form and we will check that you have a clean criminal record.

Reference check

We will complete a reference check with two people who can provide us with information regarding your recent work experience. This is to verify the information you have provided about your skills, experience and attributes. We expect to be able to speak with your current or most recent manager and will only contact referees you have given us permission to talk to.

Drug test

We will also ask you to undertake a pre-employment drug test. We are only notified if any illicit drugs are found.

Medical and physical Assessments (corrections Officer and Instructor applicants only)

After you have completed your onsite preview (SCOPE), you will be asked to complete a physical assessment at the prison where you’ve applied for a role. This test measures your ability to cope with the physical requirements of the job. The physical tests are set to a standard such that someone with a reasonable level of fitness developed through regular activity should pass.

Corrections Officer and Instructor applicants will also be asked to complete a full medical examination with a doctor of your choice and at your cost (these costs are reimbursed if you are appointed to the role of Corrections Officer or Instructor).

3. Talent Pool

The Department regularly recruits in certain areas in order to give candidates the opportunity to be pre-screened prior to a vacancy arising. What this means is that we ask for:

Expressions of Interest from candidates and take them through our Assessment Centre process.  If at that point there is not a vacancy for the role you’re interested in the location where you want to work, you will be placed into a Talent Pool.  We will keep in touch with you until there is a vacancy that meets your criteria. At that point, your application will be passed on to the hiring manager and you may then be shortlisted to attend an interview for that role.

Whilst you are in our Talent Pool, you can also be considered for other frontline roles or locations. You’ve already been assessed as being suitable for a Frontline role, so now it’s just a matter of waiting until the appropriate opportunity comes up.

4. Onsite job preview

If the hiring panel agrees that you have the appropriate skills, experience and personal attributes for the role, you will be offered the opportunity to spend time shadowing a staff member while they carry out their daily duties. This will give you first-hand insight into what the role involves and provide you with the opportunity to talk to others who are currently in the role.

At this stage if you decide that the role you’re looking at is not of interest to you after all, you may withdraw your application. Each role does not suit everyone – take the time to reflect and be honest with yourself – this career has to be right for you. But don’t forget that as you have been assessed as being suitable for a front line role, there may be another position at Corrections which you may interested in and suitable for.  Talk to your recruitment adviser - they will be  happy to help you.

5. Getting started

It’s important to us that our frontline staff who work with offenders are well prepared for the challenge ahead of them. We provide excellent training and development which make sure our people have the skills to support offenders to change their offending behaviour and to keep themselves and their colleagues safe.

All new staff working in offender-facing roles will complete an initial three week training programme called Frontline Start. This is designed to give new staff working in offender-facing roles an understanding of what Corrections does and how they can play their part in reducing re-offending in their new role. They join with other new staff beginning their career with Corrections for their first and third weeks in Wellington.

After Frontline Start, new employees join other new starters in the same role on the specific learning pathway for that role. Corrections will arrange and cover the costs of travel, accommodation and all meals related to the training.

Corrections is committed to staff development, so to enable you to do your job well, you will receive personal development opportunities throughout your career. As you move along the pathway there are opportunities for promotion to senior roles as well as opportunities to work in National Office or on projects.

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