How to apply

Whatever entry route you go through, there are a number of stages involved in the application process, so it’s good to be prepared and find out what’s involved.

Many police forces also offer positive action initiatives (such as online engagement sessions or mentoring) to specifically support people from under-represented groups to apply. So it's worth checking out your chosen force’s website to see what positive action initiatives they’re running before you apply.  

Due to COVID-19, face-to-face assessment centres are currently suspended and have been replaced with online assessment exercises, so you'll need internet access with a strong connection and a quiet space so you can concentrate.

The exact application process varies slightly between forces so do check on your chosen force’s website but you'll typically go through the following steps:

Check eligibility

Before you start filling in the application form, it’s worth checking you meet the basic eligibility criteria.

Am I eligible to apply?

Application form

You need to apply via your preferred force - you’ll find details on their website. Once you’ve submitted your completed form, they’ll do their own eligibility check.

What's involved in the application form?

Situational Judgement Test

This online test takes around 30 minutes and will assess your suitability to becoming a police officer. 

What's involved in the Situational Judgement Test? 

Competency-based video interview

This will take around 35 minutes and you'll be asked competency based questions, designed to let you demonstrate your strengths and potential as a police officer. 

What does the competency interview involve?

Written exercise and briefing exercise

If you successfully complete the Situational Judgement Test and video interview, you'll be asked to complete a written exercise and a briefing exercise, which both take around 45 minutes each.

What do the written and briefing exercises involve? 


Medical and Fitness test

Before joining, you will have to complete a medical and fitness test to make sure you've got the strength and endurance needed to be a police officer. 

More on medical and fitness tests

Pre-employment and vetting checks

Next, you’ll undergo robust background and security checks, involving searches on national and local information databases.

What's involved in vetting?


Congratulations! Once you’ve successfully completed all of the stages in the application process, your force will now be in a position to send you a formal job offer. This will likely come to you via the post (and/or email) and will detail everything you need to know about your potential start date and next steps.

Ready to apply?

You need to apply direct to the force(s) you’re interested in.

Who's recruiting?