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Dyfed-Powys Police Special Constabulary


  • Application Process
  • Training
  • Rank Structure
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Other

1. Application Process

To become a Special Constable within Dyfed-Powys Police, an applicant can find the application forms and other information on the Dyfed-Powys Police website. The forms etc are also listed here:

Once these forms have been read, completed and submitted, they are marked by the Special Constabulary Co-Ordinator, and the post holder will then contact the applicant via letter, to inform them whether they have passed the paper sift or now.

If you have been successful in passing the paper sift, you will in due course receive a date for an Assessment Centre.

The Assessment Centre (AC), consists of:

  • Police Initial Recruitment Test (PIRT) which is split into 4 sections.
  • Verbal Usage
  • Information Checking
  • Numeric Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Panel Interview - The interviewers are a mixture of serving and senior Special Constables, Trainers, and HR, and the questions are based upon the Police Professional Framework. More information can be found here on the Skills For Justice website.
After successful completion of the Assessment Centre, applicants are invited for a Fitness Test and Medical Examination; fitness information has been posted above.

Vetting and security checks are carried out throughout the process, and an in-depth form is provided to gather details in regards to family members, previous addresses etc.

2. Training

Training has changed over the years; it has previously been 6 weekends, then 8 weekends. Recently in a restructuring of the Special Constabulary; the training was extended over 14 training weekends over 6 months and covers your basic law input, common offences, Pocket Notebook Rules, First Aid, Officer Safety Training and using AIRWAVE radios as well as a diversity input.

3. Rank Structure

Dyfed-Powys Police service, through late 2010 and early 2011 re-structured its Special Constabulary; The Special Constabulary is the part-time volunteer section. Its officers are known as Special Constables (all hold the office of Constable no matter what their rank) or informally as Specials. It has become known to many organisations as well as the police that volunteers are best managed by volunteers, so this new command and rank structure has been designed with that in mind, to boost the effectiveness of the Special Constabulary.

With this re-structuring, there have been many new appointments, these include the following:

  • Special Constabulary Lead - Superintendent
  • Special Constabulary Co-Ordinator
and then we go on to the Specials themselves:
  • Special Constabulary, Chief Officer
  • Special Constabulary, Inspectors; x4 Inspectors, one per Basic Command Unit (BCU)
  • Special Constabulary, Sergeants; formerly Section Officers

With this restructuring, Dyfed-Powys Police is the first Police service in Wales to adopt the former National Policing Improvement Agencies (NPIA) National Standard for the Special Constabulary.

4. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Am I eligible to join the Special Constabulary?
  • What powers will I have?
  • What duties can I perform?
  • How much time am I expected to commit?
  • Do I get paid?
  • How long does the application process take?
  • How fit should I be?
  • Are there any occupations a Special Constable cannot hold?
  • What if I got into trouble in my past?
  • How much time is a Special Constable expected to commit?
  • Is this a stepping stone to the Regular Police?
  • Do I need to inform my employer?
  • Do you take my Fingerprints?
  • If I want to apply, what should I do next?
  • What if I want to help, but not as a Special Constable?
Am I eligible to join the Special Constabulary?

In order to become a Special Constable you must:

  • Be a British or Commonwealth citizen
  • Be aged between 18½ and 55
  • Enjoy good health and have good vision. The wearing of spectacles or contact lenses is permitted.
  • Be of good character
What powers will I have?

Special Constables have all the legal powers of their regular counterparts when on and off duty and, as of 1 April 2007, can use their powers throughout England and Wales. Prior to this date, Special Constables' powers were restricted to within their force areas and neighbouring forces only.

What duties can I perform?

The duties Specials are asked to perform are many and varied. Examples are:

  • Foot patrol with a Community Beat Officer.
  • Crowd and traffic control at local events.
  • General response patrols with Regular Officers.
  • In fact Special Constables participate in most areas of policing
How much time am I expected to commit?

As a Special Constable in Dyfed Powys, you are asked to commit a minimum of sixteen hours per month and attend a monthly training session.

Do I get paid?

Special Constables do not get paid. However, out of pocket expenses are paid. Uniform and equipment

are provided free, except for footwear for which a small 'Boot Allowance' is paid annually.

How long does the application process take?

We aim to process applications as quickly and efficiently as possible and will keep applicants informed

at all stages of the process.

What qualifications should I have?

