Special constables are volunteer police officers, with full police powers, uniforms and equipment.
As a special constable, you'll support regular officers, undertake patrols, support calls for assistance from the public and investigate reports of crime.
Volunteering as a special constable is a great way to give back to your local community, build new relationships and develop new skills. You can work in a range of policing areas, so whatever your interests, we’ll find a volunteer role that works well for you.

Register for the online event 

You can register now for our online presentation and live chat event on Wednesday 6 January 2021 at 7pm. 

Learn about the application, recruitment and training process, the different roles you can progress into and speak to serving special constables. 

Training programme

Compulsory for all newly recruited special constables who have completed tier 1 basic training, it enables special constables to learn at their own pace in their own time, with a mix of classroom and online learning, whilst at the same time obtaining valuable practical experience as a special constable.

On completion of the foundation training, you will become a warranted officer and have the same powers and equipment as a regular officer.

If you wish to apply to become a regular officer using the Special Constabulary route, we will support you through your development. If you wish to remain within the Special Constabulary, this will open further opportunities, allowing you to progress through the ranking structure. 

The Kent Special Constabulary offers a tier 2 and 3 training course that meets the same learning outcomes achieved by regular student constables during their initial training.

On completion of the learning and portfolio elements of tier 1, 2 and 3, (which are assessed to the same standard as regular student officers), special constables can transfer to the regular force (subject to passing recruitment and discipline/performance record checks), without having to attend training at Kent Police College.

Instead, they are placed straight onto division under tutorship, on the equivalent pay grade as a student constable at the end of their initial training.

This scheme is ideal for those who do not have the required qualifications to become a regular officer, or those who wish to learn at their own pace whilst retaining their current occupation.

Employer Supported Policing Scheme

The Employer Supported Policing Scheme is where an organisation allows an employee allocated days or hours, per month or year, out of their paid employment to volunteer as a special constable. The scheme can be tailor made to an organisation.

Contact a member of the Citizens in Policing team to find out more.

Am I eligible?

  • I'm an EEA or Swiss National*.
  • I've lived in the UK continuously for the last 3 years**.
  • I'm 18 years old (or older).
  • I don't have any tattoos or piercings which cause offence, are excessive or deemed unprofessional.
  • Any previous criminal convictions or cautions (including those spent), fixed penalty notices, traffic offences or any involvement with the police must be declared and they may affect your application. 
  • I'm not registered bankrupt or subject to CCJs or IVAs. (IVAs will be considered on a case by case basis)
  • I can commit to volunteering at least 16 hours a month.

*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. 
**Not applicable if you've been serving abroad with the British Armed Forces.

Medical standards

Visit HM Government for detailed information on medical standards including which illnesses, injuries and disorders will affect your ability to perform the role of a police officer - these also apply to Specials. 


You could be legally restricted from serving as a Special if your regular job is one of the following:

  • magistrate, clerk to justice or clerk to court
  • member of a non Home Office constabulary
  • liquor licence holder, manager of a licensed house (and their husband or wife)
  • licensee of a betting/gaming establishment or lottery promoter
  • bailiff, warrant officer or probation officer
  • member of a private security organisation which includes security personnel, guards, door staff and potentially prison custody officers
  • private detective or enquiry agent
  • school crossing patrol officer and traffic warden
  • member of the fire service
  • member of the armed forces (this is subject to approval; members of the Territorial Army may be permitted to join while still serving)
  • members of a medical, nursing or midwifery profession, or the ambulance service (unless written permission is given by the employing NHS Trust or Health Authority)
  • neighbourhood or street warden, or another uniformed patrol warden
  • Highways Agency traffic officer or British Transport Police officer/enforcement officer.

Certain restrictions are also in place for civilian detention officers and front office staff who currently work for Kent Police.

Apply now

Make sure you've read all information before starting your application.

If you experience any technical difficulties with the system please contact our Business Centre by email or by phone on 0300 333 4444 Extension 166166.

What happens next?

Step 1 - your application

You'll be sent a link to complete an online application form (use IE7+, Firefox 3.6+ or Chrome 8+).

Before completing it make sure you read the guidance notes

Step 2 - shortlisting

Completed application forms are shortlisted and successful applicants are selected to move on to the Special Constabulary Assessment Centre.

Interviews will be held at our college in Maidstone. You'll undergo a panel interview where you'll be tested on:

  • Taking Ownership and Analyse Critically
  • Collaborative and Emotionally Aware
  • Deliver, Support & Inspire and Innovative and Open Minded

You'll also be asked to complete 3 written exercises which will test:

  • literacy, spelling and grammar
  • information recall
  • report writing

Fitness test

You'll have to run a 15m track in time with bleeps which get increasingly faster (level 5.4 bleep test).

If you fail on your first attempt don't worry. You're allowed 2 more attempts within 12 weeks.


Step 1 – vetting checks

Even though being a Special is a volunteer role, it's a very serious and important one.

So you'll understand we need to carry out checks on our volunteers and their families.

This includes you, your spouse/partner (and their children if over 10 years old), family members (including step relations) and any other adults who live at your address.

