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We strongly advise that you look at all the eligibility criteria early in your consideration for applying to be a West Midlands Police constable. You must meet all the criteria and, if you can’t, then your application will be automatically rejected.

Academic Qualifications

To apply to West Midlands Police, you must have a Level 3 qualification gained in England and Wales within the meaning of 2008 Education & Skills Act (e.g. ‘A’ Level/ AS Levels, National Diploma, National Certificate, Level 3 NVQ or City and Guilds, Access to Higher Education Diploma); or a qualification gained outside of England or Wales that is considered to be equivalent to Level 3 by the UK.

Check with your examining body if you are unsure of the level of any qualification you hold and please be aware that we will need to see certificates later in the process.

In addition you must also meet the nationally determined eligibility criteria regarding

  • age requirements
  • criminal record
  • nationality and residency requirements
  • financial status
  • organisation membership
  • tattoos and jewellery
  • previous applications
  • business interests
  • health, eyesight and fitness
More on eligibility

Age Requirements

You must be aged 18 or over on the day you make your application.


Ideally you or your family members should not have a criminal conviction or cautions record. Criminal offences will mean a definite or likely rejection of your application. See FAQs tab for more details.


You must be a UK, EU or Commonwealth Citizen, or a foreign national whose stay in the UK is free of restrictions.


You must have resided continuously in the UK for the three year period immediately prior to your application to join as a new police constable (with any absence from the UK being no more than one year during this time). If you have resided abroad due to serving in the British armed forces or on UK Government Service, you are considered to have been resident in the UK.


Police officers with financial problems are potentially vulnerable to corruption, therefore it is preferable for applicants to be free from discharged debt and liability and be able to manage existing loans.

Applicants with existing County Court Judgements who are subject of a current Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or have been registered bankrupt/subject of sequestration and their bankruptcy/subject of sequestration has not been discharged, will be rejected.

Applicants who have been registered bankrupt and their bankruptcy has been discharged will be rejected until three years after the discharge of the debt.

Debt Relief Orders will be treated in the same way as bankruptcy.

Applicants who have defaults or are in a debt management programme will be required to provide proof of how this is being managed and any relevant documentation e.g. agreement plan, evidence that payments are up to date and made on a regular basis.

Membership of BNP or similar organisations

We will not accept applications from anyone who is, or has been, a member of the BNP or similar organisations.


No member of the public should feel uncomfortable, intimidated or threatened by the dress or personal appearance of any police officer or member of police staff. Officers and staff are expected to ensure they look smart and professional at all times. Tattoos are not permitted that display or contain words, signs or symbols that may be considered offensive. Additionally, visible tattoos should not be extensive or excessive. In some cases a tattoo may be permissible providing that it would be covered at all times.


People in regular contact with the public should understand that wearing jewellery while on duty can, in certain circumstances, be potentially dangerous to themselves. No items of jewellery can be worn through the nose, eyebrows, lips, ears, tongue or any other visible part of the body. Body piercing jewellery may be caught and detached or struck and impaled into the wearer’s body causing injuries and associated dangers. Where religious or cultural requirements necessitate the wearing of a specific item such as a Kirpan or a piece of jewellery, this may be permitted where there is no significant risk to health and safety. Any item worn should be as unobtrusive as possible.

Previous and other applications

You should not apply if you have undergone a SEARCH assessment centre with West Midlands Police or any other police force and not met the national pass mark of 50 per cent, within a six month period prior to your application.

You should not re-apply if you have previously failed the WMP Vetting process.

Business interests

You must declare any other employment for hire or gain or any other business interests that you intend to maintain, when you apply to become a police constable.

A decision on whether you meet the eligibility criteria will be made on the basis of the full information provided during the recruitment and selection process and an assessment of any potential conflict of interests.

Eyesight requirements

The standard you need to meet either with or without spectacles or contact lenses is:

Distance vision: 6/12 or better with either your right or left eye.

6/6 with both eyes together.

If you wear spectacles or contact lenses you also need to reach 6/36 without your spectacles or lenses.

Near vision:          6/9 with both eyes together (aided).

Colour vision:       The use of colour correcting lenses is not acceptable.

Severe colour vision deficiencies (monochromacy) are not acceptable. Mild anomalous trichromacy is acceptable. Severe anomalous dichromacy or trichromacy is also acceptable but you will need to be aware of the deficiency and make appropriate adjustments.

Eye surgery:         Radial keratotomy, arcuate keratotomy or corneal grafts are not acceptable.

Other forms of refractive surgery such as LASIK, LASEK, PRK, ICRS and epiflap are all acceptable provided that six weeks have elapsed since surgery, there are no residual side effects and the other eyesight standards are met. You may be asked to provide a report from an optician.

Health and fitness

Applicants must be in good health, of sound constitution and able to both physically and mentally perform the duties of a police constable once appointed. All medical criteria will be checked – including eyesight, hearing and Body Mass Index (BMI must be at least 18 and no more than 30). This part of the process will be managed by the force’s occupational health team.

The fitness test, also known as the bleep test, is a continuous series of shuttle runs between the two lines, 15 metres apart. The time allowed to run the distance is indicated by an audible “bleep”, and the interval reduces over time, so that the runs have to become progressively faster. There is a standard national achievement level required of a minimum of four shuttles at level 5 to pass.



