PCSOs walking through a town centre

Am I eligible?

Here are some of the basic eligibility requirements for police officer candidates.

Applicants from all backgrounds and ethnic groups are encouraged to apply. Applicants are not limited to any particular age group - in fact, we welcome those who are looking for a career change. The minimum age to apply is 18, and there is no upper age limit, though you should bear in mind that the normal retirement age for police constables and sergeants is 60. You should also be aware that all new recruits, whatever their age, are required to undertake a two-year probationary period.

Basic guidelines for applicants

As you might imagine, applicant guidelines are fairly comprehensive, but here are a few highlights:

  • there are no minimum or maximum height requirements
  • there is no formal educational requirement, but you will have to pass written tests
  • you must be either a British Citizen, a citizen of the EU or other states in the EEA, or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • although you may still be eligible to join the police service if you have minor convictions/cautions, there are certain offences and conditions that will make you ineligible. If you are at all unsure, contact your chosen force for more information
  • you must physically and mentally be able to undertake police duties

You may like to review the detailed eligibility requirements (new window).

Get fit before you apply

One of the most rigorous elements of our screening process is the physical fitness training. Because our officers must be able to move quickly while carrying a lot of heavy equipment, they have to be in pretty good shape.

If you pass the assessment process, you will then have to take a physical fitness test. To pass, you will need to be reasonably fit, and able to run short distances fairly quickly. Read more information on the fitness test (new window). Later you will also have to pass a medical examination. Always remember to check with your chosen force if you have any specific concerns.

Do you qualify?

If you have any specific questions you can always contact your local force for more information.

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