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How To Become A Police Officer - The Application Process

STEP 1 - The Application Pack

Find out which Force(s) in the area of the country that you would like to work in are recruiting and request an Application Pack.

STEP 2 - The Paper Sift

On receiving your application form the force that you have applied to will check your eligibility and mark your competency questions.

STEP 3 : The Assessment Centre

Two weeks before attending the assessment centre you will be sent material for it. At the centre you will be tested on your written English skills, verbal reasoning, oral skills and your mathematical skills. The title for this combination of tests is the 'Police Initial Recruitment Test' (PIRT).

These will be tested in a number of ways, interview, role-play and written tests.

The PIRT is quite a competitive process, with somewhere between 60,000 to 80,000 candidates applying to join the police service each year and about 8% being successful. To maximise your chances of success, you might like to make use of one of the professional companies that provide PIRT training.

For more information on PIRT click here.

STEPS 4 & 5 : The Medical and Fitness Test

You will be invited to attend a medical and a fitness test. These may be on separate days.

There are two elements to the fitness test and you must pass both before you can be appointed. But don't worry, the test is not difficult.

The police are looking for no more than the minimum standard needed to enable you to work effectively as a police officer. You will be given help to improve your fitness and if you prepare yourself properly, there is no reason for you to fail.

Even if you don't pass the test at your first attempt you will be allowed to re-take it. However, if you fail the test after three attempts your application will be halted and you will not be eligible to re-apply for six months.

Once you are appointed you will need to maintain your fitness and you will be regularly assessed during probation.

STEP 6 : Offer of Appointment

Offers of appointment are subject to references and security checks. The references given in your application will be taken up and a security check will be conducted. Security checks can take a while if you have lived abroad for any period of time.

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