How to join the Police Service in England and Wales

Despite popoular belief the police service in England and Wales is not short of applicants. There are currently 43 forces in England and Wales, most are only open for short periods of time to distribute a limited number of application forms. The largest force is the Metropolitan Police Service which at the time of writing this article is also closed for recruitment.

To obtain an application pack, you need to contact your desired force and check to see if they are currently recruiting.

If they are currently accepting application forms, they should then advise you the process for applying - some require an online application form to be completed, while others use a traditional paper-based applications.

The application form itself will take some time to complete - 22 pages to be precise. It requires you to provide personal information, employment history, education, financial and criminal background, plus a very important section called 'competency assessment'.

It is the competency assessment where most individuals are rejected. At present there are 10 questions in total; 4 relate to your previous experiences covering Respect for Race and Diversity, Team Working, Reslience and Effective Communications. This section is a tick box process, you either provide the evidence they are looking for (tick the boxes) or not - the latter of course are rejected. The remaining 6 questions relate to your understanding of the role which you are applying for, what tasks you expect to be undertaking as an officer, what impact you believe it will have on your social life etc.

With increasing number of applications, yet few vacancies - it is imperitive that your form meets the required standard and is amongst those in the highest performing category.

Unfortunately, the vast amounts of information about how to join the police service on the web is widely inaccurate and pre 2004 (the process changed in this year).

If you would like 100% accurate information about how to join the service and the stages of the process, please visit policeapplication.co.uk or police-application-blog.co.uk

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Author: David Vidgen