To apply for the role of police officer, you will need to:

  • Be aged 18 years or over (on the day you submit your application?)
  • Have lived in the UK for three continuous years, immediately prior to application
  • Have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period
  • Have achieved a standard of education equivalent to Level 3 for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, or a Degree for the Degree Holder Entry Scheme.
  • Not be a member of the British National Party (BNP) plus other organisations such as Combat 18 or The National Front.
  • To be able to respond to general enquires over the phone and face to face through the medium of Welsh (level 1) or willing to achieve this level within 6 months, see our Welsh Language Requirements for more information.

Level 3 qualifications acceptable are:

  • A-levels
  • BTECs
  • Cambridge International Pre-U Diploma
  • Cambridge Technicals
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Welsh Baccalaureate
  • Scottish Advanced Higher
  • Scottish Higher
  • Scottish Baccalaureate
  • access to higher education diploma
  • advanced apprenticeship
  • international Baccalaureate diploma
  • level 3 award
  • level 3 certificate
  • level 3 diploma
  • level 3 ESOL
  • level 3 national certificate
  • level 3 national diploma
  • level 3 NVQ
  • Certificate of Knowledge of Policing

Please note: Awarding bodies such as AQA, Active IQ, NCFE CACHE, CILEx, CISI, City & Guilds, LRN, IMI, NCFE, OCN, OCR, Edexcel, LCCI will need to be at level 3 certificate and level 3 Diploma in any subject.  

Previous applications

If you have applied to join the Police with any force in England or Wales within the last 6 months and your application was rejected, you are unable to submit a new application form.

You are eligible to apply to more than one force at a time however you can only undertake the Assessment Centre process with ONCE force. By default this will become your CHOSEN force unless you choose to withdraw and transfer your score to another force.

Driving Licence

You will need a full driving license in order to join as a police officer. You will be required to pass a Police Driving Test during your probationary period.


Tattoos are not a bar to appointment.  However, some tattoos could potentially offend members of the public or colleagues, or could bring discredit to the Police Service.

Tattoos are not acceptable if they: undermine the dignity and authority of the police officer; could cause offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or invite provocations; are garish or numerous or particularly prominent; indicate unacceptable attitudes towards women, minority groups or any other section of the community; indicate alignment with a particular group which could give offence to members of the public or colleagues; are considered to be discriminatory, rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, violent or intimidating.


Due to the nature of police work, good health and fitness is paramount. However, applications are welcome from people with disabilities and every effort will be made to make reasonable adjustments if required.  

If you are successful at an assessment centre you will complete a medical questionnaire and undertake a medical examination and eyesight test.  For more information, please see the health advice guidance documents:

  • Medical assessment guide 
  • Recommended medical standards
  • Police recruit eye standards


If your application is successful, your weight range will be assessed during a medical assessment.

The healthy weight range is based on a measurement known as your body mass index (BMI). This can be determined if you know your weight and your height. The actual calculation is your weight (in kilograms) divided by your height (in metres squared).

Guidance and easy to use charts on how to calculate your BMI can be found on the NHS website. The NHS advises that a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 suggest a normal healthy weight. This means your body is not at risk of weight-related disease.

The Home Office sets BMI standards for police officers. The current Home Office circular 59/2004 outlines this as between 18 and 30. Applicants who do not meet this standard may find their application delayed and/or will not be appointed.

HM Forces

Applications from service personnel are only accepted if you have 12 months or less to serve. It is at the discretion of the Chief Officer as to whether successful applicants are allowed to remain on the Reserve List. Enquiries will not be made with your current employer until you are recommended for appointment or if you have agreed to let us approach them now.

Please note the recruitment cycle can take some time to complete.  At the end of each stage of the recruitment and selection process you will be notified whether or not you have been successful and therefore eligile to proceed to the next stage.