FAQs & Eligibility

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To find out more browse the topics below.

 

Am I eligible?

How do I contact Devon and Cornwall Police about my application?

I have a problem using the online assessment tool. Who should I contact?

I will be 18 on the date of the Assessment Centre. Can I still apply to join Devon and Cornwall Police?

I have not received an email confirming if I have passed or failed? What should I do?

I have tattoos. Will this stop me becoming a Police Officer?

I am not a British Citizen. Can I still apply to join Devon and Cornwall Police as an officer?

Do I need a driving licence to apply?

I have a motoring offence(s). Can I still apply to become an officer?

I have a criminal record. Can I still apply to become an officer?

I have a Police Officer application to another force - can I transfer this to Devon and Cornwall?

I have previously been unsuccessful in my application to become a Police Officer in another Force, can I still apply?

I am a serving PCSO or Special Constable, can I transfer to become a Police Officer?

I would like to become a firearms officer/dog handler/detective/air observer etc. If my application is successful can I join the unit straight away?

Can I become a Police Officer if I wear glasses or contact lenses?

Can I become a Police Officer if I am colour blind?

If I have a disability can I apply to become a Police Officer?

I have a medical condition, does that prevent me from joining Devon and Cornwall Police?

Is there a height restriction for Police Officers?

What qualifications do I need to apply?

I don't have my qualification certificates, what do I do?

How long does the whole recruitment process take?

How many vacancies are Devon and Cornwall Police anticipating?

I have children/caring responsibilities, is this still a career for me?

I applied to another force via the Pre-Assessment tool but did not progress to the application stage. Can I apply?

If successful, where does the training take place?

Who will my learning provider be?


1. Am I eligible?

As you'd expect, to make sure we give people of Devon and Cornwall Police the best possible service, we're looking for the best possible police officers. That's why you'll need to meet the below set criteria before you can apply.

  • Age
  • Qualifications
  • Residency
  • Nationality
  • Driving Licence
  • Membership to BNP or Similar groups
  • Tattoos
  • Previous convictions or recent cautions, bind-overs or findings of guilt
  • Financial Position
  • Other Applications

Age 

You must be 18 years at the close of the initial registration. The upper age limit is typically 56. This is three years less than the compulsory retirement age of 60 and allows for the three year probationary period and the expectation of a minimum of one year of service following probation.

Qualifications

You must hold a Level 2 qualification in Math’s and English, at grade C and above.

Should you not have the level 2 qualifications, please read this document about how to obtain this. Attaining English and Maths GCSE or equivalent

And you must meet one of the following:

Hold a level 3 qualification in any subject or equivalent or award such as:

A Level

AS Level

Advanced Diploma

National Diploma

National Certificate

National Award

Level 3 Diploma

Level 3 Certificate

Level 3 Award

Level 3 International Certificate in Computer Studies

(ICCS) NCC Education UK

Level 3 NVQ

City & Guilds, Level 3

NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety Access to Higher Education Diploma

A serving PCSO, who has been in post for at least 18 months at the time of application and been assessed by line manager as fully competent.

A serving Special Constable who has attained accompanied patrol status at the time of application, who are consistently completing 16 hours per month and are up to date with all mandatory training.

Please check with your examining body if you are unsure of the level of qualification you hold. We will need to see original certificates later in the recruitment process).

Residency

Applicants must have resided in the UK for three continuous years immediately prior to application.

Nationality

You can apply to become a Police Officer as long as you are an EEA National or a Swiss National. Commonwealth citizens and Foreign Nationals are required to have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period.

Driving licence

You must hold an EU manual driving licence when you apply.

Membership to BNP or similar groups.

You must not be a member, or have been, of an extreme political organisation such as a BNP, National Front or Combat 18 or similar organisations.

Tattoos

You should not have tattoos on your face, neck or hands, or any tattoos which could cause offence. If you have a tattoo you will be asked to provide a brief description and photographs of the tattoo. The nature, location, size, prominence and appearance of tattoos will be considered.

Previous convictions or recent cautions, bind-overs or findings of guilt

Ideally, you shouldn't have a criminal conviction or cautions.

