Recruiting now for Police Officers

Via all three of our entry routes. 

Recruitment is now open for degree holders (DHEP & PPD) and non-degree holders (PCDA) into the Police Constable role. To apply click the link below.

If you'd like to find out more about the role before you get started, sign up to one of our awareness events by following the link below. 

Apply Now Sign up to an Awareness Event

Passionate about policing

It is a challenging career that demands a high level of personal integrity and responsibility. Working as a Police Constable is an interesting and rewarding role that once you have completed your first class training will reward you with an extraordinary job that is unlike any other.

Apply now

Sign up for Positive Action support

If you are thinking of applying for a role as a Police Officer within Dorset Police and Positive Action support is something you think would be appropriate for you click the sign up button below and fill in the form and a member of our Positive Action Team will contact you. For more details around who can receive this support, click the appropriate button below.

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What does a Police Officer do?

Police Officers carry out a huge array of policing tasks, from patrolling the streets in cars and on foot, working with communities and maintaining law and order and protecting vulnerable members of society.

Officers work on a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week shift. No matter what day it is, it is business as usual for our officers.

As a frontline police officer you will be the face of Devon & Cornwall Police, supporting local communities, building relationships and combating crime, it is a vital role and one that makes a tangible difference to the communities in which we serve.

Rarely will you know what will happen in your working day, and this is often the attraction for many people as a Police Officer's duties are varied and dynamic. Responding to incidents, arresting and interviewing suspects, investigating crime and providing reassurance to many communities is all in a days work.

Once you've completed your probationary period and your appointment as a Police Officer has been confirmed, you'll then have plenty of opportunities to continue your professional development.

Read more about some of our current police officers' experiences below.

Meet our Officers

Is policing right for you?

Take the national quiz to find out more about policing as a career and whether it is the right choice for you.
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In order to qualify to become a Police Officer there are set eligibility criteria which you must meet. To find out more about these, please browse the topics below. We also have our dedicated Frequently Asked Questions page which can be accessed via the button below. We recommend thoroughly studying all of these before continuing with your application.
Applications can be accepted at the age of 17 but any appointment is from the age of 18.

There is no upper age limit for applying to the police service, but bear in mind that the normal retirement age is 60 years and that new constable recruits are required to undertake a two year probationary period for the DHEP or 3 years for the PCDA.
UK Qualifications

Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

To be eligible for this route you must hold;

A Level 2 qualification in both English language and Maths for example a GCSE or iGCSE at grade 4 (c) or above. International equivalent qualifications are also accepted and welcome, see advice below under “Overseas/International Qualifications Accepted”. Should you not have the Level 2 qualifications, please read the Attaining Maths & English document on our useful documents page about how to obtain this.

In addition you must meet one of the following;

Have a maximum of 2, Level 3 qualifications in any subject(s) that equate to 64 UCAS points (or a full level 4 or 5 qualification) – these points could be from your A Levels, Level 3 Diplomas and International Baccalaureate to name a few. Level 3 (Advanced) Apprenticeships will also satisfy the Level 3 requirement. Please view the linked document to check your level 2 qualifications and level 3 qualifications and UCAS points for some of the most frequently studied qualifications.


Pass a SHL Test (If you do not have a Level 3 qualification) The SHL Test is a verbal reason and calculation test as part of the initial police online application process. This will test your academic ability to Level 3


A serving PCSO, who has been in post for at least 18 months at the time of application and been assessed by line manager as fully competent.


A serving Special Constable who has attained accompanied patrol status at the time of application, who are consistently completing 16 hours per month and are up to date with all mandatory training.

Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)

In order to be eligible for this route you have to have previously achieved, or be obtaining within the next six months, an Undergraduate or Bachelor's Degree Level 6 with either an Honours Level Degree classification or an Ordinary Degree classification (not in Professional Policing Practice). A Master's Degree at Level 7 is also acceptable. International equivalent Level 6 or 7 (undergraduate degree or masters) qualifications are accepted and welcome (see advice below under “Overseas/International Qualifications Accepted”).

Please note a foundation degree does not make you eligible for this entry route, however you may be considered for the PCDA route should you meet the above requirements.

If you have a degree in Professional Policing you are not eligible for the DHEP entry route. The DHEP is a graduate Diploma at level 6, to ‘convert’ a degree over to policing, for which this is recognised for by awarding a graduate diploma at Level 6. The pre-join degree whilst does not have practical policing elements covers the same theoretical topics as DHEP conversion course.

Pre Join Degree

For this entry you must have achieved a degree in Professional Policing.

Overseas Qualifications

International equivalent qualifications for either Level 2 (GCSE grade 4 or grade C pass) in Math and English, or Level 6 (undergraduate degree in any subject) are accepted and welcome.

If you believe you have an international equivalent qualification, you will need to obtain a Statement Of Comparability from UK ENIC (formerly known as NARIC, the UK National Information Centre for the recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills).

The Statement Of Comparability costs around £49 (price as at March 2021) and is only required at the Application Form (Part 2 of the application). Therefore, you can apply for your police role without the Statement of Compatibility, and if you pass Part 1 (the Behavioural Standards Questionnaire and Situation Judgment Test online tests) apply for the Statement Of Statement Of Comparability at that time ASAP here and notify the Resourcing Team on your Application Form that you are doing so.

Additionally, the International Certificate in Christian Education (ICCE) is accepted as equivalent to a (Level 2) standard pass in Maths and English, and if you have this qualification a Statement of Compatibility is not required.

Applicants must have resided in the UK for three continuous years immediately prior to application.

To be eligible for appointment, you must be a British citizen or a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. Commonwealth citizens and foreign nationals are also eligible but only if they are resident in the UK free of restrictions.

If you are a Commonwealth citizen or other foreign national, you must provide proof that you have no restrictions on your stay in the UK. You should therefore send a copy of your passport showing that your stay is free of restrictions. Do not send your actual passport with this application. Other documentary evidence of your status may be required.

After 30 June 2021, nationals of the EEA or Switzerland will also need to provide evidence that their stay is free from restrictions.

Driving licence
All officers are required to have a full manual driving licence on appointment. You can apply if you have a provisional licence but any appointment is subject to achieving a full licence.
Membership to BNP or similar groups.
You must not be a member, or have been, of an extreme political organisation such as a BNP, National Front or Combat 18 or similar organisations.
You should not have any tattoos which could cause offence. If you have a tattoo you will be asked to provide a brief description and photographs of the tattoo. The nature, location, size, prominence and appearance of tattoos will be considered.

Previous convictions or recent cautions, bind-overs or findings of guilt.

Ideally, you shouldn't have a criminal conviction or cautions.

If you do have one, acceptance will depend on the age and nature of the offence. It is not possible to set out a full list of convictions that will preclude a person from becoming a Police Officer.

Each case will be considered on its own merits, and if the offence is deemed sufficiently serious a person will be rejected irrespective of age at time of offending.

There may be circumstances where an individual does not fall within the criteria, but whose suspected involvement in crime, or criminal associations make an offer of employment inappropriate.
Financial Position
Must not have any current County Court Judgements (CCJ) against you.

If you are the subject of an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) and can demonstrate at least 6 months of regular payments via a payment plan the force can assess this on a case by case basis.

If you have been registered bankrupt you may apply if it is at least three years since the date your debts were discharged.
Other applications
You may apply to more than one force at a time, however you can only sit the assessment centre once within a 6 month period, unless otherwise notified by the force you are continuing your application with.

A workforce that reflects our communities

Our ability to build trust, understand problems and support our communities across a range of policing matters, relies on us having a workforce that is reflective of our communities and all the unique individuals that exist within them. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity within our workforce and to eliminating discrimination.

We are very keen to encourage applications from those that have never considered policing as a career. Representation within our workforce from black and minority ethnic communities and females is currently much lower than we want it to be; by improving this we will be better able to serve our local communities and our work place will benefit from all the differences in thinking, points of view, and approaches that diversity brings.

In order to achieve this we are proud to pursue a policy of ‘positive action’.

For further information and to register for this scheme please click the button below.

Positive Action