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

Police Officer recruitment process

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

Stage 1 – Eligibility

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

You must:

  • be aged 17 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
  • have a full manual driving licence by the time of appointment
  • reside within the force boundaries at the time of appointment
  • be prepared to work a shift pattern which is two early shifts (07:00-16:00), 2 late shifts (14:30-23:00) and 2 nights (22:00-07:00) followed by rest days
  • undertake a three year probationary period before you are eligible to apply for other roles

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 applied to another police force with the past 6 months
  • 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

If you are successful at the eligibility stage, we will ask you to complete an application form. You will need to fill in your personal details, employment history and references.

Stage 3 – Familiarisation event

Once we have received your completed application form, we will invite you to attend a Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) Familiarisation Event.

The purpose of this compulsory event is to provide you with further information on the PCDA programme and the process of becoming a Police Officer.

Stage 4 – Assessment

If successful in application you will be invited to complete a SEARCH assessment.

The SEARCH assessment is a national process that all police forces use when recruiting Police Officers.

The assessment will involve completing a variety of exercises including a written exam, role play and interview.

Stage 5 – 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:

Stage 6 – Offer of employment

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

Our training is designed to be rigorous and thorough to give you the best start in your exciting career with Avon and Somerset Police.

Ready to join us?

Police Officer Recruitment is due to open in July 2020. Please check the website for any updates.


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

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