If you do have one, acceptance will depend on the age and nature of the offence. It is not possible to set out a full list of convictions that will preclude a person from becoming a Police Officer. Each case will be considered on its own merits, and if the offence is deemed sufficiently serious a person will be rejected irrespective of age at time of offending. There may be circumstances where an individual does not fall within the criteria, but whose suspected involvement in crime, or criminal associations make an offer of employment inappropriate. Click here for National Convictions Guidelines.

Financial Position

Must not have any current County Court Judgements (CCJ) against you or be the subject of an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA). If you have been registered bankrupt you may apply if it is at least three years since the date your debts were discharged.

Other applications

You're only able to apply to one police force/service at a time in accordance with the national recruitment policy. Your application will not be accepted if you have previously applied unsuccessfully, in the last six months at any part of the national process.

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2. How do I contact Devon and Cornwall Police about my application?

If you have questions that aren’t answered in this page then you can email us at PeopleServiceCentre-Policeofficerrecruiting@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk and we will try to respond to you within 72 hours during normal office hours, Monday to Thursday 9am – 4pm and Friday 9am – 3pm.

Unfortunately due to the volume of applications we will not be able to take telephone calls during the period the online assessment is open to applicants.

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3. I have a problem using the online assessment tool. Who should I contact?

As this is a web-based assessment if you are experiencing difficulties, it may be associated with your own web browser capability. The minimum internet browser requirement to use the assessment will be:

  • Internet Explorer 7
  • Firefox 3.6
  • Google Chrome
  • Safari 5 (Mac and PC)

Your browser should also have Javascript and Cookies enabled. You can also access a help menu within the assessment. Please note, the tool is not currently compatible for use on mobile devices or tablets, therefore please only attempt to access the system via a PC.  If you are unable to find the answer within the help menu, then you can email PeopleServiceCentre-Policeofficerrecruiting@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk.

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4. I will be 18 on the date of the Assessment Centre. Can I still apply to join Devon and Cornwall Police?

No. To be eligible to apply, you must be age 18 years or over by the close of the initial registration.

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5. I have not received an email confirming if I have passed or failed. What should I do?

At the end of each element of the online process you will receive an email from the Apollo system. If you have not received an email you should check your junk mail / filter settings in case the email/s get filtered by your spam software. 

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6. I have tattoos. Will this stop me becoming a Police Officer?

Not necessarily. If you have tattoos you will need to make a declaration at the time of application. We will ask you to send in two digital pictures of each tattoo. One distance photograph clearly showing where on the body the tattoo is located and a second close up photograph that we can use to assess this against our standards. All tattoos will need to be covered by standard issue uniform, this may require you to agree to wear long sleeved shirts.

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7. I am not a British citizen. Can I still apply to join Devon and Cornwall Police as an officer?

You must be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national, a Commonwealth citizen or a foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom. You will be required to provide proof at any Assessment Centre that you have no restrictions on your stay in the UK and when assessing an applicant’s eligibility under the nationality rules, the force will carry out a check either against a full passport or national identity card or, where this is not available, a Home Office document confirming the individual has the required nationality and immigration status for the post.

Irrespective of nationality, applicants must have been a resident in the UK for three years prior to submitting the application form and the calculation of the three year period of time refers to the period immediately before an application is made, and not any other three year period, or any other accumulation of time spent in the UK. 

An individual who has spent a significant period of time overseas (no more than 12 months) within a three year period such as a gap year or an individual who has gone travelling will be considered to have taken an extended holiday. As such they will maintain residency in the UK and therefore be eligible for consideration under the residency criteria.

An individual who has spent a significant period of time overseas (no more than 12 months) within a three year period working abroad but has maintained residency in the UK will be eligible for consideration under the residency criteria as long as equitable employment references can be made.

Foreign nationality is not an automatic bar to recruitment or to granting security vetting clearance (which is a necessary part of the recruitment process).  However, if individuals cannot be vetted in line with the requirements of the National Vetting Policy, they cannot be granted vetting clearance, as the risk cannot be adequately assessed.

Essentially we will need to be able to carry out equitable security checks on you and your family members but in some cases due to disproportionate costs or difficulties in obtaining the necessary information from various countries of your origin or residency we may not be able to satisfactorily carry out these checks. In such cases the recruitment process cannot continue and it will be necessary for the force to reject your application.

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8. Do I need a driving licence to apply?

Yes you must have a full manual driving licence.

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9. I have a motoring offence(s). Can I still apply to become an officer?

Devon and Cornwall Police will need to assess the motoring offences. However, if you have more than six penalty points on your driving licence and/or two or more motoring offences within the three years prior to the application date you may not be eligible to apply to join Devon and Cornwall Police as a student officer.

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10. I have a criminal record. Can I still apply to become an officer?

Eligibility will depend on the nature and circumstances of the offence. It is not possible to set out a full list of convictions that will preclude a person from becoming a Police Officer. Each case will be considered on its own merits, and if the offence is deemed sufficiently serious a person will be rejected irrespective of age at time of offending. There may be circumstances where an individual does not fall within the criteria, but whose suspected involvement in crime, or criminal associations make an offer of employment inappropriate. Click here for National Convictions Guidelines.

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11. I have a Police Officer application to another force – can I transfer this to Devon and Cornwall?

We are currently not accepting transferred applications/scores from other forces. You will need to withdraw your current application and complete the full process with Devon and Cornwall Police should you wish to apply.

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12. I have previously been unsuccessful in my application to become a Police Officer in another Force, can I still apply?

If you have been unsuccessful at shortlisting or at a SEARCH assessment centre within the last six months (based on the date you were notified of the outcome of the process) you will be unable to apply on this occasion.

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13. I am a serving PCSO or Special Constable, can I transfer to become a Police Officer?

No, you would have to go through the official recruitment process like all other applicants in order to qualify as a Police Officer.

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14. I would like to become a firearms officer/dog handler/detective/air observer etc. If my application is successful can I join the unit straight away?

No. All newly recruited Police Officers must undergo a probationary period, so you could not apply for any specialist posts within Devon and Cornwall Police until you have completed this.

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15. Can I become a Police Officer if I wear glasses or contact lenses?

As part of the recruitment process you will need to undergo an eye test. New recruits must have at least 6/12 vision in the right or left eye, or at least 6/6 vision in both eyes. Those who wear glasses or contact lenses, should wear correction where necessary to achieve 6/6 in both eyes. For further information please refer to the eligibility criteria.

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16. Can I become a Police Officer if I am colour blind?

Those with colour blindness are eligible to become Police Officers, but would be restricted from fulfilling certain posts, such as traffic officer or firearms officer. If your colour blindness is monochrome, you would be unable to apply.

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17. If I have a disability can I apply to become a Police Officer?

Devon and Cornwall Police welcomes applications from people with disabilities as defined by the Equality Act 2010 i.e. a person is disabled under this Act if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term (over 12 months) adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day tasks.

If you consider yourself to have a disability, please inform us of the type of reasonable adjustments you might need to assist you in participating in the recruitment and selection process. Devon and Cornwall Police will try to make reasonable adjustments required where practicable. Please email PeopleServiceCentre-Policeofficerrecruiting@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk.

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18. I have a medical condition, does that prevent me from joining Devon and Cornwall Police?

It will depend upon the nature of the medical condition. We require that all our new officers undergo a medical assessment with our Occupational Health Support Unit. You will need to pass the medical assessment to be eligible to join Devon and Cornwall Police. Student officers in Devon and Cornwall must be eligible to hold a Group 2 Drivers Licence to enable them to undertake blue light driving.

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19. Is there a height restriction for Police Officers?

No. There is no minimum or maximum height restriction.

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20. What qualifications do I need to apply?

For the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship you must hold a Level 2 qualification in Math’s and English, at grade C and above.

Should you not have the level 2 qualifications, please read this document about how to obtain this. Attaining English and Maths GCSE or equivalent.

