Police Officer Recruitment
Police Officer recruitment is now closed for 2021
- Please read our educational and eligibility requirements and the two current entry routes to become a Police Officer.
- Visit the national police recruitment to read about joining the police, news on which forces are recruiting and sign up to receive an email newsletter.
- Read our updated Wiltshire Guide to Becoming a Police Officer
Make a difference in your community
A police officer's job is to reduce crime and the fear of crime.
Working as part of a close knit team, you will serve and protect our diverse communities across Wiltshire and Swindon.
- Deal with different situations every day, building confidence and trust with the public.
- It's demanding, unpredictable, but rewarding work and you can make a real difference to your community.
- You will support victims and witnesses and give reassurance to victims of crime and anti-social behaviour.
- People look to you for guidance and protection from such experiences, so you will need to see things from their perspective, tailoring your approach to address their needs and fears.
- You will thrive on challenges and work hard to learn the skills needed for this difficult, critical public service role.
Every day when go to work you will make life safer and more secure for your family, friends, neighbours and community.
The College of Policing has introduced a new standardised qualifications framework (PEQF) for all 43 police forces in England and Wales, to enable the police service to become a graduate profession, like teaching and nursing. It includes three new entry routes for Police Constable professional training.
We are delighted to be working in partnership with the University of South Wales to co-deliver specialist Police Constable training. Wiltshire Police is one of five police forces in the South West and Wales to partner with the University.
Three entry routes
- A 3-year Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) leading to a BSc (Hons) in Professional Policing Practice
- A 2-year postgraduate Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) leading to a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice
- A Pre-join undergraduate Professional Policing Degree. This is a 3 or 4 year university course you complete before applying to join the police; some universities offer it as a 2-year consolidated course. We will be opening applications for this entry route in early 2022 for training from autumn 2022 onwards
More about the PCDA and Degree Holder entry routes.
Your Questions Answered
As part of your basic salary you will receive:
- 22 days' paid holiday
- Automatic enrolment to the pension scheme
- Paid overtime and unsociable hours payment supplements
- Access to retail discounts with the Blue Light card
- Professional health and wellbeing support from our in-house Occupational Health Unit and access to a free and confidential Employee Assistance Programme.
- Eligibility to join the Police Federation who can provide further benefits and free legal advice
- Free membership of the College of Policing
Through professional training you will learn to:
- Protect the public from violence
- Provide a reassuring presence in the community
- Support victims of crime and offer help to those who have witnessed crimes
- Investigate complex crimes using cutting edge technology and time-proven traditional methods
Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)
Level 2 Qualifications
GCSE's English and Maths graded 9-4/A*-C or equivalent qualification
If you do not hold these qualifications, you can obtain Level 2 (Functional Skills) free through a training provider, such as New College Swindon or Wiltshire College & University Centre with campuses at Chippenham, Salisbury or Trowbridge or Distance Learning:
You can also study for Functional Skills free of charge through online provider Go Train and start your course within 48 hours
Level 3 Qualifications
A minimum of two A Levels or equivalent qualifications.
We may, by exception, also accept relevant experience instead of the Level 3 qualifications. In the absence of Level 3 qualifications, applicants will need to complete a Personal Statement (see next section) and show relevant experience to evidence their ability to work at Level 3, demonstrated through personal, professional and/or voluntary experience.
All PCDA applicants must have Level 2 GCSE English and Maths or equivalent and share their certificates with us at any stage during the application process - this is a requirement before receiving an offer letter.
We will accept predicted grades from students who wish to apply when we open applications in May 2021.
Your predicted grades will need to be backed up with a formal letter from your school, college or university, confirming those predictions, which you will need to upload at the time of application.
We will also need to receive confirmation of your final grades as soon as they are available, but this should not stop you applying, as the recruitment process takes a number of months from the time of application to when you start training.
Degree Holder Entry Route (DHEP)
A Level 6 Qualification (Degree or equivalent) in any subject
Check your qualifications
If you do not have the required Level 3 qualifications - equivalent to A levels, Level 3 NVQs, music grades 6,7 and 8, or others that can be found here you will need to complete a Personal Statement so that we can assess your previous experience, compared to Level 3 knowledge and skills descriptors.
