Am I eligible?
Here are the basic requirements for joining the special constabulary.
We're looking for much the same personal qualities in specials that we look for in the regular force - integrity, honesty, tact and communication skills.
We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, and ethnic groups. Our applicants are not limited to any particular age group – life experience is an important attribute for specials
Basic guidelines for applicants
Basic eligibility requirements are the same for the specials as for joining the regular police force; you must be over the age of 18 and there is no upper age limit, although you will need to be reasonably fit and in good health.
- there are no minimum or maximum height requirements
- there is no formal educational requirement, but you will have to pass written tests
- only applications from member states of the European Economic Area, or other nationals who have leave to enter or remain in the UK for an indefinite period, will be accepted
- convictions or cautions will probably make you ineligible, but this will depend on the nature and circumstances of the offence
- you must be judged physically and mentally able to undertake your duties
Read more about the detailed eligibility criteria (new window).
Do you qualify?
Some occupations are considered incompatible with becoming a special, for example, if you are a member of the armed forces. Contact your chosen force for a comprehensive list of all the affected careers.
Your local police force can provide you with more information about the specific attributes they're looking for, so please get in touch with them before applying.
There are a number of occupations which are restricted and deemed incompatible with the role of Special Constable
- Serving members of HM Armed Forces*
- Members of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force
- Royal Naval Auxiliary Service
- The National Hospital Service Reserve
- Members of the fire service, unless written permission is given by their Chief Officer.
- Traffic Wardens and School Crossing Patrols
- Members of employers’ police forces and private constabularies
- Clerks to justices and clerks to courts
- Probation officers
- Youth workers and social workers involved in the administration of criminal law
- Bailiffs, warrant officers, private detectives and inquiry agents
- Custody escort officers
- Security personnel, guards and doormen*
- Anyone working for a security company*
- Employees of security organisations*
- Neighbourhood and Street Wardens and other uniformed Patrol Wardens
- Police Community Support Officers
- Prison custody officers (Prison Officers are eligible, but only with written permission from their Prison Governor)
- A local authority parking warden
- Persons taking an active part in politics
- Highways Agency Traffic Officers (and traffic officers who are employed by other organisations, such as Vehicle and Operators Services Agency)
- Border and Immigration officers with powers of arrest
- Customs Officers
- Barristers, Solicitors and Judges
- Members of Police Authorities
- Transport Network Revenue Protection Inspectors
- Local Authority field officers e.g.: trading standards officers
- Civilian enforcement officers
- Vehicle removal officers
(* there are some exemptions that apply to these roles so you need to contact your local police forces recruitment department who will be able to advise you further.)