And you must meet one of the following:

Hold a level 3 qualification in any subject or equivalent or award such as:

A Level

AS Level

Advanced Diploma

National Diploma

National Certificate

National Award

Level 3 Diploma

Level 3 Certificate

Level 3 Award

Level 3 International Certificate in Computer Studies

(ICCS) NCC Education UK

Level 3 NVQ

City & Guilds, Level 3

NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety Access to Higher Education Diploma.

A serving PCSO, who has been in post for at least 18 months at the time of application and been assessed by line manager as fully competent.

A serving Special Constable who has attained accompanied patrol status at the time of application, who are consistently completing sixteen hours per month and are up to date with all mandatory training.

Please check with your examining body if you are unsure of the level of qualification you hold. We will need to see original certificates later in the recruitment process.

For the Degree Holder Entry Programme you must hold a degree in any subject.

Overseas Qualifications

Students who have studied in a country that does not provide GCSEs are potentially exempt from the condition of funding where the overseas qualifications they hold are equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or grade C.

Institutions must get confirmation from the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) that the qualification is equivalent to GCSE grade 9 to 4 or A* to C. NARIC is the UK’s national agency responsible for providing information and opinion on academic, vocational and professional qualifications from across the world.

As well as confirmation from NARIC that an overseas qualification is equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or grade C, institutions also have to ensure that the student possesses the necessary competence in maths and English to achieve their programme. If the student needs additional teaching or support to function on their programme, institutions must include it in the programme. This kind of activity is eligible for funding and should be included in the planned hours.

Students who have achieved the International Certificate in Christian Education (ICCE) do not have to study maths and English, as the ICCE is equivalent to a standard pass in maths and English. When students have achieved an ICCE, institutions can record an exemption for holding an overseas equivalent qualification. They do not have to get the equivalence certified by NARIC.

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21. I don’t have my qualification certificates, what do I do?

We will accept with your application with proof supplied by either the original results slip detailing your name, school/college, date of birth, qualification, awarding body and grade, or a bespoke letter from the school/college, providing the same information.

Devon and Cornwall Police does however reserve the right to insist that applicants supply original certificates.

Some schools and colleges will charge up to £120 for replacement certificates, which can take up to four weeks to arrive. We will not reimburse applicants for any costs associated with obtaining this information.

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22. How long does the whole recruitment process take?

The process can take six months to complete. However intakes are planned throughout the year therefore it may be longer than six months before you commence as a student officer.

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23. How many vacancies are Devon and Cornwall Police anticipating?

The Force is working on a three year recruitment strategy. Whilst final numbers will be dependent on Force demand at the time we are presently anticipating 132 vacancies per year.

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24. I have children/caring responsibilities, is this still a career for me?

An important consideration for every applicant is that you WILL have to work shifts as a police officer, covering a 24-hour period. There are many different shift patterns but generally they cover 8-10 hours Monday to Sunday (earlies, lates and nights) incorporated with rest days. Upon completion of a two-year probationary period, unpaid career breaks of between three months to five years are also currently available. Additionally, Devon and Cornwall Police has several family-friendly policies such as a generous maternity leave scheme, paternity leave, child-care vouchers as well as part-time working which is also available in the probationary period.

Whilst on probation you must work at least 24 hours per week (or 1,248 hours per year). However, initial training must be completed on a full-time basis (approximately first 31 weeks). Salary, leave entitlement etc would be calculated on a pro-rata basis. If you decided to apply as a part timer it would be really helpful if you indicated your intentions ideally on the application form or at the earliest opportunity. Importantly though, a request to work part-time will not affect or influence your application in any way, as a decision will be solely based on your evidenced application and subsequent performance over various assessments.

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25.  I applied to another force via the Pre-Assessment tool but did not progress to the application stage. Can I apply?

Devon and Cornwall Police will allow any candidate who has been unsuccessful through the pre-assessment tool in another Force to register their interest for this campaign.

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26. If successful where does the training take place?

Initial training will be completed at Force Headquarters, Middlemoor Devon.

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27. Who will my learning provider be?

Devon and Cornwall Police have identified their learning provider as the University of South Wales, please click here for further information about the University and course.

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