Police recruitment standards

In conjunction with our stakeholders we develop the national recruitment standards for police officers and police community support officers (PCSOs).

These standards are reviewed by the Police Advisory Board Sub-Committee and include:

  • Biometric vetting - includes information on the speculative checking of DNA and fingerprints of applicants to the police service, as detailed in NPIA circular 03/2012   
  • Eligibility criteria - this includes information about age, criminal convictions, financial checks, tattoos and swimming
  • National application form - we have ownership of these and arrange bulk printing and storage
  • Assessment process -  national application form and attendance at the national recruit assessment centre known as SEARCH (designed, implemented and quality assured by the Examinations and Assessment Unit)
  • Pass mark - new minimum pass marks were introduced in November 2011 (NPIA Circular 06/2011)
  • Medical standards - as detailed in Home Office Circular 59/2004 
  • Eyesight requirements - as detailed in Home Office Circular 25/2003
  • Fitness test - monitored by the ACPO Working Group on Fitness Standards

Relevant guidance circulars can be found in the useful Web Links box on the right.

If you would like more information on the policies behind the processes involved in recruitment, assessment and selection in the police service, please contact Matt Johnston at the College of Policing.  

If you are considering applying to become a police officer, please visit the dedicated police recruitment website or contact your local police force. You can also check your eligibility and suitability for the role of a police constable by completing our pre-application questionnaire

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