5. The recruitment process
Before you apply, you should ensure that you've done everything you can to prepare yourself so that your application has the best chance of success.
The different steps of the recruitment process are detailed below, so you know what to expect at each stage. Although it can differ person to person the recruitment process can take approximately 3 to 6 months.
If you need additional help or support, please contact the HR innovation team or review section 3, Life as a PC to better understand the role of a PC.
Step 1 - your application
Read our top tips before moving onto to completing your online application form (use Internet Explorer 7+, Firefox 3.6+ or Chrome 8+).
After you've submitted the form we'll post you a candidate registration form.
Fill this in and return by post as soon as possible to make it into our next shortlisting stage.
Step 2 - shortlisting
You need to pass both the 'written communication' and the 'questionnaire' section of your application.
We'll contact you to let you know and provide feedback if you're unsuccessful. If interest is high we may place some candidates on hold until there are more spaces available.
Step 3 – attend a briefing session
Due to the current COVID-19 situation all briefings will be conducted virtually for the time being. You will be invited to an interview prior to the College of Policing Online Assessment process and required to pass this to enable you to progress further in the recruitment process.
College of Policing’s (CoP) Online Assessment Process
SEARCH Assessment has now been replaced with the College of Policing online assessment process. To prepare for the College of Policing’s (CoP) Online Assessment Process please take a look at the following:
- Decision making and professionalism
- working with others and openness to change
- serving the public and service delivery.
Step 1 – vetting checks
Step 2 – Medical screening
- lung capacity
- eyesight and colour vision
- existing conditions
- height/weight/BMI check (note: Body Mass Index should be within 18-30)
- eyesight test requirements
- for more information please read the HM Government eyesight requirement information.
Step 3 - home visit
- verify identity
- seek clarification on known associates or others residing at the address
- ensure you have a realistic understanding of the role and requirements.
Step 4 – Fingerprints and DNA
Step 5 – References
This is the stage where you will begin your training which will consist of a number of elements including scenarios, classroom inputs, drill practice, fitness sessions and exams.
It is hands on, challenging and intense but there is plenty of support in place to help you throughout the course.
For the first 5 months (approximately) you will be based at our Kent Police College in Maidstone where you'll work towards your Diploma in Policing.
The diploma is a nationally recognised qualification so expect some study in your own time. We will give you some pre-read material to help you before you start.
After this you will be posted out on division and tutored by experienced officers in both operational and investigative roles.
This is where you'll be able to put all your learning into practice. We'll carry out assessments during this time to make sure you're still on track.
Where you're posted in the county depends on policing requirements at the time but we do take your preferred options into consideration.
Where will I be based?
During your training, you are able to specify 3 posting preferences. Your preferences are not guaranteed but you will be matched with your choices as closely as possible. Postings are based on organisational/operational need.
What are the shifts?
You will work a mix of early, late and night shifts - this will include working weekends.