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Rosemary

Recruitment Guide: PLEASE READ before posting

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Rosemary

Hi All,

I’ve noticed there are a number of separate frequently asked questions threads in the recruitment section. Whilst many of the questions remain valid much of the information is quite out of date so I thought I’d create a new guide incorporating the most relevant information and adding to it where necessary. This is very much my opinion on the main questions people may have and so please let me know if anything is missing (I’m sure something is somewhere!), unclear or if there are any inaccuracies.

This covers very much general questions but queries such as how long the process takes and the order in which stages are completed vary from force to force and so would be better asked in the Force Specific sections of the Forum (http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/forum/13-force-specific/)

Where can I find out about restricted occupations?

There are certain jobs which may be ineligible with the role of a Special Constable. If this is the case you will be unable to be appointed. Information about this can be found here: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/117757-restricted-occupations-revised-january-2011-and-business-interests/

Am I too young/old to apply?

Some threads have asked whether 18 is too young to apply: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php/topic/143084-is-18-to-young/

I think most people would agree that age depends on the person and there are good (and sometimes less so) officers of a wide variety of ages. There is therefore no reason to not apply whilst young and indeed, many intakes seem to have numerous young officers. Just bear in mind that the competency questions will need to draw on experience which can (although not necessarily be) easier the older you are.

Conversely, other threads have focussed on whether it’s too late to apply: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php/topic/143014-feel-like-an-older-starter/ As in the previous paragraph, I think it’s fair to say that age isn’t an issue once you’re out there as long as you are competent at the job.

Whatever age you may be, if you don’t apply you’ll not get in. By giving it a go, even if you’re not successful the first time, the experience will be valuable for any future applications.

Can I apply if I have a previous conviction?

Not all offences will bar you from becoming a Special, but it's vital to disclose all previous convictions - including motoring offences - on your application.

Applications from people with convictions or cautions for very minor offences (e.g. speeding) may be considered. However, certain cautions and criminal convictions will almost certainly mean a rejection of any application to join the Specials, including anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or public order offence. If you have been convicted for drink-driving, or if you have been disqualified from driving as a result of any other conviction, most forces will not accept your application until at least 5 years after conviction date.

If you're unsure about anything where you've come to police attention, as stated in the Guide to Vetting, advice would be to disclose it anyway. You should certainly declare any incident where you were arrested, even if the end result was a release with No Further Action ("NFA"). The police conduct fairly extensive background checks and it will probably come to light in any event.

What is the position regarding tattoos?

This can vary from force to force with some seeming much stricter than others. Tattoos are not usually a bar unless they are offensive or they can’t be covered up. However, many forces will require a long sleeved shirt whilst on duty. Most seem to require photographs when you apply and so it is decided very much on a case by case basis. For more information see this thread: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/138634-tattoos/?hl=tattoos

What should I wear to the assessment centre?

What you wear is of course your decision and this questions crops up quite a lot on the Forum. The general consensus from the various threads is to dress smart (suit or similar) and that it’s better to be over-dressed than underdressed.

A recent example of this discussion can be seen here: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/138729-assessment-pit-tests-dress-code/

What competencies are relevant to the role of a Special?

A list of the ‘old’ competencies can be found on post no. 6 here: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/113417-specials-recruitment-faq-competencies/

However, these have recently been updated and a list of the ‘new’ competencies can be found on the College of Policing website (http://www.college.police.uk/en/docs/2013SEARCH_Info_for_Candidates_012v3.pdf)

If you are unsure which competencies are being examined then contact your Force as you don’t want to end up preparing the wrong information!

Are there any tips for the interview?

A recent thread on general interview tips can be found here: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/139789-how-do-you-cope-with-interviews/?hl=interview

[if you would like to read any tips for practicing role plays please see here: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/140546-role-plays-practice-makes-perfect/]

General advice on here often revolves around ensuring answers fit the STAR model (situation, task, action, response). Some links which help explain this in greater depth alongside tips for answering competency based questions can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situation,_Task,_Action,_Result and here: http://www.wikijob.co.uk/wiki/competency-based-questions

If I am unsuccessful, how long must I wait before trying again?

A failure during the Specials application process means you must wait six months before applying to another Special Constabulary (except BTP as their process is different) and previous applications must be declared. A recent thread on this topic confirmed this rule does include being unsuccessful at the papersift stage (http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/140311-unsuccessful-within-24hrs/)

If in any doubt about what does/ doesn’t count as a failed application then contact the specific Force for clarification.

Will I have to take a fitness test?

Most forces will require you to take a fitness test and the majority (although not all so please check with the specific force) have two elements: a bleep test and a dynamic strength test with a minimum standard to be achieved on both. Information about the test itself and even a PS.com suggested training programme can be found here: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/126820-the-job-related-fitness-test/ Users have also posted both requests for advice and tips about improving fitness on the thread.

What information is there about vetting?

The Forum guide to vetting can be found here: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/138010-your-guide-to-vetting/ This thread also contains links to other information that may be of interest.

Vetting is very much done on a case by case basis and it is therefore unlikely that any users on here will be able to give definitive answers to specific vetting queries based on individual circumstances. General advice such as the importance of declaring everything is listed on the thread. Do bear in mind that vetting can be a lengthy process, at times taking many weeks and often months.

