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What you need

As a Police Officer, your job is to reduce crime and make a real difference to the communities in Avon and Somerset.

You will provide support and reassurance to people who have been subjected to a crime or anti-social behaviour. And many will look to you for guidance and protection.

What we are looking for

We want people who will provide an outstanding service to our communities - somebody with integrity and the values to hold a position of trust and responsibility.

You need to care about making a difference, enjoy helping people, and want to actively engage in partnership with others, understanding their needs, whatever their background or situation.

We want someone who is professional, friendly and can build relationships with their colleagues and their communities. You need to be enthusiastic, reliable, self-disciplined, flexible and confident enough to take control of situations.

We want people who take pride in their work and who will be proud to say they are a police officer.

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

We want to encourage people of diverse backgrounds, experience and beliefs, who share our value of caring and want to make a difference in the community, to consider working for us.

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, although there is no upper age limit, 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 three year probationary period. Once you have completed your probation period, you will be eligible to apply for other roles should this be your preference.

Basic guidelines for applicants

Applicant guidelines are fairly comprehensive. Here are a few of the requirements:

  • The minimum age to apply is 18
  • You must be either a British Citizen, a citizen of the EU or other states in the EAA, 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
  • You are required to have a full driving licence at the time of verbal offer
  • You are required to reside within the force boundaries at the time of appointment. Teams and stations are allocated based on current and anticipated vacancies
  • You will receive a verbal offer followed by an offer letter typically 6-8 weeks prior to the course start date
  • You will be required to work a shift pattern which is 2 early shifts (0700-1600), 2 late shifts (1430-2300) and 2 nights (2200-0700) followed by rest days
  • Although you may still be eligible to join the police service if you have minor convictions or cautions, there are certain offences and conditions that will make you ineligible, including but not limited to anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or public order offence

You will not be eligible if you:

  • have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) which has not been satisfied
  • are currently declared bankrupt and for a period of three years afterwards
  • are subject to a Debt Relief Order and for a period of three years afterwards
  • are 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

Individuals placed on the Police Barred and Advisory Lists will not be considered for employment by the police for a minimum of:

  • 5 years from the date of listing in the case of gross misconduct
  • 3 years from the date of listing in the case of poor performance

Avon and Somerset carry out a social media check when vetting takes place.

Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

From September 2019, completing a Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship is the only entry route into a career as a Police Officer with Avon and Somerset Police. 

The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) is a practical and classroom based training process, supported with tutorship that will give applicants the knowledge and skills necessary to excel as a police officer.

Find out more about the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship