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 aged 17 or older on the date of submitting your application. If you are 17, you will progress through the recruitment process but will not be able to take up appointment until reaching the age of 18.
The upper age limit for applicants is 57 for graduate scheme and 56 for the apprenticeship scheme. This is to allow for the completion of training and the probationary period before the compulsory retirement age of 60.
- 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.
Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have lived here for the three years immediately prior to submitting your application.
You’ll need to pass a Job-Related Fitness Test (JRFT) to check your fitness levels.
This test determines whether you’re fit for the job and ready for Officer Safety Training, where you’ll learn to protect yourself and others.
You’ll be asked to take 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.
A medical assessment will generally be carried out by our Occupational Health Team.
You will also 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.
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.
Once you have been declared medically fit we will progress your application to the next stage.
Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information.
As part of your application:
- you must declare any previous spent and unspent convictions, and
- have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance
Your application may not be accepted if you have cautions, convictions or reprimands, other than some motoring offences, or fail to supply details in the application form.
Please be open and honest. If you have any previous spent and/or unspent convictions, enter details in the appropriate sections of the application form.
Police Constable Apprenticeship Scheme only
The following candidates are not eligible to apply for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA):
- hold a level 6 qualifiation
- you are in your final year and will be awarded a level 6 qualification
- previously held the position of police officer
All police officer routes
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 process includes:
- Telephone interview,
- SEARCH assessment,
- fitness test, and
- pre-employment checks
- 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