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.

The exact process varies slightly between forces so do check on your chosen force’s website. It typically involves 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?

Online assessment

Some forces also ask you to complete a set of online competency questions, before deciding to invite you to attend an assessment centre.

What do competency questions involve?

Assessment Centre

You’ll undertake a mix of interviews and interactive exercises, as well as written and verbal tests, all designed to let you demonstrate your strengths and potential as a police officer.

More on Assessment Centre Day

Medical and Fitness test

If you pass the Assessment Centre, you’ll then be asked to undergo medical and fitness tests 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?