How To Apply
Are you eligible to apply?
To become a Police Now participant, you must meet our eligibility criteria. These follow national standards for new police officers. Take a look at the detailed section below to make sure you are eligible. In brief, you will need to:
- be between the ages of 18-57 on application
- have lived in the UK for the last three years
- have indefinite leave to remain and work in the UK
- be working towards or have achieved a 2:2 at undergraduate degree level or non-UK equivalent
- have received a GCSE grade C or above in English language and be fluent in the written and spoken word
We are very transparent regarding our criteria and will only detract from it in extenuating circumstances.
An Audio Guide to Vetting For Police Now
* Names were changed to protect identity
View Audio Transcript
Hello everyone, my name is Kev and I’m a Chief Inspector from West Midlands Police. Over the next few minutes I’m going to give you some tips and pointers to make sure you’re in the know about vetting before you send in your application to Police Now.
Sometimes vetting checks do take a long time. But trust me, they’re important. We check identity, nationality, employment eligibility and residency, as well as for criminal convictions and associations and this is why you may find yourself waiting for a few months for the result. Don’t worry though – if you’re successful, it will all have been worth it.
When applying to become a Police Officer, you must declare any cautions, convictions, investigations and criminal associations that may be linked to you, to a family member or someone you know well. If you don’t tell us at this stage, your application could be refused simply because you weren’t being open and transparent – the application might have been accepted if you were open with us, so if in any doubt, disclose.
When some candidates apply to the Police, they don’t declare information that they believe is no longer held in record. However, the vetting process will reveal all incidents no matter how minor or how historic. Failure to disclose something important and relevant will result in an application being terminated.
We also need to know whether any of your close family or associates are involved in criminal activity, and the Vetting Unit will therefore search for information regarding them as well – you must make them aware these enquires are taking place and this will give an opportunity for them to disclose to you anything you may not have been aware of.
I will now give you two quick examples of the applications I have come across in my experience that had to be refused, simply due to candidates not being forthcoming on their application form.
Taylor had been thinking about joining the Police for some time. When he came to fill in the online application form, he hesitated for a moment when he got to cautions and convictions. Taylor remembered his school days and the time he was cautioned for a minor offence. It was a long time ago and not very serious, so he didn’t refer to it. In the weeks after completing his application, Taylor got a refusal letter. If he’d been honest his past mistake may not have counted against him.
And then Michelle.
When Michelle was filling in her application form for Police Now she didn’t pay much attention to the previous offences section. She’s never been in trouble in her life and neither had her parents or friends. Her brother Arthur – he was found to have a conviction and had served a prison sentence for supplying drugs. Michelle knew about the conviction but didn’t declare it on the application form – that’s why she received a refusal letter.
I hope this reinforces the importance of honesty, transparency and integrity. You’d be surprised at how many cases are approved when the candidate is just up front during the application stage. Always remember, if in doubt, disclose.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.