FAQs

PC Recruitment has now closed. Thank you for your interest. Please view other current opportunities on this site, including staff vacancies, the Police Now scheme, the intake of transferees from other forces and 2017 is expected to see PCSO recruitment as well as further opportunities to apply to become a PC.

ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION

I am a serving police officer in another force. Can I transfer across into West Midlands Police?
West Midlands Police are interested in hearing from serving officers who are currently based outside of the West Midlands. The application process is separate and you should contact our Shared Services department in the first instance. Call 101 and ask for Shared Services contact centre.

Would spending a significant period of time abroad within the past few years, that wasn’t with the UK armed forces, bar me from applying?
No, but we would require details in order to make an assessment. If it was part of an organised educational or work activity, then this is unlikely to be problematic, but each case would be judged individually.

I am a serving special constable / police community support officer. Can I transfer across to be a police officer?
No, you would have to go through the entire recruitment process like all other applicants in order to become a constable and must meet the stated minimum eligibility criteria.

What other essential requirements are there?
There are a number of additional national and force requirements for applicants. Please see the ‘application’ tab.

If I have ‘registered my interest’ via the West Midlands Police website, do I need to do anything else to complete my application?
Yes. If you have registered you will receive an automatic notification of when the application period will start. You will then need to apply in the normal way. Please see the ‘application’ tab for more details.

What are the minimal academic eligibility criteria for applicants?
You must have a Level 3 qualification (in any subject) gained in England and Wales within the meaning of 2008 Education & Skills Act. Please see the ‘application’ tab for more details. You will be required to produce original certificates within the process, so you must be sure you meet this criteria.

Does your force require applicants to have the CKP?
No, having the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing is not essential, though as it is a Level 3 qualification. It is one way of achieving the minimum educational attainment level required.

I have undergone and ‘passed’ a  SEARCH® assessment centre in an application for another police force recently. Can these results be used in an application to West Midlands Police?
You will still need to apply to our force and be successful in the first two selection exercises. Please also see the ‘application/previous and other applications’ page.

I was unsuccessful when I applied to another force recently. Can I still apply?
If you have previously attended a SEARCH® assessment centre, please see the ‘application/previous and other applications’ page.

If you did NOT attend a SEARCH® assessment centre as part of your application, there are no restrictions for applying to our force, however you should consider carefully whether you have been able to address the relative weaknesses that were identified in your previous application.

I have been unsuccessful in a recent West Midlands Police recruitment campaign. Can I still apply?
If you were unsuccessful at the SEARCH Assessment Centre, please see the “Application” tab / ‘more on eligibility’ section.

If you were unsuccessful at any other stage, there are no restrictions on making a further application. However, you should consider carefully whether you have been able to strengthen your application and candidature during the intervening period, as the selection standards and level of competition for places will be the same.

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

I am 50, so am I too old to apply?
The upper age limit is, typically, 57. This is three years less than the compulsory retirement age of 60 and allows for the two year probationary period and the expectation of a minimum of one year of service following probation.

Is there a height restriction?
There is no minimum or maximum height restriction.

recruitment-image3I am nearly 18, can I still apply?
To be eligible to apply, you must be aged 18 or over on the day you make your application.

Is it essential to hold a full driving licence?
It is desirable but not essential that applicants hold a full UK driving licence. However all successful candidates will be expected to pass the Driving Test and hold a full UK driving licence, before the end of their probationary period.

I am dyslexic – what reasonable adjustments will be made?
If you are dyslexic you will be required to provide us with a report (to be obtained at your own cost). This is so we can arrange the consideration for reasonable adjustments to be made. See ‘application’ tab for more details.

I have a tattoo on my arm, is this okay?
Please see ‘application’ tab for more information.

I have a student visa. Is this sufficient to apply?
International students cannot apply.

Will you apply for a working visa for me?
As a foreign national, you would need to already be resident in the UK and free of restrictions.

Can I claim expenses for attending the fitness test and medical?
We are not able to reimburse you for any expenses incurred as part of the recruitment process.

If successful, can I join a specialist unit?
Not at first. All newly recruited police officers must undergo a two year probationary period. However we would be very interested to hear of any specialist skills and interests you have. You should make these clear in your application.

How do I contact West Midlands Police about my application?
The entire process will be done on-line. You’ll find all the information about the recruitment process on our website and you will be contacted by e-mail with any updates.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

What is the starting salary?
The starting salary is £22,896.

Probationary period
Successful candidates will be subject to a two-year probationary period. Their ability to perform the duties of a police officer will be continually assessed during this period.

Where will I be posted?
The 18 weeks training course takes place at the force’s Learning and Development Centre in Edgbaston, Birmingham. Afterwards, probationers could be posted anywhere within the force area.