You do not require qualifications to become a Special Constable or a Police Officer. However you will be

asked to sit a Police Initial Recruitment Test (PIRT) as part of the recruitment process for the Special Constabulary.

Further information will be provided about the test when you request an application form.

The main areas tested in the PIRT are:

  • The ability to spell words and construct sentences correctly.
  • The ability to check information quickly and correctly.
  • The ability to solve numerical problems accurately.
  • The ability to reason logically when given facts about events.
How fit should I be?

You should be reasonably fit, as a fitness test forms part of the recruitment process. Further information

will be provided in recruitment pack.

Are there any occupations a Special Constable cannot hold?

As Special Constables possess the powers and privileges of a regular Constable, it is necessary to minimise

the risk that they may be pressed to abuse their powers whilst off duty. The Home Office has identified a number

of occupations where there may be a conflict of interest with the role of Special Constables. In view of this,

applicants who are employed in these capacities would not be eligible for appointment to the Special Constabulary.

A full list is available upon request by telephoning our recruitment team on 01267 226294.

A list of Restricted Occupations list Revised by the NPIA in 2011

What if I got into trouble in my past?

A conviction or caution is not an automatic eliminator. Disclose all details, including mitigations and each case will

be considered on merit.

Is this a stepping stone to the Regular Police?

The majority stay in the Special Constabulary to give many years of valuable service to the community. Some

Special Constables find that they enjoy policing and go on to become regular, full-time Police Officers. The training

and experience from being a Special Constable will stand you in good stead both in preparing your application and at

the interview.

Do I need to inform my employer?

All Special Constables are advised to inform their employers of their appointment and the hours they are likely to

perform each week so as to satisfy certain requirements under the Working Time Regulations (WTR).

You may occasionally have to attend court as a witness during your working hours. If this occurs you would receive

prior notice and would be able to claim for any loss of earnings, which resulted.

Do you take my Fingerprints?

All appointees to the Special Constabulary are required to have their fingerprints taken. These will be retained on file

for elimination purposes only and will be destroyed when a Special Constable leaves the Force. If a Special Constable

is successful in an application to join the regular force, this information may be transferred.

If I want to apply, what should I do next?

An application form can be obtained by ringing the Recruitment & Selection 24hr answerphone on 01267 226165,

quoting the following reference number 323/WEB or alternatively you can e-mail Specials Recruitment stating your

full name, address and date of birth.

What if I want to help, but not as a Special Constable?

Dyfed Powys Police are also looking for Civilian Volunteers. We give individuals the opportunity to use their skills,

experience and local knowledge to make a positive contribution in their community by supporting our work.

5. Other

Dyfed-Powys Police SC related videos:

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Dyfed-Powys Special Constabulary Videos





Edited by cfnbryn

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The current intake's training has reverted to the 6 weekend model. Alternate weekends: Friday 1400-2000 & Saturday 0800-1600.  Three weekends of classroom and three Officer Safety.  The trainers have said that it is not cast in stone that the next intake will follow this model or change again.

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From the meeting I attended yesterday it would seem that there will be three ways of being trained in future - the first being the style of the current intake which is a pilot, then we have other possible options such as 2 weeks Mon-Fri 9-5 and another option which I cannot recall off the top of my head.

We are looking at streamlining training both the initial input and continual development, which is a must as the current intake is so short in comparison to those in recent years.

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It will be interesting to see in, say 2 years time, how the different approaches to training pan out.  It may make it more difficult for tutoring staff as newbies will arrive with different levels of knowledge and varying training needs.

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All applicants in future will receive the same level of training and in a similar format (class room based) but some may have it as evening classes, weekend courses or a 10 day course. Same content just a different time scale.

The continuous development includes an Independent Patrol Status booklet which takes a minimum of 12 months to complete after the initial training and monthly training sessions that all members of the special constabulary must attend. A lot of learning is done out on the street putting everything into practice.


I can say from experience that a longer course (for example the 6 months of SC training) doesn't necessarily produce the best recruits as so much of what is learnt at the beginning of the course is forgotten by the end even when they use various consolidation exercises. Continual learning and development seems to be the key to success. 


The individual needs of each special constable are continually assessed by their special supervisors and through the IPS booklet, as each officer develops at different rates. We will always be looking at ways to improve and unfortunately in this line of work it can be trial and error but we do have the College of Policing advising the force leads and learning and development services staff on the training processes and we continue to follow the College of Policing's IL4SC (Initial Learning for the Special Constabulary) programme.

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