Welcome to Police Recruitment Process.
How to become a UK police officer
The process to join the UK police service is quite straightforward. It is, however, competitive and proper preparation will stand you the best chance of landing a police career. This section explains the process including information on the Police Initial Recruitment Test (PIRT).
There is a ‘Hints & Tips’ section at the bottom of this page with some invaluable sources of help if you are trying to become a police officer.
A little investment in at this stage, both in time and in making use of the right resources will play a key part in making your police application successful.
A police career is a well-paid, varied career, which is why the police recruitment process is thorough. Once you join a police force you will find the types of police jobs made available to you incredibly varied.
Step 1 – Check if you are eligible to join a UK police force.
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 HERE
Step 2 - The Application Form
Those looking to join the police should first contact the Force(s) they are interested in joining and ask for the recruitment department. They will send you out an Application Form.
On receiving your police application form back from you, the Force that you have applied to will check your eligibility and mark your responses to competency questions.
If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre (Step 3).
Successful completion of the application form is critical and is the only way through to the next stage of the assessment process. 60% of candidates do not complete the form adequately and so are lost at this stage.
For assistance in filling in your police application form, see the ‘Hints & Tips’ section at the bottom of this page.
The Police Officer Application Form is the initial stage of the Police Officer selection process. It is a well known fact that over 75% of Police Officer application forms submitted do not make it past this difficult stage!
This new book, written by a former police officer who helped devise the assessment process, is packed with practical advice for those applying to become a police officer.
This practical and accessible book focuses on the interview, which forms a key part of the Police Recruit Assessment Process. This book identifies the nature of the interview and fully explains what to expect in the way of interaction with the assessor.
Step 3 - The Assessment Centre - PIRT - Police Intial Recruitment Test
The police assessment centre will determine whether you have what it takes to have a career as a police officer.
You will receive an information pack around two weeks before your assessment. This will contain information you need to find the assessment centre and hints on how to get ready for the process.
At the police assessment centre you will undertake an interview, four interactive exercises, two written exercises and a numerical and verbal reasoning test.
Together this is called the Police Initial Recruitment Test (PIRT). The PIRT has now been incorporated into the one assessment day to standardise the recruitment process across all 43 forces in England & Wales.
If you are invited to attend a police selection process, prior preparation is vital. The system is standardised and so relatively easy to prepare for, but you will be at a distinct disadvantage turning up to the PIRT if you haven’t properly prepared. (See the ‘Hints & Tips’ at the bottom of this page)
Step 4 - The Police Fitness Test
You will need to be in fairly good condition to pass this police fitness test.
Because police must be able to run for a reasonable distance, as part of your assessment, you will be tested to ensure your fitness levels are high enough.
It's a thorough test, but don't worry, it's not about being super fit. It is just to make sure you would be physically able to carry out your duties. Expect to be tested on two key fitness requirements:
- Dynamic strength - involves performing five seated chest pushes and five seated back pulls on the Dyno machine to measure your strength.
- endurance - you will be asked to run to and fro along a 15 metre track in time with a series of bleeps, which become increasingly faster.
If you don't meet the standard first time around, you can take the test again up to a maximum of three times.
Again, help is at hand for you to prepare for the policce fitness test. See the ‘Hints & Tips’ at the bottom of this page
Step 5 - Health Checks
You need to be in good health to be accepted as a police officer.
Because police officers need to be physically healthy in order to carry out their duties, you will need to be examined to ensure you have no serious health problems.
Step 6 - Background and Security Check
You must pass thorough background and security checks before you can be appointed as a police officer.
On your application form you will be asked to provide the names of referees who can provide supporting information about your character and employment history. If you pass all the other phases of the application process, the people you named will be contacted.
Once your references have been received and verified, and as long as they are acceptable, your application will proceed to security clearance - the final stage in the process.
Step 7 - Security Clearance
Before you can be hired as a police officer, the Security Service must carry out a background check. To do this, they will use the information you provide on your application, and information they collect themselves, to verify your identity and your background.
The police force you have applied to will let you know whether you have been security cleared.
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.
- More info If you are looking to join the Police, why not get to know those who already have?
Also, don’t forget to sign up for your FREE weekly police newsletter by using the sign-up box on the top right of this page. This will keep you up to date on all police news, including police recruitment and police jobs news.