Instructor (offender employment)

We have profiled five of our frontline roles on our frontline jobs website. You can view them here:, or continue reading this page for more information on being an instructor.

Instructors work with prisoners to help them to gain new skills and qualifications to improve their chances of finding real jobs when they’re released.

Instructors teach in the classroom and run hands-on training outside the classroom. The prisoners work within their particular trade environment and instructors oversee the work the prisoners do and assess their skills in order for them to gain formal qualifications such as NZQA qualifications.

While an instructor’s day-to-day work is different from a corrections officer, they have the same classification under the Corrections Act and, as such, complete the same training as corrections officers. Instructors also receive training to get them ready to teach groups of prisoners and to make sure they’re able to assess each prisoner’s learning against specific criteria as set by NZQA.

You can find more information about the industries we have in our prisons here.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for people who:

  • have a trade background
  • have some experience sharing their skills with others or mentoring
  • have strong communication skills
  • can relate to people from different cultures and backgrounds
  • are friendly and approachable
  • are observant and feel confident maintaining a safe work environment
  • are able to identify and respond to potentially challenging situations.

Meet Sam

Previously: Landscaper
Now: Horticultural Instructor

When Sam decided to sell his landscaping business, he saw an ad for Corrections and decided to ‘give it a go’.

Sam said he saw the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the prisoners, transferring his skills and knowledge to them.

Sam says the best part of his role is seeing guys who show a genuine interest in horticulture go on and use the skills they have learnt in the future and get a real job on the outside.

“An ex-prisoner came up to me and told me that he had got a job after getting out of prison, and that he wouldn’t have gotten that job if it wasn’t for the training I had given him. That was an awesome moment.”

Find out more about being an instructor at Corrections:

Read the transcript Read the short transcript

Salary range Hours Driver licence required UniformTraining

$55,521 - $69,403

8 hour shift, generally between 8am and 4pm. Yes  - You will need a full clean drivers licence       Yes - Supplied by Corrections

Frontline Start (three weeks)

Role specific training (12 months)

See below


Corrections Officer Development Pathway

Instructors receive the same training as corrections officers.

The Corrections Officer Development Pathway (CODP) begins with Frontline Start (see below) and provides a full training curriculum for new corrections officers and instructors over a 12 month period.

The CODP consists of an initial training programme that blends classroom based learning, on-the-job activities and a simulated prison environment where the participants can practice the skills and apply the knowledge they learn on the programme.

There are six phases of the CODP programme:

  • Phase 1: Three week Frontline Start programme.
  • Phase 2: New corrections officers and instructors (along with case managers) spend a week at the National Learning Centre at Rimutaka Prison in Wellington focussing on learning custodial practice in a simulated prison environment. This follows on directly from Frontline Start.
  • Phase 3: Assisted by a learning buddy and experienced staff from their unit, new corrections officers start to carry out corrections officer duties on their prison site. The programme covers custodial practices like locking and unlocking, security checks, safety practices and responding to incidents as First Responding Officers. Communication between staff members and with prisoners is key ingredient of the training programme as is tactical decision making. This marks the end of the initial training period.
  • Phase four: Graduation. New corrections officers undertake a series of scenario based assessments that not only assess their abilities to perform the required practice areas effectively but also the level of confidence they have in doing their job well. At the end of the assessments there is a graduation ceremony.
  • Phases five and six: Over the remainder of the year long development programme new corrections officers gain work experience that will enable them to complete the National Certificate level 3 for Offender Management.

Frontline Start

Frontline Start is a three week programme designed to give new staff an understanding of what Corrections does and how they play their part in reducing re-offending in their new role. You will join with other new staff from around the country beginning their careers with Corrections in a range of frontline roles. The first and third weeks of the programme are spent in Wellington at Corrections’ National Office. Corrections will arrange and pay for travel, accommodation and food for weeks one and three and for any other training that requires staff to be away from home.

Apply now