Recruitment process - FAQs

The order of events

This screen checks your eligibility in line with the national recruitment standards. You will be advised at the end of the questionnaire if you have met all the eligibility criteria and then able to progress to the behaviour styles questionnaire.

If you are referred as a result of any of your answers, a member of the recruitment team will contact you to let you know the outcome.

This questionnaire invites you to review a number of statements and indicate which statement you completely agree with or completely disagree with on a sliding scale.

In order to progress to the next stage, you must pass the behaviour styles questionnaire. At the end of this questionnaire you will be advised of the result and a feedback report.

If you have passed the behaviour styles questionnaire you will be asked to complete the situational judgement test. This is the final stage of the online process.

You will be presented with a number of different situations that you might face as a police officer with a choice of different actions that might be taken. You will be asked to identify which action will result in an effective or counterproductive outcome.

You will be provided with a feedback report and if you are successful, you will then be invited to complete an application form.

Every request for a reasonable adjustment or accommodations is considered individually to reflect the understanding that every individual has unique requirements.

In determining any adjustments the force follow the guidance provided by the College Of Policing election & Assessments policy on accommodations and reasonable adjustments.

If you require an adjustment to the recruitment process in relation to a Specified Learning Difficulty e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, supporting information in the form of a medical or specialist’s report which provides information regarding your disability/the difficulties you experience should be submitted with your application form.

You will be required to complete the national application form following the online testing section and attached any relevant documentation.

Following submission of your application you will be invited by email to complete the College of Policing online assessment. This online process is a series of stages containing exercises that test the key competencies and values that are important for police constables. The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) sets out the behaviours expected of everyone working in policing. You can find out more about the CVF here .

The video below will give you a step by step guide of what to expect from the new College of Policing’s virtual assessment centre. Once you have watched the video please ensure you read all of the steps below.

Click to see the video

The online assessment process is a staged process that consists of up to four exercises over three stages. The process is broken up as follows:

Stage 1 – Situational judgement test (SJT)
This test measures your ability to choose the appropriate action in situations similar to those you are likely to face as a police constable. This test will measure your judgement and ability to make effective decisions against the CVF. Approximate time to complete: 30 minutes.

Stage 2 – Competency-based video interview
Candidates who pass stage 1 are invited to take stage 2 immediately. You will be asked 5 questions about how you have dealt with specific situations in the past. This is your opportunity to provide some examples of the key competencies and values that are important for police constables. You can use examples from both your work and your personal life.

You will have five minutes for each questions.

Candidates are provided with one minute preparation before each question. Approximate time to complete: 35 minutes.

Stage 3 – Written exercise and briefing exercise
Written exercise – Candidates will be provided with written materials outlining a scenario in the community.

They will have various sources of information and will be asked to provide typed written responses to their sergeant in relation to the issues contained in the materials. This exercise lasts approximately 50 minutes.

Briefing exercise – Candidates will be presented with a short brief of a community-based scenario and they will have time to prepare their responses to key questions. The scenario will evolve and additional information will be presented to the candidate for them to consider and respond to.

Candidates’ verbal responses to the questions will be recorded. This exercise lasts approximately 60 minutes.

How will you give me my results?

Stage 1: Situational judgement test
The result will be communicated to you immediately through the online platform. If you pass, you will be asked to take stage 2 immediately.

Stage 2: Interview
The content will be reviewed by a qualified assessor. Your result will be communicated to you via email.

Stage 3: Written exercise and briefing exercise
Both exercises will be reviewed by a qualified assessor and your result will be communicated to you via email.

If successful at the Assessment Centre you will then be required to complete an online force interview. This will be a structured interview with a panel of interviewers consisting of Police Officers and Staff.

The interview is expected to last up to 30 minutes. The questions in the interview are aimed at exploring your values and motivation to join as a Constable, these will be structured against the role profile for a Police Constable based on the Competency Valued Framework.

We will also take Biometric Vetting samples and you will be required to complete a fitness test (due to social distancing alternative methods are being adopted. The Recruitment Team will advise of what is required as your application progresses).

The police Job Related Fitness Test (JRFT) is a critical component of the recruitment and deployment of police officers. The core rational for the test is to ensure that prospective police officers have a minimum level of fitness to be able to undertake personal safety training. The fitness test is benchmarked against the aerobic demands of Personal Safety Training (PST) and comprises of an aerobic shuttle run test (15m Multi Stage Fitness Test – 15m MSFT at level 5:4).

For further information and how to prepare for the fitness test please see the Job Related Fitness Information Guide.

A medical assessment will be carried out by our Occupational Health Support Unit. They will check the following:

  • BMI (Body Mass Index)
  • Eye sight test – see Appendices
  • Colour vision – see Appendices
  • Lung function
  • Hearing

You will be asked to complete a confidential medical history questionnaire. You are advised not to pay for your GP to sign these forms until you know you have been successful though the earlier stages. Depending upon your medical history, we may have to contact your GP/ specialist for further information.
Once you have been declared medically fit we will then progress your application to the next stage.
For further information on the national standards please see here.


The vetting process is entirely confidential and the outcomes (other than pass/fail) are not shared with anyone else in the organisation (including trainers, future line managers or fellow trainees) or anyone outside of the organisation (including family).

We will carry out security checks on you and your:

  • Spouse/Partner
  • Father
  • Step father/mother’s partner
  • Mother
  • Stepmother/father’s partner
  • Brothers/sisters (full/half/step)
  • Children/children of your partner (only those age 10 years and over)
  • Any other adult living at your a
  • ddress
  • Financial circumstances – applicants will have their financial status checked

These checks are carried out because Police Officers have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption.

Applicants with outstanding County Court Judgements (CCJs), Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) or who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, will be rejected. If you have discharged bankruptcy debts then you will need to provide a Certificate of Satisfaction with your application. At least three years will need to have passed since the date of discharge.

Applicants with cautions/convictions/reprimands, other than some motoring offences, may not be accepted.


We send reference requests to all your previous employers in the last 3 years. If you haven’t been employed for 3 years, we will ask for a character reference or an educational reference.

Drugs Testing

As part of the Vetting process you will be required to undergo drugs testing. All drug testing processes are entirely confidential and only the presence of illegal substances will be disclosed to the Force Vetting Unit (by the third party drug testing laboratory). Prescribed medication, including that for individuals with certain disabilities or individuals that may be transitioning, is not tested for in the process.