Application Process

There are a number of stages to the application process:

Application form

To pass this stage, you'll need to fill out a competency-based application form. If you pass the basic eligibility criteria, we'll assess your answers to the competency-based questions. Try to answer the questions as carefully and as fully as you can. Please check your spelling and grammar; applications with more than ten spelling and grammar mistakes will be rejected.

Assessment centre

If you pass the application form stage, the next step is to attend a national assessment centre (known as SEARCH). The session will consist of four interactive role-play exercises; two written exercises; a verbal ability test; a numerical ability test, and a competency-based interview.

Together, these exercises will test your ability to think on your feet, making quick decisions based on sound judgement. We'll also be able to assess your basic maths and literacy skills. The assessment centre lasts approximately five hours.

You will need to achieve an overall score of 50% in your assessment centre (this is the national pass mark). You will also need to meet the minimum standards in the competency areas of 'Working with Others', 'Oral Communication' and 'Written Communication'.

Pre-appointment checks

Further to your assessment centre you will be required to sit an in-Force assessment/interview process. If successful at this stage, you'll also be required to pass a fitness test, drugs test (using a hair sample) and a medical, as well as providing a three-year employment reference history and passing a thorough security vetting process.

As part of the vetting process, candidates are required to give a DNA sample (mouth swab) and fingerprints, which will be checked against a national database.

These pre-appointment checks can sometimes take between three and six months. Please be aware that you must attend any appointments in your own time, including your uniform fitting appointment.

Successful appointment

Once you have completed all pre-employment checks, you'll be allocated a place on the next available intake.