Find out more about the role, the entry routes and how to apply further down this page.
To help you prepare for your application, we advise that you read the following sections:
Recruitment stages and timescales
How you can prepare for your application
About the role
Do you have what it takes to keep Gloucestershire safe?
Do you have the personality and ambition to help change lives and keep local communities safe?
Safe from the muggers, the gangs and organised crime. Safe from robbery, child abuse and domestic violence. And safe from complex hidden threats like cybercrime and online radicalisation, modern slavery, stalking, online bullying and grooming.
It’s a tough job. It means fresh challenges every day and every day you might be dealing with life, death and everything in between.
Today’s policing is becoming increasingly complex and challenging. It’s a job that requires great communication skills, sensitivity and resilience. It also requires courage, initiative and a willingness to learn new skills and new ways of thinking.
Joining the police in Gloucestershire requires passion and commitment. In return we’ll welcome you, train you and develop you. By becoming a Police Officer, you will:
Have a rewarding job where no two days are the same
Be constantly challenged and always learning
Be valued for your contribution to your community
Be well paid and have an excellent benefits package
Have continual opportunities for advancement
We’re a modern, forward-looking force that rewards initiative, encourages fresh thinking and values diversity. And we’re privileged to have outstanding support from our community – more than 70% of locals recognise that we’re doing a good or excellent job.
Our proximity to great cities like Bristol, Bath, Birmingham, Cardiff and Gloucester are a real bonus. But it’s the diversity and experience on offer that has the potential to boost careers and job satisfaction. Go urban, go rural; think royal households and major sporting events.
Joining the police force is a big decision. As you change lives, it will certainly change you. Are you ready?
Step up. Make a difference. Join us.
Diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity
At Gloucestershire Constabulary we recognise the benefits of increasing diversity across our workforce. We know that we are ‘Better Together’ as individuals, teams and with our communities and partner agencies.
Our Better Together team provide positive action support to people from under-represented and diverse communities who are considering a career in policing. The team also coordinate a number of external engagement events throughout the year for people who are interested in a career in policing.
Support victims of crime and offer help to those who have witnessed crimes
Investigate complex crimes using a mixture of cutting-edge technology and time-proven traditional methods
Throughout your police career, you'll receive on-going training, development, support and guidance to ensure you are fully equipped to do your job safely and confidently. All student officers in Gloucestershire Constabulary begin their careers doing front line police work. After the successful completion of the probation period opportunities for career progression and diversification are vast.
You will join as a police constable and will be eligible to apply to progress through the following ranks once you’ve successfully completed your probation:
Police Constable – this is the starting rank for police officers.
Sergeant – the first supervisory rank, most sergeants are responsible for a team of constables.
Inspector – uniformed inspectors typically oversee a shift of constables and sergeants. They also take charge of major incidents in their force area.
Chief Inspector – this role can vary from force to force but a Chief Inspector often acts as the senior police officer in larger towns, overseeing large teams such as investigations or operations.
Superintendent – at this senior management rank, a Superintendent would usually be in charge of a section of a Command.
Chief Superintendent – typically responsible for policing of a geographical area of their force.
Assistant Chief Constable – ACCs as chief officers are mainly responsible for a specific function or business area within their police force, for example, Investigation or Operations.
Deputy Chief Constable– they act as deputy for their Chief Constable, handling the running of the force and supporting the Chief Constable.
Chief Constable– these officers are responsible for the effective running of their force.
Once you’ve successfully completed your probation period, you can also apply to work in a huge variety of roles and specialist units, including:
Community policing - covering roles like neighbourhood policing, rural crime and school beat officers
Investigation - detectives investigating crimes ranging from serious and organised crime, fraud, child abuse, domestic abuse and counter terrorism offences
Intelligence - roles include analysts, digital investigations, covert operatives and intelligence development officers investigators
Operational support - specialist roles like dog handler or mounted police, firearms officer and road policing, public order and search officers
Details of eligibility requirements can be found in the drop down list below.
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 police officer 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 police officer.
