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Dorset Police
Police Officers

Police Constable


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.

What does a Police Constable do?

Police Constables 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 Dorset 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 constables 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 Constable has been confirmed, you'll then have plenty of opportunities to continue your professional development.

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.
Take the quiz now

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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

Express your interest to join


Although we are currently closed for recruitment, you are able to express an interest ahead of our next campaign. By doing this you will be notified by email when we are next open for recruitment. To register your interest please click the button below.
Express your interest here

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Eligibility

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.
Age
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)

You must hold a Level 2 qualification in Math’s and English language, at grade C and above. 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.

You must meet one of the following:

Hold a level 3 qualification in any subject or equivalent or award such as:
  • A Level
  • AS Level
  • Advanced Diploma
  • National Diploma
  • National Certificate
  • National Award
  • Level 3 Diploma
  • Level 3 Certificate
  • Level 3 Award
  • Level 3 International Certificate in Computer Studies
  • (ICCS) NCC Education UK
  • Level 3 NVQ
  • City & Guilds, Level 3
  • NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • 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.

Please check with your examining body if you are unsure of the level of qualification you hold. We will need to see original certificates later in the recruitment process).

SHL (If you do not have a Level 3 qualification only)

If you do not have a Level 3 qualification or 18 months service as a Special or PCSO you are able to complete an SHL Test which is a verbal reason and calculation test. This will test your academic ability to Level 3.

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.

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.
Overseas Qualifications
Students who have studied in a country that does not provide GCSEs are potentially exempt from the condition of funding where the overseas qualifications they hold are equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or grade C.

Institutions must get confirmation from the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) that the qualification is equivalent to GCSE grade 9 to 4 or A* to C. NARIC is the UK’s national agency responsible for providing information and opinion on academic, vocational and professional qualifications from across the world.

As well as confirmation from NARIC that an overseas qualification is equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or grade C, institutions also have to ensure that the student possesses the necessary competence in maths and English to achieve their programme. If the student needs additional teaching or support to function on their programme, institutions must include it in the programme. This kind of activity is eligible for funding and should be included in the planned hours.

Students who have achieved the International Certificate in Christian Education (ICCE) do not have to study maths and English, as the ICCE is equivalent to a standard pass in maths and English. When students have achieved an ICCE, institutions can record an exemption for holding an overseas equivalent qualification. They do not have to get the equivalence certified by NARIC.
Residency
Applicants must have resided in the UK for three continuous years immediately prior to application.
Nationality
You can apply to become a Police Officer as long as you are an EEA National or a Swiss National.

Commonwealth citizens and Foreign Nationals are required to have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period.
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.
Tattoos
Not necessarily as tattoos are assessed on an a case by case basis. If you have tattoos you will need to make a declaration at the time of application.

We will ask you to send in two digital pictures of each tattoo. One distance photograph clearly showing where on your body the tattoo is located and a second close up photograph that we can use to assess this against our standards.

We would require a verifiable translation of any any tattoos containing non-English words, characters or representation and an explanation of the tattoos’ meaning or significance.
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. Click here for National Convictions Guidelines.

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.
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