Ensure you complete all mandatory fields on the application form or you will be unable to submit your application. Please ensure you complete the supporting statements section, these vary depending on the role and will be explained on the advert and role profile. Please provide evidence of where you demonstrated the competency behaviours as per the role profile. Please note there is a word count limit on the applications and you should ensure your evidence fits within this limit.
A guide to the application form (PDF)
Candidates are shortlisted by assessing the information on the application form against the personal qualities and minimum entry requirements. It is important that you complete the application form fully and carefully, ensuring you demonstrate with examples how you meet the various criteria.
If invited to interview you will be notified via telephone and email, this notification will usually be a minimum of seven days before the interview date. You will be required to produce valid identification at the interview (a list of suitable ID will be sent via email) for photocopies to be made. If your recruitment process includes your attendance at an assessment centre all information will be provided via email, for example certain roles may require you to complete a Police Initial Recruitment Test (PIRT) or computer test. For police officer candidates, you will need to attend a Police SEARCH® assessment centre.
If you are successful following the selection process you will receive a conditional offer and we will start progressing your pre-employment checks which includes: vetting, medical, references and for some roles, a fitness test. Until these checks are complete you should not hand in your notice with your current employer. For some roles if you are successful at the interview/selection stage you will be advised that you will be placed on a waiting list until the next available intake.
Regardless of which role you are interested in for within BCH policing, including regulars, specials, PCSO, staff, agency, volunteers, cadet leaders, cadets, interns, apprentices and those working for us indirectly, like contractors, everyone is required to go through a police vetting process and in some cases, an additional national security vetting process. These processes also continue at regular intervals throughout your time in policing.
Vetting by its nature is intrusive into your personal life, the extent of the intrusiveness will depend upon your exact role within policing. There are also different levels of police vetting [RV/MV] and/or national security vetting [CTC/SC/DV]. But vetting is about how we can include you in the workforce, and not about trying to exclude you, unless it’s necessary of course.
If you have not lived in the UK all your life, you [and in some cases your associates-see 4 below] will need to have what is known as a checkable history, this generally means that you/they must have been resident in the UK for at least the last three years. In some cases this will need to be a longer period and in others it may be a shorter period. There are four main areas in police vetting;
- Your criminality/offending [if any] including allegations of criminality/offending. This includes a criminal record check but also for example if you were arrested but released with no further action. Also a variety of other disposals; fixed penalty notice, police information notice, penalty notice for disorder, etc. Having a criminal record per se, may not be a reason for us to refuse your vetting clearance.
- Your personal finances. This includes a Credit Reference check, particularly for county court judgements, individual voluntary arrangement, defaults, arrears, financial association, etc. For your own peace of mind, we suggest you obtain a copy of your credit file from one of the three main credit reference agencies in the UK, so you can understand your own personal financial position.
- Your social media presence. Facebook, Twitter, etc. Is anything that might reasonably be considered as discriminatory, abusive, oppressive, harassing, bullying, victimising, offensive or otherwise incompatible with policing principles? Or publish online or elsewhere, or offer for publication, any material that might undermine your own reputation or that of the policing profession or might run the risk of damaging public confidence in the police service.
- Your association to those involved in offending or past offending [if any] including allegations of criminality/offending. By association we mean the people you live with, your family [parents, children, brothers/sisters, etc] and your friends/acquaintances. The background checks that we conduct far exceed those conducted for the DBS [formally CRB]. We search many national and local information databases. So it is essential that you are open, honest and transparent with us when completing the initial recruitment application form and also the vetting questionnaire form towards the end of the process.
Whilst this may all sound daunting, we look at each person and circumstances on an individual case by case basis, and each case on its own merits. Indeed, on average 95% of applicants pass the BCH police vetting process.
In the event that you do not initially pass our vetting process, there is an appeals process. Whilst the success rate varies, on average about 30%-40% of appeals are successful.
The Vetting process is one part of the pre-employment checks that are instigated by the HR department. The actual vetting part by the BCH Vetting Unit on average takes about one month but it can take much longer.
During the recruitment process, usually towards the end of it, you will need to complete a vetting questionnaire form. It is a fairly lengthy questionnaire so take your time and allow sufficient time to complete it. Please take it seriously and thoughtfully. You may need to partly save it so you can find specific information and come back to it another time. You must provide complete and accurate information in response to all vetting enquiries. If you fail to tell us about requested information, then this is likely to be regarded as evidence of unreliability and will be taken into account in assessing your suitability to hold vetting clearance.
The vetting questionnaire process will either be online via a secure web link that will be sent to you by email, it will also need a username and password protection. Or it may be via an interactive PDF that is sent by email. So look out for emails in your inbox and spam.
Candidates will be provided with a work health questionnaire that must be completed and sent directly to the Occupational Health department. A full medical history must be disclosed as failure to do so may result in your application being rejected. Please complete the questionnaire carefully and thoroughly – if in doubt, disclose it. For the roles of police officer, special constable and PCSO, you will be required to attend a full medical and eyesight sight test. Full details will be provided nearer the time. If your role requires a psychological assessment, the Occupational Health department will arrange this with you directly.
References will need to be obtained from all employers (paid or otherwise) covering a minimum of three years. For internal candidates, references will be required from current line managers to ensure that there are no performance management concerns in any aspects of your role. In the case of Special Constables your progress with your Police Action Checklist (PAC’s), hours completed per month and progress towards becoming Fit for Independent Patrol will be taken into consideration
For the roles of police officer, special constable and PCSO, you will be required to pass a fitness test. You need to achieve 5.4 on bleep test.
Once all pre-appointment checks have been concluded and approved, and a start date agreed, a final offer and written statement of particulars/conditions of service will be issued.
On the first day of the role you will be required to attend an access control appointment to receive your warrant card. This will be followed by an induction into your role (this varies depending on the department/role).
You will be required to successfully complete a minimum six month probationary period. This will vary depending on role, for police officers the probationary period is two years.
If you require any further information or need clarity on any of the above points please don’t hesitate to contact us at iQuery@bch.police.uk.