What happens at medical? What are the BMI/ eyesight requirements?

Medical will vary from force to force but it will most likely include some or all of the following: BMI readings, eyesight test, general discussion of health alongside GP form, lung force test, lung capacity test, blood pressure and pulse readings, hearing test and drugs test (may be urine/hair). If you’re in any doubt, post a question in the Force Specific area and hopefully someone will have a more specific answer.

BMI: Home Office Guidelines are that BMI must be at least 18 and no more than 30.

Eyesight: Home Office Guidelines

Unaided vision (without spectacles/ lenses)

6/36 or better in either eye (2nd line down on optician’s chart). Vision with both eyes worse than 6/6 (7th line on chart) requires correction.

Aided vision (wearing lenses/ spectacles)

6/12 or better in either eye (5th line down on chart) and 6/6 or better with both is required. Near vision N6 at 40cm with both eyes (aided).

Colour vision

Severe colour vision deficiencies (monochromats) are not acceptable. Anomalous trichromats are acceptable as are severe anomolous trichromats or dichromats but you will need to be aware of the deficiency and make appropriate adjustments. Using colour correcting lenses is not acceptable.

Corrective eye treatment

Forces will reject applicants who have undergone Radial Keratotomy (RK), Arcuate Keratotomy or corneal grafts due to treatment side effects.

Forces will accept applications from people who have undergone Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), LASIK or LASEK surgery provided that six weeks have elapsed since surgery, there are no residual side effects and the other eyesight standards are met.

Other eye conditions

Forces will reject applicants with a history of a detached retina and glaucoma.

What will I be issued with in terms of uniform?

This depends on which Force you join- a list of issued uniform can be found here: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/115023-issued-uniform-list/

For information about boots, additional uniform etc. Kit Corner should be able to help!

Can Specials drive in my force?

This is the most recent thread on the driving opportunities available in each force: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/139056-driving-in-the-specials-the-definitive-thread/?hl=%2Bdriving+%2Bthe+%2Bspecials

What is the typical duty of an SC?

Some Forum users have written up certain shifts for us all to read here: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/16773-what-i-did-on-duty/

Please also see a link to the glossary here: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?/topic/3381-glossary/

As I said above, this is very much the initial version and I’d like to add to this over time. If anyone has any suggestions please either PM me or post them below!

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37240932704982

I think this topic should be up for a topic award!

Edited by TheKnight_RS
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cuffbertt

Fantastic guide :D :new_clap:

If you're aiming to add to the list, I've noticed that the question about waiting six months between applications crops up regularly, as does interview tips and criminal convictions :)

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Administrative Account

Duly Awarded! Well done Rosemary :)

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Rosemary

Fantastic guide :D :new_clap:

If you're aiming to add to the list, I've noticed that the question about waiting six months between applications crops up regularly, as does interview tips and criminal convictions :)

Thank you :). Indeed, they do so I'll get them written up and added in soon!

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ForTheBetter1985

Thank you for posting this guide! I have just signed up on here as I am wanting to apply to be a Special very soon so this will help me to know what to expect....

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Rosemary

I've just made a few updates by incorporating the suggestions above. :) If there is anything else anyone thinks should be included then please let me know.

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Rosemary

Just added some more links to the interview tips section :)

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Policeman123

How long will I wait for a reply concerning my application pack? Sent it off last week next course is in August

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TallyHo

I am currently coming up on the Autumn 2014 intake for West Midlands Police regulars. I have been thinking to apply for the Specials for some time but have left it due to my commitments to the Army Reserves. If I were to apply for the Specials now, would that affect my application for the regulars? Also, does the 6 month (failure) period apply for both Regulars and Specials as one? By which I mean, can I apply for one, the other or both?

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BrianAscroft

Hi, I am thinking of applying to join the specials, however I'm unsure as to if ill actually be able to join, I have always wanted to join the police, however earlier this year I got into music and I do gigs at the weekend, usually Friday and Saturday nights. Would I still be able to join, as I spoke to a special officer once and he told me that this could be a problem, however I've not seen anything to say it would.

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Rosemary

Hi All,

 

Those of us who came over from the old site will (hopefully!) recall that I made a Recruitment Guide for Specials recruitment which was a pinned thread. As most of my answers made links to threads on that site I'm going to need to do quite a bit of rewriting which I've now started.

 

However, I thought I'd post the questions here and then if anyone can think of any other topics that come up a lot in recruitment I can write answers to those as well. I'm sure there are must be more so feel free to post anything which could be dealt with here to save separate threads!

 

Thanks all!

 

Where can I find out about restricted occupations?

 

Can I apply if I have a previous conviction?

 

What is the position regarding tattoos?

 

What should I wear to the assessment centre?

 

What competencies are relevant to the role of a Special?

 

Are there any tips for the interview?

 

If I am unsuccessful, how long must I wait before trying again?

 

Will I have to take a fitness test?

 

What information is there about vetting?

 

What happens at medical? What are the BMI/ eyesight requirements?

 

What will I be issued with in terms of uniform?

 

Can Specials drive in my force?

 

What is the typical duty of an SC?

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