The recruitment will close at midday on Monday 12 December 2022.
Find out more about the role and how to apply below.
About the role
Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) provide a vital link between the communities they serve and the police service. They don't have the same powers as regular officers or their Special Constabulary colleagues, but still carry a lot of responsibility.
They conduct high-visibility patrols, acting as a crime deterrent and helping to inspire public confidence, while also offering support to officers at crime scenes and large events.
Their role also includes dealing with minor offences, providing crime prevention advice and helping to tackle antisocial behaviour.
Eligibility, criteria and pay
Eligibility requirements for PCSO’s are fairly detailed, but we've provided a summary of the basic requirements.
Applicants can go through the recruitment process at the age of 17 but cannot be appointed until the age of 18. There is no upper age limit for applying to the police service, but bear in mind that being a PCSO is demanding both physically and mentally.
We welcome all ages as we believe a diverse workforce that is reflective of everyone who lives in our community is the best way to be effective. No matter your age, you bring important skills and perspectives that are key tools for being a PCSO.
There are currently no minimum education requirements to apply to become a PCSO.
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. As we need a minimum of five years' residential history in the UK to be able to complete background checks, foreign nationals and UK citizens who have lived abroad may have to wait some time for security and vetting clearance. You must have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years with no breaks of longer than 3 months during this time immediately before applying.
A number of crimes will mean a definite or likely rejection of your application, including anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or public order offence. If you are at all unsure, get in contact and ask.
Applicants will have their financial status checked. These checks are carried out because PCSO’s have access to privileged information which may make them vulnerable to corruption.
Applicants with, or who have had, County Court Judgements or who may be on a Debt Recovery Plan will be assessed on a case by case basis. If you have any concerns, please ask before applying for more information.
PCSO’s encounter stressful situations, trauma, physical confrontation and work long hours on shifts. They need to be resilient enough to cope with the demands and pressures of police work. Applicants must therefore be in good health mentally and physically to undertake police duties. You will be required to complete a medical questionnaire to ensure you meet the health standards required.
The need for the residency rule arises from the requirement to vet all applicants in an equitable manner. This is because the UK police service does not currently have any means of facilitating vetting enquiries overseas to the extent required for those who are resident in the UK.
The purpose of the residency criteria is to ensure that applicants have a checkable history in the UK, so that meaningful vetting enquiries can be undertaken. The criteria provide reassurance when considering the health and safety of police personnel and the public. Effective vetting cannot be conducted if there is no way to assess the honesty, integrity, reliability and overall suitability for clearance of appointees against the information available.
The residency requirements refer to the period immediately before an application is made, and not any other three-, five-, or ten-year period, or any other accumulation of time spent in the UK.
Application of the residency criteria
If an individual resides permanently in the UK, they are considered to be a UK resident.
An individual who has moved overseas and severed major ties to the UK (e.g., closed bank accounts and sold property) is considered to have surrendered their residency in the UK. This would also apply to people who maintain bank accounts purely for the purpose of receiving regular payments, e.g., a UK pension.
An individual is considered to be on an extended holiday if they have:
Spent a significant period of time overseas without returning to the UK, but intend to return in the future.
Taken a gap year before or following university.
Travelled for a year.
Spent time overseas visiting family.
This is not an exhaustive list.
Individuals who meet the above criteria maintain their UK residency and may therefore be considered for vetting clearance.
Serving with Her Majesty's Government or Armed Forces
An individual who has been posted overseas as part of their service with the government or the armed forces is considered to have been resident in the UK for the period that they were abroad.
Where an individual has been overseas as the spouse, partner or dependent of a member of the armed forces posted overseas, they can be considered to have been resident in the UK if their place of residence was within the confines of the establishment, eg, a military base. If they were residing outside this, they are considered to have been resident overseas.
For the purposes of force vetting, the following residency requirements apply:
Recruitment vetting (RV) – three years
Management vetting (MV) – five years
Non-police personnel vetting (NPPV) – three years
PCSO’s start on a scale 4 salary of £23,100 rising to a maximum of £25,353 within this scale. PCSO’s will also get their 26.5% shift allowance for working weekends and unsocial hours on top of their basic salary.
Please note that you will need to refer to the role profile during your application.
As a PCSO, your role is a vital link between the community you serve and the police service. Some requirements of the role include:
You will be required to wear a uniform.
You will be required to work shifts. There is a 3 week shift pattern with many rest days in between.
Please note that you are required to have a full UK driving licence in order to apply for this role.
Shift patterns vary depending on whether you are based in an urban or rural area. The latest shift for an urban area will finish by midnight, or for a rural area by 11pm.
Those working towards their driving license will still be considered for the role however, applicants in this position will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Please be aware that you will need to travel to the Sabrina Centre for your training and that public transport to the Sabrina Centre is limited. You will also be required to drive police vehicles as part of this role.
As a Gloucestershire Constabulary PCSO, you will have access to a range of staff benefits. Some of these benefits include:
Generous contributions to individual pension plans
24 days paid annual leave, rising to 29 days after 5 years of service, plus 8 bank holidays.
