Recruitment Process – Police Officers

Due to the nature of our work, our application and recruitment process is rigorous, in depth and involves several security checks.

To help you prepare, the stages in our application and recruitment process are listed below. If you have any questions, please contact a member of the Police Officer Recruitment Team on 0330 3135 401.

Successful offers of employment are dependent on numerous factors including: correct completion of the application form, performance at Assessment Centre and the ability to meet all pre-employment standards, including medical and security standards. Availability of training courses and vacancies in your chosen location may also be a factor.

Please note that due to the nature of the security checks we carry out, it is not unusual for the whole recruitment to take up to 12 months from start to finish.

1. Application form

The first step is to fill out the online application form. This will give us all the details we need to identify whether you are eligible to go forward to the next stage in the process.

Please be advised that our application form does ask you to go into a large amount of personal detail, about yourself and family members. This detail includes giving information on any previous convictions, cautions and/or involvement with the Police (these will not necessarily be a bar to you joining the Constabulary). In addition, you will be asked about a range of subjects, from any tattoos you might have, to your business interests and your financial position.

Some people might find the application form daunting, but we provide some guidance notes to help you fill it in correctly.

2. Shortlisting

We will shortlist your application form against national recruitment criteria and will let you know the outcome within 6 weeks from you submitting your application. If your application is successfully shortlisted, you will be invited to attend a telephone interview with a member of the Police Officer Recruitment Team.

3. Telephone Interview

During the telephone interview you will be asked three questions relating to your application. Your responses will be scored against the role profile for an Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO). We will let you know whether you have successfully passed the telephone interview within 3 working days of the interview itself. If you are successful you will be invited to attend an Assessment Centre.

4. Assessment centre

At our Assessment Centres you will be invited to undertake various assessments including group assessment, a firearms assessment and a competency-based interview.

Once your place on the Assessment Centre is booked you will be emailed further details about the day by a member of the Police Officer Recruitment Team.

5. Pre-employment assessments

For those individuals who pass the assessment centre, you will be invited to a medical examination, which includes a fitness assessment. There is typically a period of up to three weeks between the assessment centre and the medical stage to enable candidates to obtain a medical declaration from their GP and a signed opticians form and for the OH team to carry out a pre-screen of these documents to enable them to determine your medical suitability to undertake this stage.

For further guidance on our medical standards and examination please click here.

7. Conditional offer

Provided you successfully meet all our pre-employment standards we will contact you to make a conditional offer of employment. Once you have accepted the conditional offer, we will contact your current employer for references, and start security vetting.

We will carry out employment reference checks for the last three years of your employment. As this stage can be lengthy we ask all candidates to help us by providing all the necessary information to request references in good time.

If appropriate, we will also carry out military and police service checks. This can be a lengthy process and can take up to 3 months to complete.

Biometric Vetting
Applicants who are successful in joining the Constabulary have their fingerprints taken during their initial week at the Centre for Learning and Development. These are currently used for crime scene elimination purposes only. In the future, all applicants who wish to join the Constabulary as a Police Officer, who are given a Conditional offer of appointment will have their DNA and fingerprints checked against outstanding crimes before a training course date is confirmed as part of the initial application process.

8. Initial Training

We aim to provide you with at least four weeks' notice of the start of your initial training however this can be less depending on how long it takes to complete your pre-employment assessment and security vetting. At least five working days before your initial training course starts we will send you detailed joining instructions. Your initial training will last 17 weeks and will be a residential course delivered in Oxfordshire and Surrey.