How Do I Join The Police?

There are 43 police forces in England and Wales funded by the Home Office, and several others such as British Transport Police which are funded via different means. Firstly you have to wait until the force is recruiting. You may find there is a very small window to get an application form, and then you will have to complete that form and pass a “paper sift”. Some forces require you to sit an online “situational judgement test”, where you are shown a number of short video clips. Each clip is a dilemma, and you are then asked to rate a number of potential responses to those dilemmas. You will be invited to the national assessment centre. Once you have passed this assessment centre, you may be asked to attend an in force interview (although some forces hold these before assessment, whilst others do not have them at all.) Our one day preparation course will help you pass this assessment centre and interview.

You can find out further information on the assessment process by clicking on the drop down menu at the top of the page entitled “Assessment course information”, and looking at the section entitled “Format of assessment day”.

An alternative recruitment system is use by some forces involves gaining a specific qualification before you can even apply, or the force sometimes insists you complete it after you have passed the selection process before you formally join. This qualification is completed in your own time and at your own expense. It is known as the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing. The Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) is a national level 3 qualification that covers the legislation, policy and processes required to be a police officer. Applicants must complete it in their own time and at their own expense. Once they have achieved their CKP, then they must wait until the force is recruiting, and they are then eligible to apply. The CKP does not guarantee you a position as an officer, nor even a place at assessment. It is simply a vocational qualification that you MUST have to apply to certain forces. Without it, you will not even get an application form.

Throughout the process, you will also be expected to:

  • Pass a fitness test
  • Pass a physical and eyesight test
  • Undergo criminal record and character checks.

Depending on a number of factors, ranging from force, to budget constraints, the whole process from application to starting date can take anywhere between four months and a year.