At the end of each stage of the recruitment process, you will be notified by email whether or not you have been successful and are therefore eligible to proceed to the next stage. You can also log in to view your application status. If you have not received an email, you should check your junk mail/filter settings in case the email/emails get filtered by your spam software.
Application form and eligibility checks
Force interview and presentation
National Online Assessment (we're accepting score transfers, see below)
Pre-employment checks and fitness assessment
Key dates and times
Below are some important dates setting out the time frames for this recruitment process:
Recruitment open: 3 March 2023 at 9.30am Recruitment close: 26 March 2023 at 11.55pm National Sift: Will be confirmed with you National Online Assessment: May 2023 Force interview and assessment: June 2023 Pre-employment checks: We will confirm this with you.
You must be available to complete the above stages during the dates shown. If you are not available for any stages of the process for any reason, for example, pre-arranged holidays, we may not be able to process your application as alternative dates may not be available.
For this campaign there is only one cohort in November 2023 with limited spaces, once we have sufficient applications, we may close this campaign earlier the expected.
Applications are currently closed.
If you have any tattoos, please ensure you enclose a photograph of them as per the application form guidelines.
You will also need to upload copies of your qualifications.
Your telephone interview will last for approximately 30 minutes. The interview will focus on your motivation for becoming a detective constable and your knowledge about the role/force.
It is advised that you conduct research into the role of a detective constable and the force.
You will be provided with your result two weeks after your interview.
If successful at the online assessment centre, you will be invited to the national force interview and also undertake a practical exercise which has been designed to replicate the tasks and scope of the work you’ll face when in the role with our senior managers. You will be provided with further details nearer the time, so you are able to prepare.
You will need to bring with you your original level 3 certificate or equivalent, exam slips or letters from the relevant educational establishment as proof of your qualification that you have successfully attained at the time of your application.
If successful at the force interview, you will be invited to attend a National Online Assessment. Candidates are required to undertake a variety of exercises, which will be Competency and Values Framework (CVF):
Note: You will not be able to submit an application if you have attended the SEARCH assessment centre within the previous three months from today's date.
Transferred scores - SEARCH Assessment Centre
We are able to accept transferred scores providing you meet the following requirements:
assessment centre – score a pass and mark of 50% or above, this must have been completed within the last 12 months from the date of submission of your application.
the transfer of scores can still apply if your application is in process with another force.
You will need to provide proof of your score (either confirmation from another force or College of Policing) and submit it to us with your online application form.
If you have been declined at any other stage of the national process, for example national criteria, Competency Based Questionnaire (CBQ), assessment centre, medical, fitness and vetting you will not be able to transfer your score.
Applicants transferring scores should be aware of the following:
if you are transferring your assessment centre score you will be required to attend and pass the force interview
the national recruitment process does not allow applicants to take more than one SEARCH assessment Centre in any three month period
If you are successful at the National Online Assessment you will receive a letter stating that you will be appointed, subject to satisfactorily passing vetting checks, media checks, finance checks, references, medical and fitness tests. Once you have successfully completed all pre-employment checks you will receive an offer of appointment, conditions of service, starter pack and joining instructions.
During the application and selection process we will be assessing your mental and physical fitness to undertake the role.
The Job Related Fitness Test (JRFT) looks to see whether you are fit for the job and are ready for Officer Safety Training, where you learn to protect yourself and others. You will be required to undertake:
a running test (known as a multi-stage shuttle run or bleep test) to level 5:4
TO PASS - improve your fitness before your medical. For the bleep test, aim for a hard run for 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week.
A medical assessment will generally be carried out by our Occupational Health Team. They will check the following:
eye sight test
We do not carry out a Body Mass Index (BMI) check as part of the application process. However, please bear in mind that as part of the Occupational Health Assessment, BMI may be considered if there are other medical concerns.
You will be asked to complete a confidential medical history questionnaire. Depending on your medical history, we may have to contact your GP/specialist for further information.
Once you have been declared medically fit we will progress your application to the next stage.
We send reference requests to your current employer and all previous employers in the last three years. If you haven't been employed for three years, we will ask for a character reference or an educational reference.
The force has a strict absence policy set of criteria of no more than nine and/or more than three separate occasions of sickness absence in the previous 12 months.
The vetting process is entirely confidential and the outcomes (other than pass/fail) are not shared with anyone else in the organisation (including future line managers or fellow trainees) or anyone outside of the organisation (including family).
We will carry out security checks on you and your:
children/children of your partner (only those aged 10 years and over)
any other adult living at your address
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 will need to take fingerprints and DNA samples to carry out some final vetting checks against the national police database.
As part of our pre-employment checks, we undertake drug screening. This is conducted by an external company called Abbott. The process involves samples of hair being collected and analysed to determine whether any of the following six core substances are present:
Amphetamines (including ecstasy)
Opiates (e.g. morphine and heroin)
Before this you will be required to complete a consent form to confirm that:
you consent to the screening taking place
you accept that a positive screening will be recorded on your medical file (if applicable)
you have declared if you have taken any medicines within the period relevant to the history
you understand that a positive result could affect a successful application.
Any candidate who refuses to sign the consent form will have their application terminated. All new police officer recruits will have to have these samples taken as part of the recruitment process.