Latest Info For POELTS - August 2015

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baitskrew
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Latest Info For POELTS - August 2015

Post by baitskrew » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:08 am

General Info for POELTS...

- There will be no NVQ for the foreseeable future. An equivalent is given after you complete the six week's course.
- Make sure you get "Phoenix" set up on your first week, otherwise claiming expenses whilst away from home could be a difficult task
- You can only claim expenses on a weekly basis. You can't claim for future expenses like others have suggested.
- It looks like the ten week POELT has been pushed back until next year

The First Week At Your Establishment

- Turn up half an hour early. white shirt & black trousers. Get hydrated. Clean shaven with ironed kit. Every single day.
- Request as much time on each of the wings as possible. You'd rather find out this isn't for you on week one than week eight.
- Chat to the prisoners. They are humans too. You can have a decent chat and a laugh with them. It'll make going "live" a lot less daunting.
- You are Mister/Miss XYZ if asked. They don't need to know your first name. They'll call you "guv" anyway.
- Don't tell them exactly where you live. If they ask, be general. For Example, don't say "Hassocks" say Brighton.
- Never take a prisoners word as gospel. Always consult another Officer before you open that door...
- ALWAYS check doors after you lock it. If you opened that door, make sure it's you who locked afterwards.
- Make sure you get used to the keys and the locks. After a day or two they'll become second nature.
- You'll get called "fresh meat", then after a day or two prisoners will be asking you for allsorts as if you've been there for years. Laugh it off.
- Learn about the different documents officers fill in. It'll give you a massive headstart for your six weeks training.
- If you don't know the answer to a prisoner's question, tell them you'll find out for them. You shouldn't be two steps away from another officer anyway.

Six Week Course Info & Tips...

10am-5pm on Mondays, 8am-5pm Tues-Thurs, 8am-12pm on Friday. You can arrive at your establishment on Sunday Night between 6pm & 10pm if you live over 100 miles/ask nicely. Being late is not an option. Be early. Make sure you're in class before the trainers get there.

- Take an iron with you. They don't take too kindly to you looking like a scruff
- If you have incomplete/no uniform then you MUST wear white shirts/blouse, black trousers, black laced shoes.
- Gents, beards or clean shaven. There is no middle ground
- Bring plenty of gym gear for C&R training just incase there are no washing facilities on site. Washing your pants in the sink ain't ideal.
- Highlighter pens are you best friend. They're necessary to wade through the revision material
- I have a pad just for "To Do" lists. This will make sure you keep on top of things
- Get a good nights kip. Yawning in class results in a punishment for the whole class. Don't let your mates down.
- Help your mates. Give tips and hints if you see they are doing something wrong. Especially during C&R.
- Alcohol. Little, not often. Don't be a sheep and follow those who treat the six weeks as a beano. IT HAPPENS.
- Swearing. Keep it minimal, behind closed doors and in context. You don't know who might be walking down the corridor towards you.
- Don't over-do it at the gyms. If you damage yourself in the gym and can't complete your C&R it's game over.

Some of the above may be location dependent, but I'm guessing the curriculum/etiquette is the same at all training establishments.

Lastly, enjoy yourself. This will probably be the best six weeks in your career. Work hard, but make sure you socialise with the others as those "hotel" rooms can be lonely places. I say "mates" a lot in this thread because these people will become your friends VERY quickly. You're living and working with one another, so be respectful and always lend a helping hand/shoulder to cry on when needed.

Little Items/Tips For When You Go "Live"

- Tally Counters for when counting prisoners in cells/going to work will make your life easier.
- Pocket notepad for when you get requests from prisoners, and as a "to do" list
- Pocket diary. Useful if you or a colleague requires for a shift change
- Tactical belts(?) So much easier than dismantling your standard issue trouser belt at the end of the day.
- Inner Soles, you'll be on your feet ALOT. So they're a handy little bit of comfort
- If you smoke, get yourself an E-Cig. You'll thank me later.

That's it for now. I'll add anything else if it crops up.
Last edited by baitskrew on Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Musso2010
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS

Post by Musso2010 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:52 pm

Appreciate the information. Thank you.

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Rex Rippington
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS

Post by Rex Rippington » Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:54 pm

Thats a cracking bit of information, cheers mate

Xzibit045
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS

Post by Xzibit045 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:04 pm

As someone who is just about to start my POELT I appreciate your information!

Xz

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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS

Post by SecretSquirrel » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:24 pm

One of the best and most relevant post's I've ever read on here; thanks, I really appreciate it. :slcup:

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Re: Latest Info For POELTS

Post by jackharper » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:43 pm

Some good stuff here baitskrew. I have a few thoughts to add.

You can claim POELT expenses on the Phoenix system from the Thursday. You don't have to wait till Friday to submit for the current week. And do start submitting as early as possible. It was almost two week into the course before I got my first weeks expenses, and I know some POELTS's who waited longer.

The course is pretty intense, and you will need to know a lot of it for the exams. But, I found the trainers to be very helpful in emphasising the areas you need to concentrate on the most. Don't worry about the project that you are allocated into groups for and have to present after your exams. It's a way of letting of steam and having a bit of fun with your presentations. And doesn't count towards any final mark. You can easily bulk it out with quizzes, role plays, etc.

The First Week At Your Establishment (after training)

Definitely turn up early. You are expected to be briefed on your wing before you start. Don't be late. Try not to take time off sick in your first year. This is your probationary period.

