Police officer

Could you join your local police force and make a difference in your community? Find out what life is really like on the beat.

Could you join your local police force and make a difference in your community? Find out what life is really like on the beat.

As a police officer your job will be to reduce crime and the fear of crime, and promote confidence among local people that the police understand and are prepared to deal with issues that matter most to them.

Policing will enable you to work in partnership with the public and other organisations and make a difference to the local community.

You will have a key role in supporting victims and witnesses and providing reassurance to individuals who have been subjected to crime and anti-social behaviour.  Many people will look to you for guidance and protection from such experiences and to provide this effectively you will need to be able to see things from their perspective, tailoring your approach to address their particular needs and fears.

You must be a person who thrives on challenges, and are willing to work hard to learn the skills necessary for this difficult but critical role.  This can be a tough and unpredictable job, but it is also an extremely rewarding position. Everyday when you put on your uniform and go to work, you will be making life safer and more secure for your friends and neighbours, and making your town a better place to live.

Through our comprehensive training course you will learn to:

  • protect the public from violence
  • provide a reassuring presence in the community
  • support victims of crime and offer help to those who have witnessed crimes
  • investigate complex crimes using a mixture of cutting-edge technology and time-proven traditional methods

What's in it for you?

In return for your hard work you will:

  • have a rewarding job where no two days are ever the same
  • be constantly challenged and always learning
  • be valued for your contribution to your community
  • be well paid and have an excellent benefits package
  • have continual opportunities for advancement

Your guide to becoming a police constable

Information on becoming a police constable

Full Document

Am I eligible?

Here are some of the basic eligibility requirements for police officer candidates.

Applicants from all backgrounds and ethnic groups are encouraged to apply. Applicants are not limited to any particular age group - in fact, we welcome those who are looking for a career change. The minimum age to apply is 18, and there is no upper age limit, though you should bear in mind that the normal retirement age for police constables and sergeants is 60. You should also be aware that all new recruits, whatever their age, are required to undertake a two-year probationary period.

You may like to review the detailed eligibility requirements.

Qualifications required

The Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP), is one of a number of pathways into the Police Service.  Some UK forces require new officers to complete this course prior to joining. Further information is available here.

The Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) is proposed as a standardised national framework that sets minimum education qualification levels by level of practice or rank, forming a key step towards developing policing as a profession and supporting the professional development of those working in policing. By next summer, the College will publish a directory of education qualifications for officers and staff including guidance as to how their on-the-job experience counts towards recognition. Further information can be found here.

Get fit before you apply

One of the most rigorous elements of our screening process is the physical fitness training. Because our officers must be able to move quickly while carrying a lot of heavy equipment, they have to be in pretty good shape.

If you pass the assessment process, you will then have to take a physical fitness test. To pass, you will need to be reasonably fit, and able to run short distances fairly quickly. Read more information on the fitness test  You will also have to pass a medical examination. Always remember to check with your chosen force if you have any specific concerns. 

Do you qualify?

If you have any specific questions you can always contact your local force for more information. You may wish to complete our online pre-application questionnaire to help you to explore your suitability for the role of Police Constable.  The results are not recorded and this is not an application form.

How do I apply?

Please note you can only apply to one force at a time.

Don't forget to check the precise eligibility criteria with your chosen force before applying.

Please check with your chosen force for more information regarding current and future recruitment campaigns.