How to Become a Police Officer
A career as a police officer in England or Wales is not for everybody, but if you think you have what it takes and you would like to help fight crime in your part of the country, there are a number of things you can do to prepare for the challenges ahead. In this article, we provide some general advice on how to become a police officer, along with some useful tips that may help you to avoid some of the problems commonly encountered by candidates when they apply to join the police service in England and Wales.
Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Police Officer?
There are no specific qualifications that you need to obtain in order to be considered by the police service as a new recruit, but if you are still in school or university, you should obviously obtain the best grades possible to enhance your chances of being accepted. However, if you left school some time ago with few qualifications, do not despair. The College of Policing, which is where you will start your training, is interested in candidates with real life experience as well as those who have formal qualifications. If you did not do well at school but you can demonstrate relevant experience in your career to date, you may still be able to obtain a place at the college and start training for your dream job.
Physical and Mental Health
Whatever your qualifications and experience, you will need to pass the physical fitness training and mental examinations that form part of the screening process for new recruits if you are to be accepted as a trainee police officer. With this in mind, it is a good idea to get in the best physical shape possible before you apply, preferably with the help of a professional fitness trainer. If you cannot afford this, you may wish to consult friends who are regulars at the local gym or do your own research and put together an exercise plan that will help you to improve your overall fitness levels. If you think you may have any problems passing the mental exams, it is probably not a good idea to apply at this time, but if you consider yourself to be in good mental health, there is nothing specific you will need to do to prepare for this part of the screening process.
Request a DBS Check with Police Records
As you can imagine, candidates with criminal records are unlikely to be accepted as trainee police officers, so if you are not completely sure that you have an unblemished record, obtaining a basic DBS check online is a good idea. Whilst the checks the police service carry out will be far more extensive, a basic check will at least enable you to ensure there are no forgotten charges in your past that would immediately disqualify you from consideration. If you would like to apply for a DBS check but you are not sure how to go about it, we would be delighted to help. Our team of experts take all the hassles out of obtaining a DBS check online and can answer any questions you may have. It is important to note that not all convictions will automatically disbar you from becoming a police officer: each offence will be carefully considered by the service’s recruitment board.
Be Completely Honest When You Apply
This should go without saying but it is worth stressing the fact that complete honesty is expected from all prospective trainee police officers, regardless of age, experience, ethnicity, background or educational qualifications. Whilst it may be acceptable to embellish your curriculum vitae when applying for a regular office job, any fictional content found in your application to become a police officer in England and Wales is likely to disqualify you permanently. If you are at all unsure about any of the dates and details of your school and career history, we recommend double and triple checking them before submitting your application.
Becoming a Fully-Fledged Police Officer
Once you have been accepted as a trainee and passed the mental and physical challenges set for you by the College of Policing, you must spend two years working as a student officer. Assuming you pass this two-year probationary period with flying colours, you will then be assigned the rank of Police Constable and can look forward to a long and satisfying career in the police service.
If you would like further information about how a DBS check with police records can be obtained or you are ready to apply for a DBS check online today, please feel free to get in touch with us by phone or email at any time. We look forward to helping you and we wish you all the best with your future career.