I'm not sure about the clean shaven part. I guess establishments vary. A lot of Officers where I am sport stubble, beards, etc. I have had no problems with shaving once a week. I think it's more about being presentable, clean, alert, and attentive. definitely keep your uniform ironed. If you are working in the Gate you will need to wear a tire. I wear one for Visits as well.

You will probably have issues with uniform. There seems to be a nationwide shortage with uniform. It's worth visiting stores every week. If you are short they may cannabilise someone else delivery.

Belts. After a month or so I have decided to purchase a security belt system. The prison issue ones just can't deal with the weight of a radio, baton, keys, and any other pouches you may need. A lot of Officers use them.

Torch. If you are doing any roll counts first thing in the morning before relieving the night OSG/Officer then you will need access to one. Some prisoners completely cover their windows at night and their cells become literally pitch black.

Develop a thick skin. Walking past wings you will get anonymous verbal abuse. Don't engage. But, on the other hand. If it's directly aimed at you, offensive, and at close proximity, then you are going to have to make a choice. IEP warnings, charges, are there for a reason.

baitskrew is spot on with the opening doors bit. Prisoners will cotton on to the fact you are new and will ask you to open landing/spur doors. They will try to get showers when it is lock up time, visit their mates the landing below, etc. They will tell you they are cleaners, listeners, etc. They may well be. If you are not sure, ask another Officer. Don't open a door because a prisoner tells you to. Only open a door if you know it is OK to do so. And always lock it behind you.

I started off carrying a little notebook. I don't take it out on the wing any longer. Once prisoners see you writing something down then they all start gravitating towards you. If you are asked something. Deal with that first. Then field another question/request, etc, etc. And don't let any question distract you when checking the roll. Just concentrate on getting those figures right. Otherwise, it's a recount for every wing.

Regarding smoking. I don't at work. But most prisoners smoke. And also a lot of Officers. Whether its mass moves, during exercise, walking to another wing, etc. Maybe establishments vary, but I think it is tolerated, because of the stressful nature of the job.

Join the POA. I had reason to call on them during my second week. Not for anything I did wrong, but as a witness to an incident. As a new recruit I would have felt out of my depth without the rep's presence.

And finally. Don't worry if you feel a bit overwhelmed after the first couple of weeks. It get's better. You learn and pick up stuff/tips all the time. If you make a small mistake then it is a lesson learned. Just be willing to learn and ask as many questions as you feel you need to. You should have a mentor and the support of your fellow Officers. I can honestly say that every Officer I have met at my establishment has been helpful. Whether they have six months experience or twenty years in the job.

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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS

Post by SecretSquirrel » Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:56 pm

baitskrew - can I ask where in the UK you are roughly?

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mattzo027
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS

Post by mattzo027 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:09 pm

Thanks for the info, great post for someone just away to start.

It sounds like going back to military basic training again, which was some of the best days I ever had!!

Any tips for anything else to take with us?
Nothing is impossible, just try, try and try again eventually the odds are you will succeed.

Xzibit045
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS

Post by Xzibit045 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:01 pm

At your POELT did you wear boots or shoes? If so what type (: thanks!

baitskrew
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS

Post by baitskrew » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:41 pm

Hello Again! Thanks for the acknowledgement.

SecretSquirrel, I'm in the south of our green and pleasant land...

Xzibit, if you're unfortunate enough not to get your standard issue boots on week one, laced black polished shoes will suffice.

Matt, It's common sense stuff to be honest. The training establishment should provide you with writing material, but having your own will look better on you. You don't want to lose the solitary pen they supply to you! I wrote a checklist and then had a spend up in pound land to get the basics.

Other tips?

- C&R kit. Several T-Shirt and shorts will suffice as you'll be wearing overalls. It gets abit hot and sticky whilst practicing techniques, so don't stroll in wearing a think tracksuit. I say bring "several" as I learned the hard way that this clothing will be "potent" after just an hour of C&R.

- Ensure you bring your passport sized photos to your training establishment, otherwise you'll have to find a Tescos/Sainsbury on your first evening when it could be better spent getting to know your colleagues.

- Log in to the computers once or twice a week at your training establishment. If your S.O sends you a "how you getting on?" Email whilst you're training, it'll be reasonably polite to reply to it. You'll need to log on to do your expenses anyway...

- You'll be doing a group project over the six weeks training on a certain aspect of the prison service. Research on say "the history of HMP" will be a lot easier in your own time with a laptop. There won't be an endless supply of computers at Newbold etc. to swot up on research material.

baitskrew
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS - August 2015

Post by baitskrew » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:57 pm

Sorry, original post went missing for a while after editing it.

baitskrew
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS - August 2015

Post by baitskrew » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:29 pm

Original post still missing? Can re-post if necessary

samig86
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS - August 2015

Post by samig86 » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:43 pm

Can you please repost the original post as would like to read it.

Thanks

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falkor
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS - August 2015

Post by falkor » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:48 pm

It's back (at the top of the thread) :slbg:

The reason "it went missing" is because of the fact that rookie members are treated differently on here than "regular members" :slex:

From experience we have found that rookie members have to have their post approved before "release" :slnote: ANYWAY, all sorted now, thanks for your patience :slhe: and thank you baitskrew for a brilliant thread!! :slcl:

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Si_leeds
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Re: Latest Info For POELTS - August 2015

Post by Si_leeds » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:15 am

Very helpful info thanks. With regards to smoking where you said if you smoke get an ecig your thanks me later. Why is that? I use an ecig and have done for the last year. Are you aloud to use them whilst on shift in certain areas or anything? I kind of figured I wouldn't be aloud to use it but if you can have a quick vape or smoke from time to time that'd be very helpful I guess

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