Special Operations Group (SOG)

The Special Operations Groups (SOG) is a service agency within the Operational Services Division of the Department of Justice.

Register your interest in becoming a Special Operation Group Officer.

Based in the metropolitan area at the Hakea Prison Complex in Canning Vale, the SOG is the major provider of emergency support to all prisons within the State and Banksia Hill Detention Centre.

Services include:

  • responding to major incidents
  • security/auditing evaluation
  • high security escorts
  • searching
  • perimeter security
  • control room operations
  • operational and emergency management training.

The role

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The SOG operates 24 hours a day in order to provide a state-wide response to emergency situations as required. A typical day will include operational duties such as high security escorts, search operations, security systems testing and high visibility patrols of prisons. With a commitment to ongoing learning and development, SOG Officers participate in various training programs to maintain and upgrade their work skills.

On occasion, operational duties or emergency responses will require intrastate, interstate and international air travel. Time is also allocated for strength and fitness training, to ensure our SOG Officers can provide the highest standard of response.

What it takes

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SOG Officers exemplify behaviours which demonstrate respect, integrity, good judgement, self-discipline and initiative.

SOG Officers are able to work effectively as team members, respond to directions and instructions, while building positive working relationships. Being able to operate within a structured environment with limited supervision, they are able to demonstrate sound reasoning and analytical skills to resolve problems, make decisions, and carry out tasks to completion.

Working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, SOG Officers are able to recognise, respect and work with gender, social and cultural differences, including with Aboriginal people.

Physical health and fitness

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SOG Officers naturally prioritise their personal health and fitness, understanding that sound body and mind are critical to providing an effective and safe emergency response service. Some scenarios can involve lengthy periods of strenuous activity (eg cell extraction, non-compliant prisoner restraint, riot control). Officers may also be required to run, walk, bend, lift and carry objects whilst dressed in restrictive clothing, such as personal protective equipment and Breathing Apparatus.

The most suitable candidates for the SOG Officer therefore view physical fitness as a lifestyle choice and partake in regular exercise and physical training, and regularly participate in team or individual sports, fitness activities, outdoors pursuits and/or arduous work.

The benefits

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During the initial training program, we will pay you a training salary of $60,398 per annum. Upon successful completion of the training course, the salary increases to $78,352 per annum, with increments up to $90,295 per annum. Employer contribution to superannuation is an additional 10%.

Additional allowances specific to SOG Officers, to the value of $5,422 per annum also apply.

Flexible working conditions / Shift work

SOG Officers work in a 24/7 environment. Shift arrangements could entail 8 and/or 12hr shifts, including days, nights, weekends and public holidays. Rosters are prepared and posted several weeks in advance. There is also a requirements for occasional intrastate, interstate and international travel by airplane.

Generous leave entitlements

  • 6 weeks of annual leave for SOG Officers working shifts
  • Personal leave
  • Parental leave (paid and unpaid)
  • Purchased leave (ability to purchase additional annual leave on a pro-rata basis)
  • Long service leave upon completion of 7 years continuous service

Other benefits

  • Uniform supplied (including boots, socks, jackets and hats)
  • Job security
  • Promotional and career development opportunities
  • A rewarding and challenging career.


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To be eligible for employment as a SOG Officer, you must:

  • Be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or have permanent residency status within Australia
  • Possess a valid C-Class (Manual) driver’s licence
  • Possess a valid and unrestricted Medium Rigid (MR) class heavy vehicle licence or equivalent (or be willing to obtain this within 12 months of employment at your own expense)
  • Possess a “Provide First Aid” qualification, which at the time of appointment must have 9 months validity remaining
  • Obtain clearance through the Department’s criminal history and integrity screening assessment process

Recruitment and selection process

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The SOG recruit on an as-needed basis.

The SOG selection process is typically conducted over a series of stages and includes a number of assessments tailored to assess your skills, knowledge, experience and abilities in the context of the SOG Officer role. These may include:

  • Written application
  • Psychometric testing
  • Various physical fitness tests and exercises
  • Interview
  • Medical and psychological assessments
  • Reference checks, criminal history and integrity screening


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If you are successful and selected to fill a vacancy, you will initially commence your training and employment as a Probationary SOG Officer for a period of 9 months. Starting at the Department’s Corrective Services Academy, you will complete an 12-week Prison Officer Entry Level Training Program (ELTP), which will be followed by a 4-week Specialist Selection course with the SOG, covering topics and skills such as riot control, firearms, perimeter response, high security escorts, TASER, cell extractions, roof operations and chemical agents.

During your probation you will be required to demonstrate various competencies through the completion of exercises, tasks and assessments, which will culminate in being awarded a CSC30115 Certificate III in Correctional Practice (Custodial). A portion of your probationary period will also be spent working and learning at one of the Department’s prisons.

Page reviewed 7 September 2021