How to apply to become a police officer…

This post is for candidates whom are unsure how to apply to become a police officer for forces in England and Wales.

Despite popular belief the police service is not short of candidates wishing to become police officers so you will find that most forces do not issue application forms 365 days a year. Smaller forces may only have one or two windows of opportunity throughout the year, while larger forces may be open for considerable months at a time.

Each force is responsible for issuing their own application forms and each have their own methods – some are online while others use a traditional paper-based application form. So to obtain an application form you first need to contact your chosen force – using Google simply search ‘the name of your force, followed by the word ‘recruitment’ i.e., Metropolitan Police Recruitment – this will narrow your search and save you time having to navigate through the whole of their website to find the page you really want.

Some forces only accept applications from candidates whom have attended a recruitment event, so be prepared to have to visit them. Others, if currently sending out application forms will simply send you one via the post, or as an email attachment.

The application form is a 22-page competency based document, so you will need to evidence your suitability for the role by answering a series of questions. This section is pass / fail so it is important that your answers provide the necessary evidence. 60% are rejected at application stage because their answers do not tick the correct boxes. If you would like helpwith your police application form I can provide this assistance, ensuring that your form meets the necessary standard.

Once you have had confirmation that your form meets the required standard you will then be called to attend a police assessment centre. An assessment centre is a process, not a place. It is during this process that you will again be asked to demonstrate your suitability for the role by completing a series of exercises. TheseĀ  include role-plays, written reports, interview, Maths and English test, in all it is a five hour day!

In order to pass an assessment centre there are four pass marks that must be achieved – Overall, Race and Diversity, Oral Communications an finally Written Communications. Written Communications is your spelling and grammar, so extra care and attention should be given to the written reports you write. Forces do have differing pass marks for assessment centres, so although you may be unsuccessful with your current force, others may accept your scores, this will prevent you from having to reapply at a later date. Please refer to my earlier post ‘Assessment Centre Pass Marks 50% or 60%’

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Published by

David Vidgen

David Vidgen is a former police recruitment manager responsible for overseeing all police recruitment marketing including application form and assessment centre practice days, recruitment website, adverts and community outreach programmes such as Gay Pride.