What to include
- Your current roles and responsibilities
- Any additional training you have undertaken
- Any volunteer or support roles you might do
What not to include
- Why you want to be a police officer
- What you think being a police officer will be like
What we will be assessing
- You have factual, procedural and theoretical knowledge and understanding of the field of work or study you are in
- Completing tasks and addressing problems that while well-defined, may be complex and non routine
- Can interpret and evaluate relevant information and ideas
- You are aware of the nature of the area you study or work in
- You are aware of different perspectives or approaches within your area of study or work.
- You can identify, select and use appropriate cognitive and practical skills, methods and procedures to address problems that while well-defined, may be complex and non-routine
- You can use appropriate investigation to inform actions
- Review how effective methods and actions have been.
You can find more information on the Ofqual descriptors for Level 3 qualifications here.
What we suggest
- A statement of no more than 750 words
- Using the STAR guidance will help you structure your statement
- From the date of our email to you, you will have seven days to write and return your personal statement to us, so that we can progress with your application.
Having received your application, if you have not met the minimum Level 3 qualifications, we will email you directly to ask you to complete a Personal Statement.
Wiltshire Police will convene a panel of at least three people from across the force that will review the redacted personal statements and come to an agreement whether it meets the necessary descriptors.
You will be notified by the Recruitment Team as to whether your personal statement meets the required standard.
If it does not meet the required standard, this will be the end of your application process.
Applications can be accepted at the age of 17, providing you will be 18 by the time you are expected to start and have achieved the required qualifications. There is no upper age limit for applying to the police service. However, a police officer is demanding physically and mentally and you will need to be reasonably fit and in good health. We welcome all ages - a diverse workforce reflecting the communities we serve is the best way to be effective. No matter your age, you bring important skills and perspectives that are key tools for being a police officer.
You must be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.
You will need a minimum of five years continuous residential history in the UK for you to meet vetting requirements.
Foreign nationals and UK citizens who may have lived abroad for a period within the last five years may have their vetting clearance delayed, due to additional security checks.
A number of crimes will mean a definite or likely rejection of your application, including anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or public order offence. If you are at all unsure, get in contact and ask.
Tattoos are very common; all tattoos that are reviewed to check appropriateness. Images that are grotesque, violent, have a strong religious or political connection or would undermine the dignity and authority of your role would not be acceptable.
Applicants will have their financial status checked. These checks are carried out because police officers have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption. Applicants with who have had County Court judgements or may be on a Debt recovery plan will be assessed on a case by case basis. If you have any concerns please ask before applying for more information.
To ensure you are fit enough for the role, you will undertake a fitness test. We 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.
You will need to complete officer safety training (OST) every year. This involves completing and passing handcuffing techniques, the fitness test and personal unarmed and armed combat. It is your responsibility to keep yourself fit throughout the 12 months.
Police officers encounter stressful situations, trauma, physical confrontation and work long hours on shifts. They need to be resilient enough to cope with the demands and pressures of police work. Applicants must therefore be in good health mentally and physically to undertake police duties. You will undergo a medical examination to ensure you meet the health standards required.
Applicants will have their eyesight tested at the medical assessment stage. You may be asked to go to an optician to have your eyes tested and the eyesight form filled in. Failure to pass this test will lead to rejection.
You can apply to more than one force at a time if you wish, but it is important that candidates do not attend more than one assessment centre at any one time.
If you have previously applied to join the police service and been unsuccessful at the SEARCH Assessment Centre, near miss candidates can reapply after three months from your initial rejection.
If you have already been to a SEARCH assessment and have received a successful result, this will be valid for 24 months from the date you attended SEARCH
I will be 18 on the date the Assessment Centres are scheduled. Can I still apply to join Wiltshire Police?
You may apply when you are 17 based on your predicted grades, providing you will be 18 by the time you are expected to start training and have achieved the necessary required qualifications
I have previously applied and failed. Can I apply again?
If you failed at the application form stage of the process, you can reapply. If you attended a SEARCH assessment centre and failed narrowly, you will need to wait three months from the date of your failure to reapply.
Can I transfer my SEARCH pass mark?
If you have achieved at least 50% at SEARCH within the last 24 months and have not been rejected by any other Police Force within the last six months, you can transfer your SEARCH pass mark. You will need to provide a copy of your application form and your SEARCH feedback report.
Can I transfer from the Armed Forces?
Individuals currently serving in the Armed Services should contact us via your assigned Job Coach. You will need to follow one of the three new routes of entry - PCDA, DHEP, Pre-Join Degree - however, we can offer you support through the Armed Forces Covenant.
