Frequently Asked Questions

We are not currently recruiting police officers.

1. How do I contact HR Shared Services about my application?

All the answers that you need to know about your stage of the recruitment process are contained on the force website or the guidance pack. If you have a query, before contacting us, please ensure that you have read of all the guidance notes carefully.

If you do not find the answer to your question on the website or in the pack, you can email our dedicated recruitment team on: [email protected]. We will aim to respond to emails within three working days during normal office hours, Monday to Friday 8.00am – 5.00pm.

2. I have a problem using the e-recruitment portal. Who shall I contact?

As this is a web-based assessment if you are experiencing difficulties, it may be associated with your own web browser capability. The minimum internet browser requirement to use the assessment will be:

Your browser should also have JavaScript and cookies enabled. You can also access a help menu within the assessment. Please note, the tool is not currently compatible for use on mobile devices or tablets, therefore please only attempt to access the system via a PC/Laptop.

If you are unable to find the answer within the help menu, email the recruitment team on [email protected].

3. I have not received an email confirming if I passed or failed?

At the end of each part of the process you will receive an email from our recruitment portal. If you have not received an email you should check your junk mail/filter settings in case the email/s get filtered by your spam software.

You can also check the status of your application at any time throughout the recruitment process via the e-Recruitment Portal.

4. When does the recruitment process start?


5. When does the online process finish?


6. I have a medical condition but does that prevent me from joining?

It will depend upon the nature of the medical condition. All of our new officers have to undergo a medical assessment with our Occupational Health Support Unit. You will need to pass the medical assessment to be eligible to join.

7. I have tattoos. Will this stop me becoming a police officer?

You must not have tattoos on your face, neck or hands 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 and prominence and appearance of tattoos will be considered.

If you have tattoos you will need to make a declaration at the time of application. We will ask you to include two digital pictures of each tattoo.

(One distance photograph clearly showing where on the above body area the tattoo is located and a second close up photograph that we can use to assess this against our standards).

8. I am not a British citizen. Can I still apply to join as an officer?

Yes. If you are a foreign national or commonwealth citizen you must have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. Most EEA and Swiss nationals have the right to reside in the UK and so will not need to demonstrate this.

9. Do I need a driving licence to apply?

Yes, you will require a full manual UK/EU driving licence prior to applying.

10. I have a motoring offence(s). Can I still apply to become an officer?

We will need to assess the motoring offences. However, if you have more than six penalty points on your driving licence and / or two or more motoring offences within the three years before the application date you may not be eligible to apply to join as a student officer.

11. I have a criminal record. Can I still apply to become an officer?

Eligibility will depend on the nature and circumstances of the offence. It is not possible to set out a full list of convictions that would prevent you from becoming a police officer. Each case will be considered on its own merits, and if the offence is deemed sufficiently serious you would be rejected irrespective of your 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.

12. If I am successful in my application to become a PCSO or special constable, can I transfer to become a police officer?

No, you would have to go through the official recruitment process like all other applicants in order to qualify as a police officer.

13. I am a serving PCSO or special constable, can I transfer to become a police officer?

No, you would have to go through the official recruitment process like all other applicants in order to qualify as a police officer.

14. I would like to become a firearms officer/dog handler/detective/air observer etc. – if my application is successful can I join the unit straight away?

No. Like all newly recruited police officers, you would have to undergo a two-year probationary period, so you could not apply for any specialist posts until you have completed at least two years’ service.

15. Can I become a police officer if you wear glasses or contact lenses?

As part of the recruitment process you will need to undergo an eye test. New recruits must have at least 6/12 vision in the right or left eye, or at least 6/6 vision in both eyes. If you wear glasses or contact lenses must have at least 6/6 binocularly.

16. Can you become a police officer if you are colour blind?

You are eligible to become a police officer, but would be restricted from fulfilling certain posts, such as traffic officer or firearms officer. If your colour blindness is monochrome, you would be unable to apply.

17. If I have a disability can I apply to become a police officer?

We welcome applications from people with disabilities as defined by the Equality Act 2010 i.e. a person is disabled under this Act if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term (over 12 months) adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day tasks.

If you consider yourself to have a disability, please inform us of the type of reasonable adjustments you might need to assist you in the recruitment and selection process. We will try to make reasonable adjustments required where practicable.

Please contact the recruitment team to advise what adjustments you require: - [email protected]

18. I have epilepsy. Can I still apply?

You can still apply to become a police officer. We will look at each case on its merits and take guidance from our Occupational Health Support Unit.

19. I have diabetes. Can I still apply?

You can still apply to become a police officer. We will look at each case on its merits and take guidance from our Occupational Health Support Unit.

20. Is there a height restriction for police officers?

No. There is no minimum or maximum height restriction

21. If my BMI reading is outside of the guidelines, will that prevent me from progressing through the application process?

The College of Policing guidelines suggest that a BMI reading between 18 and 30 is ideal. However, the BMI aspect is only one element of our health and fitness requirement this will not prevent you from getting further on in the process if you are otherwise fit and healthy and able to pass our fitness test and medical examination.

22. How much will I be paid?

Our starting pay for student officers is:

23. Would a business interest stop me from becoming a police officer?

Unless the chief officer decides otherwise, you will not normally be eligible for appointment as a police officer if you have any of the following business interests:

However, the chief officer may decide to allow the business interest, if he/she thinks it is compatible with being a member of the force.

24. A Level 3 qualification or equivalent

Compare the most common qualifications -

25. What will be my pension entitlement be?

Since 6 April 2006, all new entrants to the police service automatically join the new Police Pension Scheme - CARE 2015 Scheme (Career Average Revalued Earnings).

Although membership of the scheme is automatic it is not compulsory and you can elect to opt out at any time. The amount of contribution you pay depends upon the level of your pensionable earnings.

The employee and employer contributions are set out below:

For part-time officers, the contribution is determined by their whole time equivalent salary. Under the CARE Scheme you will have access to your pension at any time after the age of 55 years and to take immediate payment of your pension; if you decide to retire with immediate payment of your pension after age 55 and before age 60, your 2015 scheme benefits will have an early retirement reduction.

Pension contributions made during previous employment may be transferred to the police pension scheme. However, due to the relatively high contributions made to the scheme, payments to other schemes may not equate to the same period in police service terms.

Compulsory retirement ages for police officers are specified in police pensions regulations. The ranks of constable to chief inspector are required to retire on reaching the age of 60 and for superintendents and above, the age of 65 years. These compulsory retirement ages can be extended at the discretion of the chief constable on an annual basis. Extensions of service beyond these ages can also be applied for following the local procedure.

The Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have produced full guidance on the changes to pension allowances. These guides can be found on the website

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