Ideally we’re also looking for individuals who have some of the following:-

Language Skills, especially, Bengali, Gujarati, Pakistani Pahari with Mirpuri, Panjabi, Polish and sign language.

Investigative and intelligence skills, including research skills, finance and auditing skills, data mining and analysis skills.

Practical technological skills, including IT hardware, digital forensics and hacking/malware protection; mobile telecommunications; electrical components and electronics; video and audio file creation and editing.

An understanding of community and societal issues, including community engagement, vulnerable people, faith and cultural knowledge/understanding; drug or mental health.


The application process is now closed. The next phase is expected to be announced late 2017.

The process will be as follows:

Online application

The entire application stage will be on-line. The initial registration stage requires some basic personal details and allows you to create an account. You can then complete your application either in one sitting or over a number of visits.

Other sections include eligibility, which checks your eligibility in line with the force’s and national recruitment eligibility standards. You will be advised at the end of your application whether you have met all the eligibility criteria and then be able to progress your application. The eligibility criteria are set out above.

You will also be asked to complete the on-line application form, including giving evidence of your relevant competencies and details of any specialist skills that you consider you have.

[Click for details of the National Competency Framework.]

Please note that over the entire recruitment process you will be required to provide proof of all personal details, qualifications, skills and competencies that you state in your application.

Those that make an application will be asked to complete the on-line Situational Judgement Test. Candidates will be presented with a number of different situations that they may face as a police officer, with a choice of different actions that might be taken. They will be asked to identify which action would be the most effective in each situation.

At the end of the application period, all applications will be assessed. Those who have been unsuccessful will be advised by e-mail, while successful candidates will be invited to arrange a telephone interview.

Telephone interview

Invited candidates will undergo a telephone interview, typically lasting 20-30 minutes. The interview will test some of the competencies that West Midlands Police have identified to become successful constables.

After all telephone interviews have been completed, results will be assessed and candidates will then be advised if their application will continue.

Assessment Centre

Candidates successful at the telephone interview stage will be invited to arrange their attendance at the SEARCH® assessment centre. These are nationally prescribed centres, run locally to national standards set by the College of Policing. Details of the assessment centres are available at:

Results from the SEARCH® assessment centre are provided by the College of Policing, and once received by West Midlands Police, candidates will be updated.

Please note that although the College of Policing sets the national minimum pass mark, which is currently 50 per cent, individual forces are able to set their own standards, above this minimum.

Health and fitness assessment

Candidates successful after the SEARCH® assessment centre will be invited to arrange their attendance at a health and fitness appointment.

We need to ensure that you are in good mental and physical health to carry out the duties of a police officer. Working long hours on shifts, you may encounter stress, trauma and physical confrontation. You need to be resilient enough to cope with the demands and pressures of police work.

The assessment will include the following:

  • Drug and alcohol test
  • Audiometry (hearing test)
  • Eyesight test
  • Height and weight measurement
  • Blood pressure reading
  • If you have indicated on the medical questionnaire any respiratory condition, then a Spirometry test (lung function) will be conducted
  • Fitness Test – 5:4 on the bleep test

Force interview

Those who pass the health and fitness assessment will be invited to a final interview. The interviews will be conducted by a panel, chaired by a senior officer and consisting of other officers, police support staff and/or community partnership representatives. The interview will further test the evidence and other information you detailed in your application.

Pre-employment checks

Following the interview, those that are considered suitable will then be subject to pre-employment checks. Police officers have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption. Some family members will also be subject to checks.

Checks will cover:-

  • Background and references
  • Criminal and security
  • Financial vetting
  • Biometric vetting; DNA and fingerprints will be taken and a search made on the respective databases to ascertain whether they have come to adverse police attention or are linked to any outstanding crime scenes. If subsequently appointed, DNA and fingerprints will also be retained on a police database for elimination purposes.

The vetting process is entirely confidential and the outcomes are not shared with anyone else in the organisation (including trainers, future line managers or fellow trainees) or outside the organisation (including family).

PLEASE NOTE: applicants must declare all convictions and cautions. Failure to declare certain details will seriously undermine an individual’s integrity and credibility and is likely to bar them from appointment, regardless of the nature / seriousness of the details.


Upon the successful and satisfactory completion of all the application and selection stages, offers will be made to candidates to start with West Midlands Police as a probationary officer. Offers will be made with due regard to the notice period candidates have stated in their original application.

We will also hold a pre-enrolment evening about a month before the start date, which successful candidates will need to attend.


Successful candidates will undertake an initial 18 week period of intensive basic training which will include practical and operational policing skills, to ensure they are mentally and physically equipped to perform the important role of a police constable.

This will be a significant amount of work through on-line study coupled with classroom learning where the finer points of law, powers, procedures and decision making will be tested.

During this period you will not be able to have any time off for holidays.

After probationers have learned the theory of what it takes to be a police officer, they will come face to face with people in simulated policing situations to test how they cope.

After passing basic training, recruits will join operational police officers to deal with real life issues 24 hours a day. Applicants will be continually assessed to check they are meeting the high standards that communities expect from police officers. None of this will come easy, you will work hard, you will be tested emotionally, intellectually and physically, and only if you make the grade will you pass your probation and become a substantive police constable.


If you cannot use a computer as a result of a disability or condition or would like advice regarding accessibility and reasonable adjustments please contact Fiona Washington (Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Manager) on the following numbers 101 ext 803 6200 or mobile 07554 117 185 between the hours of 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday.


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