Are you ready to become a police officer?

Date published: 06 August 2021 13:41
Dated: 09 September 2020 08:28:44

Are you ready to become a police officer?

Some of the main questions we receive about becoming a police officer are about qualifications needed or other criteria.

To help, we have pulled together a handy guide.

Do I need a degree?

No. We have a route in where you are not required to hold a degree, which is the apprenticeship scheme – for this you will need a Level 3 qualification or equivalent. There is a list of qualifications that would be accepted on our website here, however if you don’t have any of those listed, you may still be accepted on this scheme if you have proven experience or evidence that can be related to the programme. There is a section on the application form where you can provide this detail. Head to our eligibility criteria page to find out more.

If you do have a degree, you can go down the degree-holder route. For this, you need to have achieved a degree in any subject area (Level 6 or above).

Do I need to have a Level 2 in Maths and English?

If you have it, great. If you do not, we will still consider your skills and previous experience, together with how likely you are to achieve it by the end of the apprenticeship course. You will also be asked to take a proof-reading assessment.

What other criteria do I need to know about?

As you go through your application form, you will be asked a few questions. To help you prepare, these will include:

- If you were born outside of the UK, do you have permission to reside in the UK?

- Do you hold a valid manual driving licence? If not, this isn’t a deal breaker. You can still continue if you are able to confirm you will obtain this prior to your start date.

- Do you have any current or previous criminal convictions? If yes, you will be asked to detail them for us. If you say yes, it does not automatically prevent you from applying, it will simply depend on the nature and circumstances of the offence. If you do not disclose convictions or cautions, they will be discovered during vetting and your application will be terminated.

- Do you have any County Court Judgements (CCJs)? If so, are they now cleared?

- Have you been registered bankrupt? And if so, have your debts now been cleared?

- Are you a member of the British National Party, the National Front or Combat 18? If you answer yes to this, you won’t be able to go any further in your application, as this is against our policy.

- Do you have any visible tattoos? Tattoos, which are visible on your face, neck, head or hands are not permitted, however, your application will be accepted if you are willing to have them removed before you are appointed. If you have tattoos on forearms or areas where they could be visible in an open-necked shirt, they will need to be kept covered, however these should not affect your application, unless they are deemed inappropriate or could cause offence. You will be asked to submit a picture of your tattoo during application.

What about my fitness levels?

You will asked if you can meet level 5.4 on the bleep test. If you can’t right now, don’t worry too much, as long as you can commit to getting your trainers on and meeting it at the fitness test stage, you will be accepted.

Anything else?

Part of being a police officer means working shifts including at night, and you will have to deal with confrontation and possibly violence. You need to consider whether this is something you are comfortable with before proceeding. If you don’t think you can, you may not quite be ready to join us.

For all of this information and more, including how to apply, head to our dedicated recruitment page