Applicants for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) must hold a minimum Level 2 English Language and Maths qualifications and a Level 3 qualification (2 x A Levels or equivalent). For applicants who do not possess a Level 3 qualification you must complete a competency based Personal Statement, detailing your experience and ability to work at degree level. If your statement is successful you will move to the next stage of the recruitment process.
Level 2 qualifications can be proved by having GCSEs graded A*-C / 9-4 or an equivalent, such as Level 2 Functional Skills.
Level 3 qualifications can proved by having 2 A Levels or equivalent qualification in any subject.
A full list of qualifications and what level they relate to can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Applicants for the Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) must hold a degree in any subject to be able to apply.
Applicants for the Pre-join Degree in Professional Policing (PPD) must have attained or be in your final year of study for an Honours Degree in Professional Policing to apply.
Applicants will need to provide proof of their qualifications as part of the application process.
You must be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national, Switzerland citizen or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom. As we need a minimum of five year's residential history 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.
You will need to have a full UK manual driving licence and be medically fit to drive to be appointed as a Police Officer.
You are able to apply if you have a provisional driving licence but will not be allocated onto an intake until you have obtained a full UK manual driving licence.
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.
Tattoos are very common; all tattoos are reviewed to check appropriateness. Images that are grotesque, violent, have a strong religious or political connection or would undermine the dignity and authority of your role would not be acceptable.
You will be required to upload photos of all tattoos located on your hands, wrist, forearms, neck and face within the application form.
Applicants will have their financial status checked. These checks are carried out because police officers 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.
To ensure you are fit enough for the role and to keep you safe, you will undertake a job related fitness test which you must pass before you can be appointed.
We are looking for no more than the minimum standard needed to enable you to work effectively as a police officer. You will be given help to improve your fitness and if you prepare yourself properly, there is no reason for you to fail.
Police officers 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 undergo a medical examination to ensure you meet the health standards required.
Applicants will have their eyesight tested at the medical assessment stage. You may be asked to go to an optician to have your eyes tested and the eyesight form filled in. Failure to pass this test will lead to rejection.
You can apply to more than one force at any one time if you wish, but it is important that candidates do not attend more than one Assessment Centre at a time.
If you have previously applied to join the police service and been unsuccessful at the Online Assessment Centre, you must wait three months from your initial rejection to apply again.
If you have already been to a SEARCH/Online Assessment Centre assessment and have received a successful result, this will be valid for 24 months maximum.
If you have a valid Online Assessment Centre Score and wish to transferee this to Gloucestershire Constabulary please use the link in the Apply to become a Police Officer section.
Details of the criteria requirements can be found in the drop down list below.
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.
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.
An individual who has been posted overseas as part of their service with His Majesty's 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, e.g., a military base. If they were residing outside this, they are considered to have been resident overseas.
To be eligible to apply you need to have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years, with no breaks of longer than 3 months, immediately prior to submitting your application.
Details of the Police Officer entry routes can be found in the drop down list below.
Join as a Constable and follow an apprenticeship in professional policing practice – you earn while you learn! The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) is a three year professional degree apprenticeship, with both on and off-the-job learning. On completion, successful candidates will achieve a Level 6 Degree in Professional Policing Practice.
To apply for the PCDA, entrants must hold Level 2 qualifications (GCSE A*-C or 9-4 or equivalent) in English Language and Maths and have achieved a Level 3 qualification (2 X A levels or equivalent)** or complete a competency based personal statement to pass the eligibility stage.
The Force covers all fees relating to this entry route.
**College of Policing requirement:
Access to higher education diploma
International Baccalaureate diploma
Level 3 award
Level 3 certificate
Level 3 diploma
Level 3 ESOL
Level 3 national certificate
Level 3 national diploma
Level 3 NVQ
Music grades 6, 7 and 8
The Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) is for those who already hold a degree in any subject area. This is a two-year academic and practice-based programme. On completion, successful candidates will achieve a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice. The Force covers all fees relating to this entry route.
