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The recruitment process

Stage 1

When PCSO Recruitment is open, you will complete and submit an application form.

You will be notified as to whether you have met the required standard for the application and competency questions. 

Stage 2

If shortlisted, you will be invited to an assessment centre and this will be hosted by Thames Valley Police at their assessment centre location.

At the assessment centre, assessors will evaluate your performance in exercises which relate to specific competency areas relevant to the role.

Information from all the exercises are used to produce the final results.

The assessment exercises include:

  • A competency based structured interview
  • Two interactive exercises
  • Two written exercises

All relevant information will be sent out at least two weeks before the date of your assessment.

For further information and familiarisation material visit the College of Policing website.

Stage 3

You will be invited to attend a fitness test, medical and hearing test, drugs test, biometric vetting (i.e. fingerprints and DNA), vetting and references.

Fitness test - You will run between two points along a 15 metre distance, in time with a series of bleeps (known as 'The Bleep Test'). Find out more on our fitness test page.

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.

BMI - 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 (BFA). The outcome of the BFA 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.

Biometrics - this will involve taking fingerprints, a DNA sample and checks 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.

Security vetting and financial checks - You will be subject to our vetting procedures and financial checks.