Police officer eligibility requirements
Police officer eligibility requirements
Eligibility requirements for a police officer are fairly detailed, but we've provided a summary of some of the basic requirements.
Applications can be accepted at the age of 18. There's no upper age limit for applying to the police service, but bear in mind that the normal retirement age is 60 years and that new recruits are required to undertake a two-year probationary period.
You must be a British citizen for a minimum of three years, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.
Foreign nationals and UK citizens who have lived abroad may have to wait some time for security and vetting clearance. All applicants have to be vetted to the same standard before appointment.
Applicants should be transparent and include any crime, caution, road traffic offence, speeding ticket etc. A number of crimes will mean a definite or likely rejection of your application, including anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or a public order offence.
Applicants should be aware that they should not have any tattoos that could cause offence. Tattoos are not acceptable if they:
- undermine the dignity and authority of the office of police officer
- are garish or numerous or particularly prominent, i.e. on the hands, neck, face or fingers
- could cause offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or invite provocation
- this would include tattoos that are rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, violent or intimidating
- tattoos that display unacceptable attitudes towards women, minority groups or any other section of the community, or alignment with particular groups, which could give offence to members of the community, are unacceptable
Applicants will have their financial status checked. These checks are carried out because police officers have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption.
Applicants with outstanding County Court judgements, who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, will be rejected. If you have discharged bankruptcy debts you will need to provide a Certificate of Satisfaction with your application.
You must have a level 3 qualification (e.g. A level, AS level, National Diploma, National Certificate, Level 3 NVQ or City and Guilds, Access to Higher Education Diploma) - check with your examining body if you are unsure of the level of any qualification you hold and please be aware that we will need to see certificates later in the process.
Or you must have a policing qualification or equivalent training or work experience
To ensure you are fit enough for the role, you will undertake a fitness test. There are two elements to the test, dynamic strength and endurance fitness. You must pass both before you can be appointed.
We are looking for no more than the minimum standard needed to enable you to work effectively as a police officer. You will be given help to improve your fitness and if you prepare yourself properly, there is no reason for you to fail.
Police officers encounter difficult situations, trauma, physical confrontation and work long hours on shifts. They need to be resilient enough to cope with the demands and pressures of police work. Applicants must therefore be in good health mentally and physically to undertake police duties.
You will undergo a medical examination to ensure you meet the health standards required. Take a look at the medical standards for more information about some of the conditions that can exclude you.
Applicants will have their eyesight tested at the medical assessment stage. You may be asked to go to an optician to have your eyes tested and the eyesight form filled in. Failure to pass this test will lead to rejection.
If you have applied unsuccessfully to any police force within the last six months you are eligible to re-apply six months after leaving the last process (this is six months from the date of the letter received).
If you have an application in progress in another force you will need to ensure that you end your application with the existing force before applying to us.
Eligibility to transfer Assessment Centre scores is available provided that you have passed the required standards for us which is 60 per cent or greater. You will also need a competency-based question score of nine or greater.