PCSO training is an 12 week programme in total and will take place at The Sabrina Centre in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. During this time, you will learn everything you need to know about being a PCSO.
The first 8 weeks of your training will be in the classroom. Following this, you will then complete 2 weeks of shadowing other PCSO's. Finally, you will return to the classroom to fully complete the training and qualify as a PCSO.
As a PCSO, you will also have the opportunity to achieve a Level 4 Diploma in Community Policing Practice. The guide time for completing the course is 12 months from your start date.
Recruitment stages and timescales
Our PCSO recruitment will open at 12pm on Friday 25 November 2022 and will be open for just over two weeks. This means your application must be submitted before the recruitment window closes at midday on Monday 12 December 2022.
You must first submit an application form for the role you are applying for.
As part of the application process, you will be asked to submit the following details:
Details of your employment history to cover the last 3 years
Statement in support of your application. Please refer to the Role Profile document above and in no more than 1500 words give details, evidenced where possible with specific examples, of how your experience, qualifications, skills and abilities meet the minimum criteria for the role.
Your application must be submitted before the recruitment closes at midday on Monday 12 December 2022.
Submitted applications will then go through a shortlisting process. Shortlisting is based on the essential and desirable criteria on the role profile.
If your application form is shortlisted, you will then be invited to an interview.
The interview will be based on the Competency and Values Framework (CVF). You will be sent a copy of the CVF prior to the interview.
If you are successful in the interview, you will be required to undergo a vetting process.
The vetting process is where we carry out security checks on you and your:
Step father/mother's partner
Step mother/father's partner
Children/children of your partner (only those age 10 years and above)
Any other adult living at your address.
Please note that vetting can take between 8 to 10 weeks to complete.
Financial circumstances – Applicants will have their financial status checked. These checks are carried out because police officers and police staff have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption. Applicants with outstanding County Court Judgements (CCJs), Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) or who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, will be rejected.
If you have discharged bankruptcy debts then you will need to provide a certificate of satisfaction with your application. At least three years will need to have passed since the date of discharge.
Ideally you should not have a criminal record, but some minor offences may not exclude you.
If you are successful at the interview, you will be required to fill out a medical questionnaire. This will enable the constabulary to make sure that we are able to put in place any reasonable adjustments that may be required to support you to undertake the role (as defined by the Equality Act 2010).
Prospective PCSO's are required to have their fingerprints and a DNA sample taken in accordance with Regulation 10A of the Police Regulations 2003 (as amended by the Police (Amendment) Regulations 2015).
The purpose of obtaining fingerprints and DNA samples is to allow for a speculative search to be made against the local and national databases prior to your appointment to the police service.
Your fingerprints will be retained separately on the Police Elimination Database and your DNA profile will be retained on the Centralised Elimination Database in line with the Police Regulations 2003. Your fingerprints and DNA profile will be used for the purposes of elimination only.
We will send reference requests to your current and previous employers in the last 3 years. If you haven’t been employed for 3 years, we will ask for a character reference or an educational reference.
Successful candidates will be contacted by our Resourcing department with an offer of employment.
If you’re thinking of a career as a PCSO, we’d like to invite you to attend a PCSO familiarisation event.
The event will be hosted by our Better Together Team. The team provide positive action support to people from underrepresented and diverse communities who are considering a career in policing.
The event will give you a real insight into the role of a PCSO and you will hear first-hand accounts from our PCSOs and police officers. We’ll talk about the job in detail, including:
The reality of daily tasks
The training you will get
How you can develop your career
The recruitment process
The benefits of joining the police.
There will be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have.
You will not need to prepare or to bring anything to the event. You may want to bring a notepad if you’d like to take some notes.
The event will take place at our Police Headquarters and will last about 2 hours. The dress code is causal.
Car parking can be found in our Headquarters rear car park. You can park from Row C onwards. Further parking can be found at the Park and Ride in Waterwells. Once you’ve parked, please walk across to Police Headquarters.
We kindly ask that you do not attend the event if you have symptoms or are testing positive for Covid-19. If you can’t attend, please email our Better Together Team so alternative arrangements can be made.
Before you apply
Before you apply to become a PCSO, please ensure that you have checked the following:
You must meet the eligibility and criteria requirements
You must hold a full UK driving license. Those working towards their driving license will still be considered for the role however, applicants in this position will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Please be aware that you will need to travel to the Sabrina Centre for your training and that public transport to the Sabrina Centre is limited. You will also be required to drive police vehicles as part of this role.
Applicants are required to provide evidence in support of all minimum criteria, as detailed on the PCSO role profile, in order to progress to the next stage of the recruitment and selection process. Subsequent selection processes will follow. This evidence should be provided at the end of the application in the section entitled; Statement in support of your application. There is a 1500 maximum word limit for this section.
Applications that do not meet the role requirements will unfortunately not be able to progress through the recruitment.