Age requirements

You must be at least 18 years of age on or before the vacancy closing date.

Nationality requirements

Foreign nationals and UK citizens who have lived abroad may have to wait some time for security and vetting clearance. All applicants have to be vetted to the same standard before appointment.

You must be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom. You must have been a resident in the UK for three years, without breaks prior to the date you signed your completed application form. The calculation of the three year period of time refers to the period immediately before an application is made.

This is to satisfy the requirement to vet all applicants in an equitable manner since the UK Police Service does not currently have any means of facilitating vetting checks overseas to the extent required of those who have been resident in the UK.

Applicants who cannot be vetted cannot be appointed

It should be noted that the Chief Officer reserves the right to refuse employment without giving reason under Section 6 Police Act 1966 and the Police (Scotland) Act 1967.

Education

You need to have GCSE Grade A-C in Mathematics and English Language (or equivalent). 

Driving Licence

You will need a full driving licence in order to join as a Police Community Support Officer. You will be required to pass a Police Driving Test during your probationary period.

Criminal Record

Ideally, you should not have a criminal record however, some minor offences may not exclude you from joining the police service.  We are unable to state, before the application, whether your convictions record will affect your application.  This will be determined from the full and confidential information provided during the course of the recruitment and selection process.

You must include spent convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders act 1974 (by virtue of the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975) or any involvement with civil, military or transport police. 

Tattoos/piercings

Candidates with visible tattoos, body piercing or other body modifications may be considered eligible for appointment if the force considers that the individual case does not breach the Code of Conduct or constitute a risk to the health and safety of the staff and officers.

Police Community Support Officers have a particular responsibility to act with fairness and impartiality in all their dealings with the public and colleagues. The number, prominence and size of tattoos will be factors to consider in terms of the impression they may give to others or undermine the dignity and authority of the role of Police Community Support Officer. Candidates with a tattoo considered rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, violent or intimidating will not be accepted. You will be required to provide photographs of your tattoos at the point of application if they are on your face, neck, forearms, wrists or hands. Please check with the Recruitment Team for further information.

Financial status

Applicants will have their financial status checked.

These checks are carried out because Police Community Support Officers have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption.

Applicants with outstanding County Court judgements, who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, will be rejected. If you have discharged bankruptcy debts then you will need to provide a Certificate of Satisfaction with your application.

Biometric vetting

As part of our security vetting process all candidates applying to become a Police Community Support Officer must undergo a biometric vetting check. This will involve collecting a sample of your DNA and a record of your fingerprints during the recruitment process. If you are successful throughout the recruitment process, your DNA sample and your fingerprints will be sent for analysis prior to you being offered appointment.

The results of your DNA sample and your fingerprints will be checked against the relevant local and national databases prior to you starting employment. This is to ensure you have not previously come to adverse police attention, which you have not informed us of, and also that you are not linked to any outstanding crime scenes.

You will need to consent to this process when you apply to become a Police Community Support Officer. It will not be possible to progress any applicant who does not consent to the biometric vetting process at the point of application.

Health

Police Community Support Officers may encounter stressful situations, trauma, physical confrontation and work long hours on a variable shift pattern, covering 8am-10pm. They need to be resilient enough to cope with the demands and pressures of the role. Applicants must therefore be in good health mentally and physically to undertake the duties associated with this role.

You will undergo a medical examination to ensure you meet the health standards required.

Fitness test

To ensure you are fit enough for the role, you will undertake a fitness test: 

Endurance fitness (multistage shuttle run) 4 shuttles at level 5 (5/4)

We are looking for no more than the minimum standard needed to enable you to work effectively as a Police Community Support Officer. You will be given help to improve your fitness and if you prepare yourself properly, there is no reason for you to fail.

Eyesight

Applicants will have their eyesight tested at the medical assessment stage. You may be asked to go to an optician to have your eyes tested and the eyesight form filled in. Failure to pass this test will lead to rejection.

The current eyesight standards are:

  • Unaided vision (without spectacles or lenses)
    6/36 or better in either eye (2nd line down on Optician's Chart) is required. Binocular vision (vision with both eyes) worse than 6/6 (7th line on optician's chart) requires correction.
  • Aided vision (wearing lenses or spectacles)
    6/12 or better in either eye (5th line down on Optician's Chart) and 6/6 or better using both eyes (binocular vision) is required.
  • Near vision
    6/9 with both eyes together (aided)

Guide to Optician's Chart:

  • A 6/60
  • BC 6/36
  • DEFG 6/24
  • HIJKLM 6/18
  • NOPQRSTU 6/12
  • VWXYZABCD 6/9
  • EFGHIJKLMNO 6/6
  • PQRSTUVWXYZ 6/5

Applications from those who have undergone Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), LASIK or LASEK surgery will be accepted provided that six weeks have elapsed since surgery, there are no residual side effects and the other eyesight standards are met.