We will soon be opening for a Detective Constable (DC) DHEP route which will enable candidates to become Dectective Constables.
If you would like to be considered for the DC DHEP route, please apply via the standard DHEP route and email us to register your interest to become a DC.
If you want to study first, you can do a three year Degree in Professional Policing at your own expense and then apply to our force and follow a shorter on-the-job training programme.
The Degree in Professional Policing (PPD) is for those who choose to complete the honours degree at a Higher Education Institution of their choosing at their own cost. Candidates recruited via this route will also undertake academic and practice based training to develop specific skills assessed against national assessment criteria and operational competence.
Being a special constable can be included in this route.
Recruitment Stages and Timescales
Details of recruitment stages and timescales can be found in the drop down list below.
The start of the recruitment process will be to complete the online eligibility section of our E-Recruit system. It is important that you are open and honest with your responses.
This section checks your eligibility in line with the national recruitment standards. If you have met all the eligibility criteria you will be able to progress to the application form.
For applicants who do not possess a level 3 (academic qualification or equivalent qualification) you will need to submit a competency based Personal Statement detailing your previous experience, compared to Level 3 knowledge and skills descriptors as part of the recruitment process.
We will be assessing
You have factual, procedural and theoretical knowledge and understanding of the field of work or study you are in
Completing tasks and addressing problems that while well-defined, may be complex and non routine
Can interpret and evaluate relevant information and ideas
You are aware of the nature of the area you study or work in
You are aware of different perspectives or approaches within your area of study or work
You can identify, select and use appropriate cognitive and practical skills, methods and procedures to address problems that while well-defined, may be complex and non-routine
You can use appropriate investigation to inform actions
Review how effective methods and actions have been
We suggest you include the following within your Personal Statement
A statement of no more than 750 words
Your current roles and responsibilities
Any additional training you have undertaken
Any volunteer or support roles you might do
We recommend you use the STAR model to help your structure your statement
You will have 5 days from submission of your application form to complete and return your Personal Statement to us, so that we can progress your application.
The competency based personal statements will be reviewed by a panel of three people from across the force to assess whether it meets the necessary descriptors.
If your Personal Statement does not meet the required standard you will be withdrawn from the application process.
If you are successful through the online eligibility section, you will be able to access the application form. Your online application form must be submitted by the deadline of the particular recruitment drive you're applying for.
For candidates who are required to complete a competency based personal statement, you will be given 5 additional days to submit the personal statement for review.
You will be required to attend a mandatory familiarisation event before we progress your application to Assessment Centre.
This event is designed to give you a real insight into the role of a police officer, the reality of daily tasks, training, career development as well as the benefits of joining the police.
You will hear first hand accounts from police officers and will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
You must be able to attend the event in order to progress to the next stage of the application process, the assessment centre.
Following attendance at the Mandatory Familiarisation event your application will progress to next stage of the recruitment process the National Sift.
This process is run by the College of Policing and is a virtual process designed to assess your capabilities, strengths and behaviours to ensure you have the relevant competencies and values to become a police officer.
You will have 1 week to complete the two exercises:
Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
Behavioural Style Questionnaire (BSQ)
You should receive your results within two weeks of completing the National Sift. If successful at this stage, you will be invited to attend the Online Assessment Centre.
If you are unsuccessful you must wait for 3 months before you can apply again within a police officer recruitment campaign.
The Assessment Centre will be run by The College of Policing and is a virtual process designed to test the key competencies and values that are important for police constables.
You will have 1 week to complete the three exercises:
Competency-based video interview
These exercises are designed to test your ability to think on your feet, make quick decisions based on sound judgement and also to measure your basic numeracy and literacy standards.
You should receive your results approximately four weeks after the Assessment Centre closes. If you are successful at this stage, you will then be invited to attend an interview at Police Headquarters in Quedgeley, Gloucestershire.
We use the interview to get to know more about you and how well suited you are to the role of an officer with Gloucestershire Constabulary.
The interview is based on Competency and Values Framework (CVF) and you will be assessed against Level 1 - Practitioner in each case.
