The eligibility requirements for becoming a police officer are laid out clearly below.
To be able to apply you must meet the minimum criteria so please them carefully.
To meet the minimum personal eligibility criteria, all of the 5 statements below must apply to you.
I hold a UK passport or this post is open to British Citizens, members of the EC or other states in the European Economic Area. If you are a Commonwealth Citizen or a foreign national, you must be resident in the UK free from restrictions and with indefinite leave to remain in the UK
I have lived in the UK continuously for the last three years
I am 17 years old (or older) at the point of application. If you are 17, you can go through the recruitment and selection process, but will not receive an offer of employment until you have turned 18
I hold a full UK Category B manual driving licence (with six points or less on it)
I have not been unsuccessful in an application for the same role with any home office force in the last six months
if you are not yet 18, you can still begin the application process. You will not receive an offer of employment until you are 18
Commonwealth citizens and foreign nationals can also apply if you have leave to enter or remain in the UK indefinitely and you're free of restrictions
3 years residency in the UK does not apply to those serving abroad with the British Armed Forces
there are no height restrictions for those wishing to join us.
The entry criteria for Investigate First is the same as for a police officer. View further information about the entry criteria.
If you are interested in a career with us, we are currently accepting transfer of successful SEARCH, National online assessment or day one results if obtained within the last 24 months.
If you meet this criteria, please attach your detailed results to your application (you can request these from the force you originally passed with) and declare this on your application form. If acceptable, we will transfer these results and you will not be required to undertake our online assessment stage.
Please note: This option is not applicable if your original application was unsuccessful within the past six months (not including voluntary withdrawal).
Policing is not easy. Not only do you need determination and drive but you also need to be as healthy as possible and have a good level of fitness.
Some medical conditions can prevent you from being able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the job.
For the endurance fitness test all candidates are required to run a 15 metre track in time with bleeps which get increasingly faster. Candidates need to meet level 5.4 on the bleep test to be successful.
If you fail on your first attempt don't worry. You're allowed two more attempts within 12 weeks (second attempt after six weeks, third attempt six weeks later). Our Recruitment Team will advise more on this process at the time. If after the 3rd attempt you are not successful, we will be unable to continue with your application.
Visible tattoos are deemed unacceptable if they could reasonably be interpreted as:
indicate of attitudes or views which are inconsistent with the College of Policing's Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Tattoos meeting any of the above criteria will prevent you from being able to join us.
Careful consideration will be given to any tattoo located on the neck, face or hands in deciding if this is acceptable. This includes consideration of the size, nature and prominence of the tattoo.
Such tattoos are unlikely to present a professional image such that they will, more often than not, also be a bar to joining us.
If you have a tattoo on your face, neck (above your collar line) and hands we'll need to see it so we can make a decision on whether or not you can continue with your application.
If you have a body piercing or other body modification you still may be considered eligible to apply.
We'll check it to make sure it doesn't breach the Standard of Professional Behaviour for serving police officers or constitute a risk to health and safety.
Ideally, you shouldn't have a criminal conviction or cautions record. If you do have one, eligibility will depend on the age and nature of the offence.
We're unable to confirm whether your convictions record will affect your application before you apply but will determine this from information provided during the recruitment and selection process.
If you don't tell us about any cautions, investigations or criminal convictions that may be linked to you at an early stage, your application could be refused simply because you weren't open and up front, whereas it might have been accepted if you were.
It's important that you're not under pressure from un-discharged debts or liabilities and that you can manage loans and debts sensibly.
You will not qualify for vetting clearance if you:
have existing county court judgments outstanding
have been registered bankrupt and have not discharged your bankruptcy. Applicants will not be considered until 3 years after the discharge of the debt. Debt Relief Orders (DRO) are treated in the same way as bankruptcy
if you refuse to discuss a relevant matter or engage with the vetting process.