Newsletter Sigunp

Welcome to Police Entry Requirements.

General Entry Requirements

If you have settled on a police job and are looking at joining the police, you will firstly need to check the general entry requirements. These vary slightly within the UK, but are shown below.

To apply for an English or Welsh Police Force

General Police Recruitment Entry Requirements – Police Constable

The basic criteria required for application is:

  • Aged between 18 ˝ years and 55 years (age limit can vary depending on the force)
  • A British, Irish or a Commonwealth citizen (whose stay in this country is not subject to restriction)
  • Of good character
  • Physically fit and healthy
  • A full driving licence (or in the process of learning)
General Police Recruitment Entry Requirements - Special Constable

Special Constables are ordinary members of the public who give up their own time in order to assist the regular police officers in their duties.

Special Constables have the same powers as a regular police officer and are required to attend for duty for a minimum number of hours per month normally around 16-18 hours. The role is unpaid, but the uniform is provided free and reasonable out-of-pocket expenses are paid by the force.

The basic criteria required for application is:

  • Aged between 18 ˝ years and 50 years (age limit can vary depending on the force)
  • A British, Irish or a Commonwealth citizen (whose stay in this country is not subject to restriction)
  • Of good character
  • Physically fit and healthy
  • People in certain jobs are not suitable due to conflicts of interests e.g. licensees, security officers and court officials etc.
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How 2 Become – Police Written Test   Workbook

When you apply to become a Police Officer you will be required to take the Police Initial Recruitment test (PIRT).

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To apply for a Scottish Police Force

General Police Recruitment Entry Requirements – Police Constable

The basic criteria required for application is:

  • Aged between 18 ½ years and  40 years on appointment (age limit can vary depending on the force).
  • A British, Irish or a Commonwealth citizen (whose stay in this country is not subject to restriction)
  • Of good character
  • Able to demonstrate a good standard of education.
  • Physically fit and have good vision.
  • A full driving licence (or in the process of learning).

The above entry requirements can vary force to force.

General Entry Requirements - Special Constable

Special Constables are ordinary members of the public who give up their own time in order to assist the regular police officers in their duties. Special Constables have the same powers as a regular police officer and are required to attend for duty for a minimum number of hours per month normally around 16-18 hours. The role is unpaid, but the uniform is provided free and reasonable out-of-pocket expenses are paid by the force. 

The basic criteria required for application is:

  • Aged between 18 ½ years and  50 years (age limit can vary depending on the force).
  • A British, Irish or a Commonwealth citizen (whose stay in this country is not subject to restriction)
  • Of good character
  • Able to demonstrate a good standard of education.
  • Physically fit and healthy
  • People in certain jobs are not suitable due to conflicts of interests e.g. licensees, security officers and court officials etc.
General Entry Requirements - Police Cadet

Between the ages of 16 and 17-and-a-half years at the start of the programme. The programme finishes when you are 18-and-a-half-years old, at which time you may be accepted into the Scottish Police Service.

You will need four standard grade passes at level 3 or better, which must include Maths and English.

You must have good eyesight though wearers of glasses may fall within the acceptable limits. If you wear spectacles or contact lenses, or are uncertain about your eyesight standard, it will be necessary to submit an optician's report.

You must be fit and healthy. A fitness assessment and medical will form part of the recruitment process.

You must be a British, Commonwealth or Irish Citizen.

To apply for The Police Service of Northern Ireland

General Entry Requirements - Police Constable

The basic criteria required for application is:

  • Aged between 18 ½ years and  55 years (age limit can vary depending on the force).
  • A British, Irish or a Commonwealth citizen (whose stay in this country is not subject to restriction)
  • Of good character
  • Physically fit and healthy
  • A full driving licence (or in the process of learning)

If you have any queries or are in any doubt regarding entry requirements, please contact your local Police force recruitment section for guidance. Find their web site by using the Police Links page.

If you have answered ‘yes’ to the ‘Police, could you?’ question, and think that a police job is right for you, don’t forget that police recruitment is competitive, and if you want to stand the best chance of success in securing a well paid, secure and exciting job, make use of one of the ‘best of the best’ resources listed below.

Help With Police Recruitment

  • How to Become a UK Police Officer The most comprehensive CD guide available on landing a police job. Insider tips and advice brought to you by current serving Police Officers.
  • How to become a PCSO Over 190 pages in this CD guide to successfully becoming a Police Community Support Officer. The best available.
  • The Police Selection Process An excellent book written by Ian Hutchinson, the ex head of personnel for Thames Valley Police and an acknowledged expert on police recruitment and police career matters.
  • In2Police Several companies run courses throughout the UK to prepare you for the Police Initial Recruitment Test, aiming to help you start your police job by passing the police recruitment process. In2Police is one of the best and is managed by serving police recruitment staff
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