Before you apply, you should ensure that you've done everything you can to prepare yourself so that your application has the best chance of success.
The different steps of the recruitment process are detailed below, so you know what to expect at each stage. Although it can differ person to person the recruitment process can take approximately 8 to 12 months.
The national sift consists of two exercises which reflect the competencies and values relevant to the role of a police constable. These two exercises are as follows:
The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is designed to assess your judgement and decision-making in work-relevant situations against the Competencies Value Framework (CVF). The situations are presented to reflect the types of scenarios and actions police constables may face in their role.
The Behavioural Styles questionnaire is designed to explore your typical behaviour and preferences at work.
Step 4 – Attend a mandatory briefing session
All briefings will be conducted virtually for the time being. We will explain the remaining recruitment process and provide you insights in what to expect.
College of Policing’s (CoP) online assessment process
You will be required to complete an online assessment process hosted by the College of Policing. We will invite you to attend a mandatory workshop to provide you with full details of this assessment process. During this stage you'll be tested on our competencies and values framework.
At this stage you will be invited to a face to face interview with current serving officers and staff. You will be contacted with further information by email about when and where your interview will take place.
Your interview is another opportunity for you to demonstrate why you should join our team.
We'll give you guidance about the format of the interview beforehand so please don't worry.
In usual circumstances the next step is to pass the endurance fitness test. You'll have to run a 15 metre track in time with bleeps which get increasingly faster (level 5.4 bleep test).
If you fail on your first attempt don't worry. You're allowed two more attempts within 12 weeks. Due to COVID-19 all fitness tests are currently being undertaken via self-declaration and physical testing on day one when candidates join us. All candidates affected will receive an email from our Business Services team outlining the new process and any candidate action to be taken.
Step 1 – Vetting checks
Due to the nature of the job you'll understand we need to carry out checks on our employees and their families.
This includes you, your spouse/partner (and their children if over ten years old), family members (including step relations) and any other adults who live at your address.
Financial checks will also be carried out to make sure you don't have an outstanding CCJ, IVA or are registered bankrupt.
If you've discharged your bankruptcy debts you'll need verification from the Court that three years has passed since the date of discharge.
If you fail vetting, you have a right to appeal. You can appeal a vetting decision by email or in writing within 14 days. You must detail why you want to appeal the decision and anything else you want taken into consideration.
If you're unsure why you failed we can talk that through with you before deciding whether to make an appeal.
Step 2 – Medical screening
You'll be asked to complete a medical questionnaire which must be signed by your GP and returned directly (confidentially) to our health team.
All being well, you'll be examined by one of our appointed medical practitioners who will check your:
eyesight and colour vision
height/weight/BMI check (note: Body Mass Index should be within 18-30)
We carry out a professional standards questionnaire as part of the security checks.
Step 4 – Fingerprints and DNA
Samples of your fingerprints and DNA will be taken to carry out some final vetting checks against various national databases. You'll be required to consent in writing to this process.
Please note that we undertake random drug testing as part of our pre-employment checks. You may be asked to provide us with a sample - we will only undertake this after you have given your written consent.
Step 5 – References
We'll ask for references from each of your previous employers and/or educational establishments for the last three years. Any gaps in employment will need to be explained and verified.
If you haven't been in employment for three years, we'll ask for a character or educational reference.
This is the stage where you will begin your training which will consist of a number of elements including scenarios, classroom inputs, drill practice, fitness sessions and exams.
It is hands on, challenging and intense but there is plenty of support in place to help you throughout the course.
For approximately the first five months you will be based at our Essex Police College in Chelmsford where you'll work towards your Diploma in Policing.
The diploma is a nationally recognised qualification so expect some study in your own time. We will give you some pre-read material to help you before you start.
After this you will be posted out on division and tutored by experienced officers in both operational and investigative roles.
This is where you'll be able to put all your learning into practice. We'll carry out assessments during this time to make sure you're still on track.
Where you're posted in the county depends on policing requirements at the time but we do take your preferred options into consideration.
Where will I be based?
During your training, you are able to specify three posting preferences. Your preferences are not guaranteed but you will be matched with your choices as closely as possible. Postings are based on organisational/operational need.
What are the shifts?
You will work a mix of early, late and night shifts - this will include working weekends.