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Selection process

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You need to fill out a competency-based application form based on your personal experiences in dealing with various situations. There are four core questions based on the competencies associated with the role of police officer and five questions that assess your motivations and values.

Answer the questions as carefully and as fully as you can. Please check your spelling and grammar as this will make it easier for your application to be understood and marked effectively.  You are expected to provide specific examples against each question, so please don’t generalise and make sure you have a copy of the competencies in the role profile to hand!

Disability: Please disclose any mental and/or physical disability/ies in order for us to offer reasonable adjustments where possible.

**Please note: Medical report will be required for dyslexia – attach if necessary, when submitting application.

A sample police constable role profile, to see the competencies you’ll need to demonstrate in your application.

Assessment centre

If you pass the application form stage, the next step is to attend a SEARCH assessment centre. The session, which takes around five hours, involves:

  • four interactive role-play exercises;
  • two written exercises;
  • a verbal ability test;
  • a numerical ability test; and
  • a values-based interview.

These exercises will test your ability to think on your feet, making quick decisions based on sound judgement and your motivations for joining the police. We’ll also assess your basic maths and literacy skills.

You need to achieve an overall score of 50% and meet the minimum standards in the competency areas of working with others, oral communication and written communication.


If you pass SEARCH you will be invited to attend an interview with your chosen Force.  This will assess your values and motivations for joining and also test your local knowledge!  The interview will last for approximately 30 minutes and is constructed in a similar way to the SEARCH interview.

Pre-appointment checks

Conditional offer

If you are successful following the selection process you will receive a conditional offer and we will start progressing your pre-appointment checks which includes; vetting, medical, references, fitness test and a drugs test. Until these checks are complete you should not hand in your notice with your current employer.


At this stage you will be required to complete a recruitment vetting e-form which will ask more details about you and those you live with, for an in depth explanation of the vetting process please see the eligibility criteria page.  You will also be required to undertake biometric vetting, which involves your DNA and fingerprints being obtained. You will also be required to undertake a drug test where a sample of hair will be taken.  Further details will be provided at the time.


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.

Fitness test

You will be asked to run to and fro along a 15 metre track in time with a series of bleeps. If you arrive at the end line before the bleep sounds you need to wait for the bleep before resuming running and adjust your speed. The timing between bleeps is slow at first but the bleeps become faster as the test progresses and it becomes more difficult to keep up with the required speed. You will run until you can no longer keep up with the set pace. You will need to reach a minimum of level 5.4 to pass.


References will need to be obtained from all employers (paid or otherwise) covering a minimum of 3 years.

Final offer

These pre-appointment checks can sometimes take between three and six months. Once all pre-appointment checks have been concluded and approved, and a start date agreed, a final offer and conditions of service will be issued.

Start date

Intakes take place throughout the year at set dates.  You will be notified nearer the time what your likely start date will be.   


You will be required to successfully complete a two-year probation period.

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