A medical assessment will generally be carried out by our Occupational Health Unit.
We will check:
BMI (between 18-30)
Eye sight (full details later in this guide)
Colour vision (full details later in this guide)
You will be asked to complete a confidential medical history questionnaire. Depending upon your medical history, we may need to contact your GP or other specialist for further information.
The role of a police officer is demanding. During the application and selection process we will be assessing your mental and physical fitness to undertake the role.
We test endurance through a fitness shuttle run commonly known as the Bleep Test. A good indicator of the fitness level needed for this test is to be able to run at a good pace for around four minutes over a distance of about 700 metres.
Bleep Test (shuttle run) explained:
Required level is 5.4 = 5 levels and 4 shuttles over a 15 metre course.
Prospective police officer 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.
Substance Misuse Checks
Applicants are required to complete a substance misuse test to check for any illegal substances. This involves taking a 3cm long sample of your hair normally from your head but it can be taken from other areas if you do not have sufficient head hair.
We will carry out security checks on you and your:
Step father/mother’s partner
Children/children of your partner (only those age 10 years and over)
Any other adult living at your address.
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.
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 an educational reference.
Successful candidates will be contacted by our Resourcing department with an offer of employment.
The timelines below are relevant for candidates who submit their application before 23:59 on Sunday 17 September 2023.
Applications submitted after this date will be processed for our next intake.
Opening date and time
10am on Friday 26 May 2023
Closing date and time for applications to be submitted online
To ensure you have a place on the October 2023 Online Assessment Centre you must submit your full application by 23:59 on Sunday 17 Spetember 2023.
Applications received after this date will be processed for our next Online Assessment Centre.
Mandatory familiarisation events
Information to be sent to candidates who apply by 23:59 on Sunday 17 September 2023.
Both National Sift exercises by must completed and submitted online by 23:59 on Wednesday 27 September 2023 for candidates applying by 23:59 on Sunday 17 September 2023.
Opens on Thursday 5 October 2023. The Online Assessment Centre will be available 24 hours a day and closes at midnight on Thursday 12 October 2023.
Commencing November 2023.
Commencing December 2023.
First intake start date
January 2024 and March 2024.
How you can prepare for your application
We've listed some tips below that will help you to submit your application as soon as possible when the recruitment opens.
Prior to your application, please make sure that you have checked the eligibility and criteria information and that you are able to attend one of the mandatory familiarisation events.
Please note that if you are unable to attend any of the mandatory familiarisation events you will not be able to apply for this role.
You can prepare for your application by having:
Your National Insurance Number.
All of your educational qualification certificates ready.
Your educational history information including the name and contact details of any secondary schools, colleges, universities or other institutions attended.
Your employment history information for the past 3 years ready. You will need the employers name and contact details.
5 years of residential details ready. For example, details of university accommodation if you have lived at another address whilst at university within the past 5 years.
2 photographs of any tattoos located on your hands, wrist, forearms, neck or face; 1 close up of the tattoo and 1 clearly showing the location on your body.
If you do not have a level 3 qualification you can prepare your competency based personal statement so you can submit along with the application form. Please view the Eligibility section and competency based statement for guidance on the requirements.
Apply to become a Police Officer
If you are looking for a career in which you will be dealing with different situations every day, working with the public to build confidence and trust, a role which can be demanding and unpredictable, but also highly rewarding, we would really like to hear from you.
Important information before you apply
You must be able to attend one of our mandatory familiarisation events if you choose to submit an application, as this will allow you to progress to the next stage of recruitment.
How to apply
If you wish to apply as a new candidate, please apply online.
Applications for candidates with a valid Online Assessment Centre score
We are welcoming applications from those who wish to transfer their Online Assessment Centre score to Gloucestershire Constabulary.
Please note this vacancy is only for candidates who have a valid Online Assessment Centre score from another force. If you do not have a valid Online Assessment Centre score, then we would welcome your application during our current Police Officer recruitment that is now open.