Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the vacancies based?

We try where possible to state the location and specific Police Officer vacancies, however, due to operational requirements this is not always possible, we look at the vacancies close to the time of the training course. On your initial application form we will ask for your site preference – we then use this as a guide when deciding on offers of employment. We try to ensure applicants are offered their choice.

Police Staff vacancies are advertised as and when a position arises. The vacancies are normally in a set location and are advertised on our careers website and other appropriate media in local online and occasionally in publications.

Police Officer Applications

Can you fast-track career progression within the CNC?

No, currently we do not offer any high potential development schemes.

What opportunities are there to specialise?

Because of the nature of our work, all CNC Police Officers are required to be trained Armed Response Officers which is normally a specialty area within Home Office Forces. We also have a number of other specialty areas:

  • Dog Handlers
  • Communications
  • Firearms Instructors
  • Intelligence/Special Branch
  • Road and Marine Escort Officers
  • Training Officers

Can I do work experience at the CNC?

Everyone who works for the CNC needs security clearance. As the security clearance process can take a long time, this means we are unable to offer work experience to potential candidates.

Application and Assessment Process

What are the details of the application process?

The first stage is to fill in the online application form. You'll need to complete and submit your form within the specified timescales. When completing the application please take care to read all instructions carefully.

We will confirm that we have received your application form and assess it alongside the national Home Office Criteria. If you pass this stage, we will invite you to attend an assessment centre, giving you at least 20 working days' notice.

How long does the full recruitment process take?

Our recruitment process is rigorous and in-depth, involving a number of security checks ensuring we obtain the most able recruits for the CNC. For Police Officers it is not unusual for the recruitment process to take up to 12 months from application to job offer.

If unsuccessful can I re-apply to join the CNC or another Constabulary?

Yes, although you can only apply to join one force at a time. If your application to join the CNC is unsuccessful, you will need to wait six months before re-applying to join either the CNC or another Constabulary.

What happens in an Assessment Centre?

During the College of Policing Assessment Centre, you will take part in a number of exercises:

  • a competency-based structured interview, made up of four questions;
  • a numerical reasoning test;
  • a verbal logical reasoning test;
  • two written exercises;
  • four interactive exercises.

What written exercises do I need to take?

The application form contains a written assessment containing four competency based questions. If you are successful in going through to the assessment stage, you will be required to complete another written exercise.

Candidates are strongly advised to practice writing the answers to the competency based questions, and to check your answers with a friend, colleague or family member for accuracy as you are scored on both your responses to the questions, and your written English skills.

If you are dyslexic, and need further guidance or support during the application process, please contact the HR Services team prior to submitting your application.

What fitness tests do I need to take?

As one of our officers you will need a high level of fitness to carry out your full duties. We will assess your fitness to ensure that you achieve the minimum standard. The fitness test is an Endurance test and you'll need to pass this to progress your application.

Endurance – In this element you’ll be asked to run to and fro along a 15m track in time with a series of bleeps. The current pass rate for Armed Response Officer is 7.6

Do I need to be a UK citizen to apply?

To apply to join CNC, you must be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.

Foreign nationals and UK citizens who have lived abroad may have to wait some time for security and vetting clearance. All applicants have to be vetted to the same standard before appointment.

Is there an age standard?

To apply to become an officer you need to be at least 18, and must be at least 18 and a half on appointment. There is no upper age limit, but you need to bear in mind that normal retirement age for Police Officers is currently 60.

Will you let me know the result of my application, whether I am successful or not?

Yes, we will contact you by email, letter or phone at each stage of the recruitment process to inform you whether you have been successful or unsuccessful.

Security Checks

What security checks are carried out?

We vet officers to Security Check (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) standards, depending on which site you are offered.

Can I still apply if I have had a previous conviction?

You may be eligible to apply to join CNC if you have had minor convictions or penalties. There are certain convictions that will make you ineligible to apply. Please do not hesitate to contact HR Services Team should you wish to discuss this further.

What financial checks do you carry out?

As Police Officers have accessed to privileged information we will need to check your financial status to assess whether it gives us cause to view that your financial status may make you vulnerable to corruption.

If you have outstanding County Court judgements and have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, you will be rejected. If you have discharged bankruptcy debts then you will need to provide a Certificate of Satisfaction with your application.

Medical Standards

What are the medical and eyesight standards?

Our Occupational Medical Standards are in line with the Home Office recommended standards. The medical standard is job related and non-discriminatory. Eyesight and colour vision standards apply.

What happens if I do not meet the medical standards?

Each case is considered by a Risk Assessment panel chaired by a Senior Officer. The panel makes a decision based on the information provided by the Occupational Health Physician in line with the Disability Discrimination Act and Constabulary Policy.

Police Staff

Types of roles available

We employ Police Staff in a variety of roles both at our headquarters in Culham, Oxfordshire, and at other locations around the UK. Types of roles available include:

  • Corporate Development
  • Human Resources and Organisational Development
  • Finance
  • IT and Communications
  • Firearms Instructors
  • Administrative Support
  • Control Room Operators
  • Duty Planners

Security Vetting

What security checks are carried out?

Police Staff are vetted to different standards from Baseline Standard, Security Check to Developed Vetting, depending on the nature and location of their role. Security clearance for Baseline Standard can take between one to three months, with Security Check and Developed Vetting taking considerably longer.

Salary and Benefits

What is the starting salary?

The starting salary for new recruit Police Officers is currently £22,000 per year. This will increase after successful completion of the probationary peroid to £24,171.

Police Staff salaries are determined by salary bands, depending on the level of the role.

What benefits are offered?

Police Officers:

  • 22 days annual leave rising to 30 days after 20 years’ service
  • Final contribution salary pension scheme
  • South-east allowance, for officers based at specific locations
  • Paid overtime
  • Annual incremental pay rise

Police Staff:

  • 27.5 days annual leave per year rising to 32.5 days after 20 years’ service
  • Flexi-time
  • Flexible working scheme
  • Final contribution salary pension scheme
  • Corporate bonus scheme

What are the details of the CNC Pensions Scheme and can I transfer my current Pension to this scheme?

The CNC uses the UKAEA Pension Scheme, which is currently available to both Police Officers and Police Staff and requires a minimum 5% employee contribution (this is subject to change). To find out more about our pension scheme, In the first instance please contact the HR Services team on 01235 466666.

Equality and Diversity

Can I still join if I have a disability?

We welcome applications from candidates with disabilities, and consider applications on a case by case basis. Police Officer applicants must be able to undertake the normal activities required of a Police Officer, and we will fairly consider whether reasonable adjustments can be made in the workplace to accommodate your disability.

What support is there for Officers and Staff who fall within minority categories?

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, and actively promote diversity within the Constabulary. The CNC work with a number of support groups which we are developing all the time.