3. Eligibility requirements

All applicants must:

Be a United Kingdom, European Union or commonwealth citizen, with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.

Be 18 years of age or above on date of submitting your application

No formal qualifications are needed, but you will need to meet all of the eligibility criteria and there will be some written tests.

Common sense and good communication skills are helpful.

Other useful qualities include dedication, motivation and an ability to remain calm in stressful situations.

All applicants must be a UK Citizen, European Union Citizen with EU Settled Status, a Commonwealth Citizen or Foreign National with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.

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.

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

There is one element to the test and you must pass it before you can be appointed.

You must achieve:

  • Endurance fitness test (known as a multi-stage shuttle run or bleep test) to level 5:4 over 15 metres

We encourage you to aim for Level 6 on the endurance test as this will demonstrate to us that you can perform effectively as a special. You will be encouraged to perform to the best of your ability, with a minimum pass rate of Level 5 shuttle 4. You will take both tests on the same day and you will be assessed regularly throughout your duty.

You may not have a lot of time to prepare for the fitness test so we recommend you start training now.

You will have three opportunities to pass the fitness test. If you fail on your third attempt, your application will not be processed any further and you will not be eligible to reapply to become a special for six months.

You can see what the fitness test will look like by watching this video recorded by Northamptonshire Police.

A medical assessment will generally be carried out by our Occupational Health Team.

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.

Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information.

A full UK/EU valid manual driving licence is not required.

You must:

  • declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance

You can't apply to become a special constable with us if you:

  • 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
  • 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 discharge.
  • work in any of the following jobs, as it can cause a conflict of interest: 

    • Members of Police and Crime Commissioner Panels
    • Magistrates
    • Clerks to justice
    • Clerks to courts
    • Holders of liquor licences, managers of licensed houses and their husband or wife
    • Licensees of betting and gaming establishments and lottery promoters
    • Bailiffs and warrant officers
    • Probation officers
    • Members of private security organisations (whether directors, partners or employees)
    • Security personnel, guards, door staff, uniformed patrol workers
    • Prison custody officers
    • Private detectives and enquiry agents
    • School crossing patrols and traffic wardens
    • Members of the fire service
    • Members of the Armed Forces (members of the Army Reserve, the Royal Naval Reserve and the Royal Air Force Reserve can apply)
    • Members of medical, nursing, paramedic and midwifery professions, and Ambulance Service (unless written permission is given by the employing NHS Trust or Health Authority)
    • Highways Agency traffic officers