Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)
3. Entry requirements
Before you fill in an application form, you need to check whether you meet the eligibility criteria for police constables.
See below for details:
You must be between 17 and 56 years of age on the date of submitting your application.
If you are 17, you must be aged 18 upon appointment as a student officer.
- hold a level 2 in Maths and English (grade C/4 or above) at the time of applying
- you will also need to have obtained a level 3 qualification* (as the equivalent of two A Levels, e.g. A Level Grade A-E) or be awarded by the start of pre-employment checks, or
- be a serving Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), who has completed their professional development plan, passed their probationary period at the time of application and are up to date with all mandatory training, or
- be a serving Special Constable who has attained independent patrol status at the time of application, who are consistently completing sixteen hours per month and are up to date with all mandatory training
If you hold a level 6 or above qualification you are not eligible to apply to become a police officer via this apprenticeship scheme. You are eligible to apply via the Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP).
* Check your qualification levels - www.gov.uk/what-different-qualification-levels-mean/list-of-qualification-levels.
Not a level 3 holder?
If you are not a level 3 holder, you may be interested in non-police officer related roles - view our current vacancies.
A full UK manual driving licence is not needed as part of the application process. You will be required to have a full UK/EU manual driving licence by the end of the first year of your training.
Be a United Kingdom, European Union or commonwealth citizen, with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.
Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 3 years immediately preceding your application.
To check your fitness levels, applicants will be required to pass a Job Related Fitness Test (JRFT). The fitness test 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
A medical assessment is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information.
A medical assessment will generally be carried out by our Occupational Health Team. They will check the following:
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
- eye sight test
- colour vision
- lung function
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.
Check your Body Mass Index at www.nhs.ukExternal Link.
Find out more about healthy eating at www.nhs.uk/change4life
- declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
- have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance
The following candidates are not eligible to apply for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA):
- holders of a level 6 or above qualification
- previously held the position of police officer
You can't apply to become a police officer with us if you:
- have an application turned down by a police force in the last three months at any part of the national process. The national process includes: competency based questions (CBQs), SEARCH assessment, fitness test and pre-employment checks
- have a commitment to a Volunteer Reserve Force. Volunteer Reservists are part-time members of the armed forces who can be mobilised to supplement the regular armed forces if demands require it. Examples are the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines Reserve, the Army Reserve and the Royal Air Force Reserve
- have been or are a member of a group or extreme political organisation such as BNP, National Front or Combat 18 that stirs up racial hatred and violence, a proscribed terrorist organisation/group or a similar organisation
- are awaiting to appear in court or have any serious convictions or recent cautions, bind-overs or findings of guilt
- misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
- have tattoos on your face, neck or hands which could cause offence. If you have a tattoo you will be asked to provide description and photographs of the tattoo. The nature , location, size, prominence and appearance of tattoos will be considered
- have any current County Court Judgements (CCJ) against you or be the subject of an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA). If you have been registered bankrupt you may only apply if it is at least three years since the date your debts were discharged