How fit do I have to be to become a Police Officer?
You must be physically fit and healthy to perform policing duties safely and effectively. You will need to pass a physical fitness test and a full medical examination as part of the recruitment process.
I have been travelling / living abroad for more than six months. Will this affect my application?
Applicants must have resided in the UK for a minimum of three years prior to applying, and for vetting purposes they must have lived here for three years (for recruitment vetting) and up to five years (for management vetting). British citizens who have been out of the country for more than six months must, in addition, obtain a letter of good conduct from the country or countries they have resided in.
I have a holiday booked in the coming months. Will this be an issue?
Yes. Leave will not be granted during the initial training and tutorship phase unless in extenuating circumstances. Please consider this if you are thinking of booking a holiday.
Can I defer my start date if I am successful in getting an offer letter?
We will allow a maximum of two deferrals but only in exceptional circumstances. If you go beyond that you will need to reapply and start the whole application process again.
I am not a British Citizen. Can I still apply?
You need to be a British citizen or a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is resident in the UK and free from restrictions.
I have tattoos. Will this stop me becoming a Police Officer?
Not necessarily. However tattoos are not acceptable if they are particularly prominent, garish, offensive or undermine the dignity and authority of the role of a Police Officer.
If you have tattoos that are visible on your arms, neck, face and hands, you will need to make a declaration that you have a tattoo within the eligibility section of the application form. We will ask you to send in two photographs of each tattoo (one distance photograph clearly showing where on the above body area the tattoo is located and a second close-up photograph that we can use to assess this against our standards). Each application will be considered on a case by case basis.
Do I need a driving licence?
You do not have to have a licence to apply to become a Police Officer at the time of applying, but you will need a full UK manual driving licence (not a provisional licence) about four weeks before you start your training, when we issue your contract. The application process at least six months from the time of applying before training begins, giving you time to pass the test.
I have a motoring offence(s). Can I still apply?
Wiltshire Police will need to assess the motoring offence. However, if you have more than six penalty points on your driving licence, you will not be eligible to apply to join Wiltshire Police as a student officer.
Can I apply if I have financial issues or previous cautions or convictions?
Any financial issues / problems must be declared and will be judged on an individual basis. You must declare all previous cautions, convictions or any involvement with the police. The circumstances of the offence will be considered carefully.
I have convictions from a long time ago. Will this stop me from applying?
Not necessarily. We will look at applicant circumstances on an individual basis. We understand that how we may have acted in the past is not always a reflection on our character years later. If you are unsure of your eligibility to apply, please contact our recruitment team directly to discuss in the first instance.
Do I have to notify changes to my personal circumstances?
Any significant changes in personal circumstances during your application, such as permanent partner, new residents at your home, change of address, arrests, cautions or convictions or association with criminals should be notified to People Services.
If I have already been vetted for another role, do I have to do this again?
Yes you will indeed need to be vetted again as you will now be vetted for the role of PC whereas your current vetting is only valid for the role you are currently doing.
If vetting clearance is refused can I appeal?
If vetting clearance is refused, you will be advised, although specific reasons will not normally be given to protect the confidentiality of others and the security of Wiltshire Police. However, you can request a review, which is carried out by a person independent of the vetting decision marker.
What are the Biometrics used for?
This will be used to eliminate you from any crime scenes when you are appointed as an officer.
I have a medical condition. Does that stop me joining Wiltshire Police?
It will depend upon the nature of the medical condition. If you require reasonable adjustments, you will need to provide a full physiological report for the College of Policing to grant reasonable adjustments for SEARCH. This report would normally be from a medical specialist, such as a medical doctor or psychologist with expertise in the area of the impairment. School reports are not accepted. Please read the College of Policing's guidance on reasonable adjustments
All new officers will also undergo a medical assessment with our Occupational Health Unit which you will need to pass to be eligible to join Wiltshire Police.
Can I become a Police Officer if I wear glasses or contact lenses?
Click here for our vision standards.
I'm colour blind. Can I become a Police Officer?
Yes, people with colour blindness can apply to become a Police Officer; however there is a standard you have to reach as part of the medical assessment if you are colour blind. You are restricted from certain roles, such as roads policing or firearms. If your colour blindness is monochrome, you are not eligible to apply.
I have a disability. Can I apply to become a Police Officer?