Financial checks will also be carried out to make sure you don't have an outstanding CCJ, IVA or are registered bankrupt. IVAs will be considered on a case by case basis. 

If you've discharged your bankruptcy debts you'll need verification from the Court that 3 years has passed since the date of discharge.

If you fail vetting, you have a right to appeal. This must be made in writing or by email within 14 days and must detail why you want to appeal the decision and anything else you want taken into consideration. If you're unsure why you've failed we can talk to you and answer your questions before making an appeal.  

Step 2 – Medical screening

You'll be asked to complete a medical questionnaire which must be signed by your GP and returned directly (confidentially) to our Health Team.

If all ok, you'll be examined by one of our appointed medical practitioners who'll check:.

  • lung capacity, eyesight and colour vision, hearing, mobility, existing conditions, urine and height/weight/BMI check (note: Body Mass Index should be within 18-30)

Eyesight test requirements

An eyesight test will also form part of the medical. The standard you need to meet either with or without glasses or contact lenses is:

  • Distance vision – 6/12 or better with either your right or left eye, 6/6 with both eyes together. If you wear glasses or contact lenses you need to reach 6/36 without them.
  • Near vision – 6/9 with both eyes together (aided).
  • Colour vision – unfortunately we can't accept the use of colour-correcting lenses or any severe colour vision deficiency such as monochromacy. However, having mild anomalous trichromacy will not be a barrier to entry. Severe anomalous dichromacy or trichromacy is also acceptable but you'll need to be aware of the deficiency and make appropriate adjustments.

Eye surgery

Radial keratotomy, arcuate keratotomy or corneal grafts are not acceptable. Other forms of refractive surgery such as LASIK, LASEK, PRK, ICRS and epiflap are all acceptable provided that 6 weeks have elapsed since surgery, there are no residual side effects and the other eyesight standards are met.

Medical standards

HM Government provide detailed information on medical standards including which illnesses, injuries and disorders will affect your ability to perform the role of a police officer (which is the same for Specials). 

If you have questions that are more specific to your health - please take a look at our health and fitness FAQ's in relation to recruitment.

Step 3 - home visit

We carry out a home visit as part of the security checks. An officer will complete a questionnaire during the visit to:

  • 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

Samples of your fingerprints and DNA will be taken to carry out some final vetting checks against various national databases. You'll be required to consent in writing to this process.

Step 5 – References

We'll ask for references from each of your previous employers and/or educational establishments for the last 5
years. Any gaps in employment will need to be explained and verified.

If you haven't been in employment for 5 years, we'll ask for a character or educational reference.

Training commitments

The Kent Police Special Constabulary training programme offers maximum flexibility whilst preparing you for the challenging, fulfilling role of a Special Constable.

If you have a computer, tablet or smart phone and are able to commit to 4 prescribed weekends and 12 days on operational attachments over the 6 to 8 month training programme, then you can become a Special.

A modular course for maximum flexibility

The course has 8 modules and you can’t move on to the next one unless you’ve completed the previous one – eg if you can’t attend a particular weekend training session for module three, you can attend the next available weekend and continue from there.

4 of the training modules are based at our college in Maidstone. These are 2 day weekend sessions, for modules 1, 3, 6 and 8.

During these sessions you’ll receive classroom based training by a dedicated Special Constabulary Trainer (a serving Kent Police officer), take part in practical role-plays and receive inputs from experts in their field, from Professional Standards to Custody, Traffic to Crime Scene Investigation.

Accommodation at the college can be arranged for students who don’t want to travel.

Course Structure

Module 1 - Induction
Module 2 - Law
Module 3 - Policy and procedure
Module 4 - Violence and night time economy
Module 5 - Crime
Module 6 - Consolidation of modules four and five
Module 7 - Traffic
Module 8 - Conclusion

Study at your own pace, wherever you want

Modules 2, 4, 5 and 7 are for you to complete in your own time. Each of these modules covers an aspect of policing and legislation and is delivered via e-learning and self-study.

Using our online learning environment, you can access all the e-learning packages and additional activities required to complete each module from the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you, using a computer or tablet.

You can even access messaging and forum functions, via your smart phone.

Perhaps you have to work part time around your children and don’t get time to study until after they’ve gone to bed, or you work shifts and can’t plan your study around any kind of routine – that’s no problem.

Each e-learning package is designed to be simple, providing you with the basic knowledge you require in as short a time as possible so you can complete each module in bite sized, manageable chunks.

Support when you need it

While completing the self-study modules you'll be able to ask for help and support from your trainers and other students on your course using the forums, chat rooms and messaging services provided.

You can also speak to other trainee Specials who are further ahead of you in the training process.

Your development will be supported by a dedicated Trainer, Specials Admin Officer, Specials Development Officer and also your local Special Constabulary staff. 

You’ll be able to pop in, call or send an e-mail to have any queries answered as quickly as possible.

Practical development

As part of the self study modules, you’ll be expected to volunteer a number of shifts where you'll spend time with local teams to support your development and reinforce the learning you've gained from the e-learning packages.

If you are a serving special constable and would like to transfer to Kent Police,  you can find out more about the application process and induction.

If you have any questions about the Special Constabulary, you can email us and we’ll get back to you.