Should I become a Special Constable or PCSO before applying to the regulars?

In times gone by, when there was very little police recruitment going on, being a special constable had the effect of letting you gain evidence for your application form, collate examples to use at your interview, and maybe developed some skills you can use at assessment.

So it was worth doing. Having said that, these days things have changed. In reality, there is a good chance that applying to the specials or being a PCSO is likely to take as long to get a start date as becoming a regular officer. Some of those application form and interview questions will be the same. Plus when you get in, some forces insist that you stay in role for two years before applying for anything else (such as a regular officer, although they cannot stop you applying for another force of course).

So, being honest, unless you think your force will not be recruiting for a long time, I would suggest there is not much point. You could argue that you will get experience of the role before committing to the police service, and that is true. Although to be honest if you are not convinced you want to be a police officer, then to be honest, maybe its not the career for you anyway.

If you are certain you want to join, then unless there is a real advantage is being a  special or PCSO, then we would not bother. We are not being disparaging, they have their place in the organisation. But if it will take you as long to be a special as it will be to become a regular, what’s the point?

Which Police Assessment System Will You Be Doing?

Confused about which police assessment system you will be doing?

We keep getting asked about the fact that some forces are still telling candidates that they will be invited to the in person SEARCH assessment process. Talking Blues are currently running brand new courses SPECIFICALLY written in May 2020 for the new online system. However, if the college should reintroduce SEARCH, our courses also include in the cost full access to our extensive SEARCH video lessons and 160 page workbook on that process as well. With regards to the online system though, We would refer you to look at the college of policing website which categorically states as below (on 1/6/2020)

College of Policing Online Assessment Process Overview

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on March 23 and additional guidance introduced to keep our communities safe, all SEARCH and Day One activity has been postponed until 2021. As the COVID situation develops, it has become clear that digital
solutions to police recruitment would be required.

In response to this, we have developed an online assessment process that enables effective assessment of the required competencies and values that are important for Police Constables, and meets the current standards for assessing new recruits.

To ensure consistency and fairness to candidates the online assessment process will remain in place throughout the remainder of 2020. As part of ongoing monitoring and evaluation we will continue to review the candidate, assessor and force experience with a view to enhancing the process during this period. We will conduct a full review later in the year and give forces notice well in advance of any reintroduction of face-to-face assessment centres.