Can the force offer any accommodation to new recruits?
Generally the force is not able to offer accommodation and new recruits will have to find their own living accommodation. However in exceptional circumstances, we may be able to assist, based on a full understanding of the individual’s particular circumstances.

Will I be expected to work night shifts?
Police officers work on a rota system which includes both day and night shifts, including weekends and public/bank holidays.

When can I take holidays and time off work?
You will not be able to book any time off during the initial training course, except public and bank holidays. Some courses will have holidays programmed into their timetable and you may be required to take certain days off as holiday. You will be advised of this at the start of your appointment.

Can I work part time?
You will have to work full time during the initial training course however, you may apply for part time working once this is completed. It should be noted there is no guarantee of part time working being granted. Requests are considered based on operational need. Should you move to part time working during your probation, you probationary period will be extended on a pro rata basis.

How are different religions accommodated within the force?
Alterations can be made to the uniform to accommodate some religious requirements – for example it is possible to wear a hijab; or the helmet may be replaced with a Sikh turban. We also take into account the needs of individuals with regards to time off and bank/public holidays.

VETTING AND OTHER PRE EMPLOYMENT CHECKS

Can I work for the police if I have a criminal conviction or caution?
This will depend on the nature of the conviction or caution. You will need to provide full details to assist our vetting department in making a decision, via the application process.

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.

More details on criminal convictions and cautions

Do I have to declare if I was arrested but not charged?
Yes, you must declare if you have ever been subject of a criminal investigation whether or not this led to a prosecution. Failure to make such declarations will lead to your application being rejected.

Do I need to declare traffic offences in my application?
Yes, you must declare all offences including penalty notices. Your application will not be automatically rejected for minor offences; consideration will be given to repeat offending, behaviour, age, the actual offence committed and length of time since the offence.

More details on traffic offences

What if I have a relative who has convictions?
If your friends or family members are criminals, this must be disclosed. Your application will not be automatically rejected; consideration will be given as to how close the association is and the level of criminality involved etc.

Can I apply if I’ve been bankrupt?
Yes, you can apply but only if it is three years after the bankruptcy debts have been discharged.

Can I apply if I have a County Court Judgment?
Yes – if the judgement has been discharged, you can be considered. If you have an existing judgment, your application cannot be considered.

Can I apply if I have an Independent Voluntary Agreement?
Applicants with a current Independent Voluntary Agreement (IVA) will not be considered. However, if it has been discharged, you may be considered.

Can I continue with my other business interest?
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 whether it is considered that your business interests are compatible with performing the role of a police officer.

What is biometric vetting and what happens to the samples I give?
Biometric vetting checks will be undertaken on those candidates who have reached the stage of being considered suitable and are undergoing pre-employment checks. A fingerprint and DNA sample will be taken and checks made against the appropriate databases. The purpose of the searches is to determine whether:

  • The individual has come to police attention;
  • If so, whether that was under the identity being used for the application; and
  • If the individual is linked to any outstanding crime scene marks or stains

Only one set of fingerprints and DNA sample will be required. If subsequently appointed, these samples will be retained on the respective police database for elimination purposes. For those not appointed, their fingerprints, DNA sample and DNA profile and all copies and records will be destroyed.

What does the drugs test involve?
A hair/fingernail, saliva and urine sample will be used for alcohol, drug and or substance abuse. For those unable to provide a hair sample, finger-nail clippings are used.

HEALTH AND FITNESS

I am colour blind. Is it still worth applying?
Candidates with some colour blindness are eligible to become police officers, but would be restricted from fulfilling certain posts, such as traffic or firearms officer. If your colour blindness is monochrome, you would be unable to apply. Please see the ‘application’ tab for more information.

What are the minimum eyesight requirements?
Please see the ‘application’ tab for more details.

I had laser surgery to correct my vision, is this okay?
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.

I have diabetes – can I still apply?
Yes as long as your diabetes is under control. Your doctor will need to supply a medical report for clarification.

My BMI is currently 34, is this acceptable?
Your BMI must be at least 18 and no more than 30.

Can you tell me more about the fitness test?
To ensure you are fit enough to be a police officer you will undertake a fitness test and must meet the standard required.

Called a bleep test, you undertake continuous shuttle runs in time with an audible sound (bleep) played from a pre-recorded audio file. The time between the bleeps decreases every minute as the level goes up and the minimum level you will be required to attain is 5:4 (i.e. 4 shuttle runs at level 5).

Further information is available at:
http://www.college.police.uk/What-we-do/Standards/Fitness/Pages/MSFT-pratice-recruits.aspx

A video of the test is available under the application tab.

Can I re-take the fitness test?
It may be possible for you to retake the test depending on our assessment of the reasons why you failed, and the likely time required before it is considered realistic for you to take it again. It may be weeks or even months before you are asked to retake the test.

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