Yes. We welcome applications from people with disabilities as defined by the Equality Act 2010. If you consider yourself to have a disability, please inform us of the type of reasonable adjustments you might need to assist you in participating in the recruitment and selection process. We will try to make the reasonable adjustments required where practicable.
I have epilepsy. Can I still apply?
Yes. We will look at each case on its merits and take guidance from our Occupational Health Unit.
I have diabetes. Can I still apply?
Yes, providing your diabetes is under control. Your doctor will need to supply a medical report for clarification.
I am dyslexic. Can I still apply?
Yes. However, to allow reasonable adjustments to be made, such as extra time or the use of a computer at SEARCH, you will need to provide us with a full comprehensive professional dyslexia report.
I have a BMI greater than 30. Can I still apply?
Candidates who are successful following the assessment centre and final interview, and have a BMI of 30 or above will be contacted by Occupational Health and asked to provide evidence of their body fat composition; if this does not exceed 25% for male candidates and 35% for female candidates they will be permitted to progress to the medical stage. Those with a body fat percentage of >25% will be deferred until they reach the required level.
Is there a height restriction?
No. There is no minimum or maximum height restriction.
I failed the fitness test. Can I still become a Police Officer?
No. For you to progress to the next stage, you must pass all parts of the fitness test. If you do not pass the test at your first attempt, you will be allowed to retake it after a period of training. If you fail to pass the test after three attempts, your application will fail and you will not be eligible to reapply for six months.
Where will I be posted?
The Chief Constable reserves the right to post you anywhere in the Wiltshire Police area. Your posting will be decided according to the operational need for Police Officers in each area at the time of your appointment. You will be posted to a hub after initial training and you will be able to ask for three preferential hubs. They will be taken into account when posting, but ultimately it will be decided on operational needs.
What hours will I work?
Police officers work a 40-hour week. During your probation, you will have a shift pattern designed to allow your necessary protected learning time. Please see the PCDA and DHEP pages for more information. A shift pattern may consist of early shifts, late shifts and night shifts, bank holidays and weekend working. Operational demands may require your assigned shift / rest day to be cancelled and re-scheduled at short notice.
There are opportunities to volunteer for overtime, particularly when there are major events taking place. On occasion there could be circumstances where you will be asked to work out of county, but you will be given advance notice of this.
How much annual leave will I get?
The annual leave entitlement is 176 hours (22 days) for less than two years' service, rising to 200 hours per year (25 days) for more than two years relevant service. After that, entitlements rise in five-year increments.
My daughter is looking to join the police when she's older. Do you do information days for teenagers?
If she is aged between 13 and 18 it is worth looking at our Police Cadets scheme which is a useful way to gain experience of the police and the type of work we do. Police Cadets
Our Youth Engagement Team also offers a 'World of Work' work experience scheme for Year 10 students World of Work
- A rewarding job where no two days are the same
- You will be constantly challenged and always learning
- You will be valued for your contribution to your community
- Good pay and an excellent benefits package
- Great opportunities for advancement and specialist roles
- For detailed professional profile information about possible progression routes please see the College of Policing Professional Profiles
9am Friday 7 May 2021
Complete Online Application
We will close recruitment once we receive 400 applications
Mid to end May 2021
We will review your application.
If you pass the first sift, you will go through to Stage 2
Mandatory Awareness Events
28 June to 10 July 2021
Mandatory Awareness Events
Police Headquarters, London Road, Devizes, SN10 2DN or may be held online
There will be a choice of dates where you will find out more about what it is like to become a Police Officer, either face to face or in an online session
If you would like to continue your application after attending an awareness event, you will be invited to book a place on SEARCH
Invitations issued to SEARCH
Assessments w/c 9 August 2021
Results are expected about three weeks after the Assessment Centre.
Recruitment Assessment Centre for Police Constables. College of Policing Recruit Assessment Centre
Please note for 2021 candidates, SEARCH has been replaced with an Online Assessment Process.
Vetting Fitness Test Medicals Uniform
The vetting process is very detailed and can take a number of weeks. Uniform fitting and medical tests will be conducted during this period. For more information on the fitness test please go to College of Policing Fitness Standards
10 January 2022
Likely earliest start date for training from our 2021 campaign for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, Graduate Degree Holder Entry Programme or the Pre-Join Entry
How do I contact Wiltshire Police about my application?
All you need to know about the recruitment process is on our website. If you still have questions, please use the Contact recruitment form. We aim to respond within 48 hours.