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What You Need to Know

There are a few basic requirements you need to meet if you want to become a police officer.

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 officers 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
  • You must have at least a level 3 qualification, for example, an A Level or L3 NVQ or equivalent. Find out more about level 3 qualifications
  • If you already work for the police service you must have either a level 3 qualification or equivalent, or have been in a police staff post with 18 months experience in the following roles: PCSO, Detention Officer, Enquiry Officer, Special Officer SOLAP, Detainee Investigator or Comms.
  • 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 and must have resided in the UK for a continuous period of 3 years immediately prior to submitting your application
  • If you have a County Court Judgement (CCJ), an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or are currently declared bankrupt or are subject to a Debt Relief Order you are not eligible to apply.
  • 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
  • You must physically and mentally be able to undertake police duties
  • Please note that Avon and Somerset carry out a social media check when vetting takes place

Police Officer Recruitment is now open and you can register for eligibility. Registration will close at 5pm on 18 December 2017.

Related documents

  • PDF icon Police Officer Recruitment Questions and Answers
    Last updated: 31 July 2017
  • PDF icon Police Officer Personal Qualities
    Last updated: 23 December 2016