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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

PCSO recruitment process

You will need to successfully complete the following steps before starting a thorough training programme to become a PCSO.

Stage 1 – Eligibility

During the eligibility process, we must check you meet all the criteria detailed below, before you can continue with your application.

You must:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • have been a UK resident for the past 3 years
  • be either a British Citizen, a citizen of the EU, EAA, or Commonwealth or foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • be in good health, mentally and physically

You must not:

  • have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) which has not been satisfied
  • be currently declared bankrupt and for a period of three years afterwards
  • be subject to a Debt Relief Order and for a period of three years afterwards
  • be a member of certain national groups, for example, British National Party, Combat 18 or National Front
  • have any tattoos which would cause offence
  • have been placed on the Police Barred and Advisory Lists within 5 years from the date of listing in the case of gross misconduct, or 3 years from the date of listing in the case of poor performance
  • have any criminal convictions or cautions (minor offences will be considered)
Stage 2 – Application

When do PCSO applicants complete an application form? After eligibility? After Assessment?

Stage 3 – Assessment

If shortlisted, you will be invited to an assessment centre.

You will be evaluated on your performance in exercises which relate to specific competency areas relevant to the role.

Stage 4 – Pre-employment checks

If you are successful at your assessment you will be invited to complete a number of pre-employment checks at Police Headquarters, Portishead. These will include:

We will also process your police vetting, financial and social media checks and references.

Fitness test

You will complete a bleep test, which consists of running between two points along a 15 metre distance, in time with a series of bleeps.

Medical and eyesight checks

You will complete a medical questionnaire and attend a health assessment by our occupational health team. You will have your eyes checked by an optician as part of your assessment and undertake a hearing test.


You will need to meet our BMI standards as follows:

  • A BMI of 30.1% or more will mean you are referred for a body fat assessment). The outcome of the assessment will determine whether you are eligible to join
  • A BMI of 35.1% or more will mean your application will not be processed further unless there are compelling or exceptional circumstances

Drug test

You need to undertake drug screening by providing a hair sample.


You will provide fingerprints, a DNA sample and checks will be made against national databases. If you are successfully appointed, your DNA profiles and fingerprints will be held on the Police Elimination Database. If you refuse to give a sample, we will not be able to proceed with your application. If you are not appointed, all copies and records will be destroyed.

Stage 5 – Offer of employment

Once all of the pre-employment checks and tests have been successfully completed, you will receive a final offer of employment and allocated a space on the next available training course.

PCSO recruitment is currently closed.

To make a recruitment related query, contact our Talent Acquisition team.

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