Entry requirements

There are a number of factors you may need to consider before applying for the role of PCSO. They include the following.

  • Age
  • Nationality
  • Qualifications
  • Height
  • Vision
  • Tattoos
  • Criminal Record
  • Political Restrictions


There is no upper age limit for applying to be a PCSO.

In October 2011 the government abolished the rights of employers to set a default/compulsory retirement age for their employees. If there is a genuine occupational or health and safety reason that can be objectively justified employers can impose a compulsory retirement age. For example the case of a pilot who, in accordance with CAA regulations, is not qualified to operate in this role beyond the age of 60, unless there is a suitably qualified pilot at the controls, who is flying with them.

Devon and Cornwall Police have removed the default/compulsory retirement age from all police staff posts with the exception of our helicopter pilots. This legislative change does not prevent individuals who are members of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) from choosing to retire in accordance with the rules of the scheme. All employees can retire at age 65 should they wish to do so.

Note: changes are proposed to both the Police Officers and LGPS schemes and therefore the information above may be subject to change. Police staff and officers should consult devon.gov pensions for the latest information.


You must be a British Citizen, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.


You do not need formal qualifications to become PCSO. However, your English should be proficient.


There are no height restrictions.


You must be physically fit and in good health and will undertake a fitness and swimming assessment. All candidates will complete a medical questionnaire and may be required to undertake a medical assessment.

All candidates will be subject to a pre-employment drugs test.


You must have good unaided vision, not suffer from any morbid eye conditions or any condition liable to aggravation or reoccurrence.

Severe colour vision deficiencies (monochromats) are not acceptable. However, other defects in colour vision will not be a bar to entry.


Tattoos on the face or neck are not acceptable for PCSOs, and any tattoos which could cause offence to any person will exclude you from applying. However all applicants will be assessed on an individual basis.

Candidates are requested to submit a colour photograph of all tattoos with their application.

Criminal record

Convictions or cautions will not necessarily exempt you from joining. It will depend on the nature and circumstances of the offence. Your application may be terminated if you fail to disclose any convictions or cautions.

We also have a policy of prohibiting any of our officers, staff and volunteers from becoming members of the BNP or similar organisations whose aims or pronouncements may contradict the duty to promote race equality.


We welcome applications from people with disabilities and will do all we can to make reasonable adjustments which will allow disabled applicants to undertake this role.

Please let us know if you have a disability and the type of adjustment which you might need to enable you to apply for and do the job.

For more information about becoming a Police Community Support Officer please select Your guide to becoming a Police Community Support Officer.


People Services Centre (Resourcing)
Devon & Cornwall Police
Homer House
Middlemoor, Exeter

Tel: 01392 225900

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

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