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Police officer recruitment

The people of the West Midlands deserve an excellent service so we are looking for the best people to join us and demonstrate our values. But there’s some formal stuff you’ll need to have too, to make sure you meet nationally set eligibility criteria.

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Academic Qualifications

IPLDP+  & IPLDP+ DC (Initial Police Learning and Development Programme)

IPLDP+, allows new recruits to train on the job for two years but does not include university study as part of the programme, unlike the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PDCA) and Degree Holder Entry Route (DHEP). Both of these schemes continue to be offered alongside IPLDP+. To be eligible for this route:

  • Applicants must have a Level 2 English qualification
  • Applicants must have a Level 3 qualification (an A level (or equivalent) in two subjects).
  • Alternatively, 12 months relevant policing experience will be accepted in place of the Level 3 qualification. This includes Special Constables with IPS, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), PSIs and PSIOs.
  • Candidates must be able/ready to run the bleep test to a level of 5.4
  • Candidates from outside of the United Kingdom, must have indefinite leave to remain and no restrictions on their right to work or remain in the UK
  • Candidates are required to be UK Residents for the last three years
Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)
If you join us on the PCDA you’ll study for a funded (we pay the tuition fees) BSc degree in Professional Policing Practice and your probation period will be three years.
To be eligible for this route you will have achieved (see below on this page for support if you don’t meet the qualifications criteria):
  • Level 2 qualifications in both English and Maths for example a GCSE or iGCSE at grade C (4) or above, Functional Skills Level 2, Key Skills Level 2 (Communication and / or Literacy) and now Level 2 Adult Numeracy and Literacy. We’ve added some further information below confirming the qualifications that are accepted to ensure compliance with Apprenticeships Certificates England.
  • Level 3 qualifications in any subject(s) that equate to 64 UCAS points (or a full level 4 or 5 qualification) – these points could be from your A Levels, Level 3 Diplomas and International Baccalaureate to name a few. Level 3 (Advanced) Apprenticeships will also satisfy the Level 3 requirement. Please view the table at the bottom of the page to check the UCAS points for some of the most frequently studied qualifications.
  • Predicted grades: We are also happy to accept applications from those who meet all other eligibility criteria, including achievement of their Level 2 qualifications, and are due to complete their Level 3 qualifications this year. To apply with your predicted grades you must be predicted to achieve a minimum of 96 UCAS points; please attach a letter from your school or college confirming this to your application. If you do not achieve the required 64 UCAS points your application will be declined.
  • If you have already been to university and have achieved a degree in a non-policing related subject you may be eligible, and choose, to join us on the PCDA, rather than waiting for a place on our degree-holder entry programme (DHEP).

Please be aware that you cannot ‘double count’ qualifications in the same subject. If you have studied both an AS Level and A Level in a subject only the A Level will provide you with UCAS points. This also applies to other Level 3 qualifications in the same subject with only the highest qualification providing points.

Degree Holder Entry Route (DHEP – including DC DHEP)

If you enter via this route you will study for a funded graduate diploma in professional policing practice and your probation period will be two years. To be eligible for this route you will have:

  • Achieved a Bachelor’s Degree or higher in any subject

You will need to attach copies of all relevant certificates to your application; we are unable to progress your application without these. Please ensure you meet the minimum eligibility criteria before commencing your application

If you’re not sure what your points are or if your qualifications are suitable, visit the table below or visit the UCAS points checker here –


International Qualifications

We welcome those to apply who have achieved comparable qualifications from outside the UK. Please ensure you attach your original certificates to your application and any translated documents you may have.

To be eligible to apply for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship please be aware that English must be studied as a first language and if successful in gaining the role of police officer you will be required to obtain a ‘statement of comparability’ from NARIC to confirm your Level 2 qualifications.

We anticipate we’ll be recruiting through to 2023 as part of our current recruitment drive and so we hope this will allow you enough time to gain the qualifications you need.

Please do not apply until you have achieved the required qualifications as this will result in your application being declined.

If you’ve checked your qualifications and you still aren’t sure please get in touch with us via email at and add ‘PC Application – Qualifications Query’ to the subject line. Please attach a clear copy of your certificates that state the awarding body, qualification title, year completed and grade achieved; if you weren’t awarded a grade please also include a copy of your transcript showing achievements of individual modules.


How old you are doesn’t determine whether you’ll be a great officer, so we are happy to receive applications from people over the age of 17. Please note – you cannot start as a Police Officer until you are 18 years of age.

Nationality and Residency

If you want to join us, you will need to have lived in the UK continuously for the past three years and have no restrictions on your stay in the UK. If you have been abroad during the last three years while serving in the UK Armed Forces or working for the UK government your application will still be considered.

You can be of any nationality to apply, providing you have the status of indefinite leave to remain and work in the UK. If you are a UK citizen or citizen of a member state of the EEA, you will have this status. If you are a citizen of a non-EEA state, you must be able to provide evidence of your passport and residency documentation.

Cautions, convictions, financial position and vetting

Ideally, you shouldn’t have a criminal conviction or cautions record. If you do have one, acceptance will depend on the age and nature of the offence. We are unable to state whether your convictions record will affect your application before you apply. This will be determined from the full and confidential information provided during the recruitment and selection process.

If you don’t tell us about any cautions, investigations or criminal convictions that may be linked to you at an early stage, your application could be refused simply because you weren’t being open and honest. It might have been accepted if you were; so if in doubt, please do tell us. To assist we have produced a short guide about cautions, convictions and vetting which you will be sent with your forms if you are successful in the initial stages.

Due to the nature of policing, it’s essential that we conduct rigorous vetting checks on successful applicants before they can join the programme. These checks will include personal details taken from you as well as from close family members and significant others.

It’s also important that you are not under pressure from un-discharged debts or liabilities and that you can manage loans and debts sensibly.

Further details can be found in the FAQs.

Health, fitness & eyesight

Being a police officer can often be tough and demanding and therefore it is important all new recruits are fit and healthy. All medical criteria will be checked – including eyesight, hearing and Body Mass Index (BMI must be at least 18 and no more than 30 – to calculate yours, visit:

This part of the process will be managed by the force’s occupational health team. You need to be able to manage day-to-day life without a problem and it is expected you won’t be regularly having sick days off work. However, if you need regular medication to stay healthy, you may still be accepted, as long as you can provide evidence of being able to manage this yourself. Every candidate receives a detailed individual assessment and we can accept candidates with many common health conditions, as long as they are under control. However, if you can’t carry out the role safely without putting your own health at risk, or you can’t meet some of the core requirements, you will not be found fit for the job.

No one is rejected because of a medical label. The Equality Act 2010 covers all police forces we recruit for and if you have a disability, adjustments will be made if it is reasonable to do so. If you have a health problem, or you’ve recently had a lot of time off, try to bring a copy of your medical records or a note from your doctor with you to your medical assessment.

The fitness test, also known as the bleep test, is a continuous series of shuttle runs between the two lines, 15 metres apart. You will need to complete this as part of the selection process. 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.


Eyesight Standards

Having a good standard of vision is important as a police officer. The standard you need to meet either with or without glasses or contact lenses is listed below.

You may have seen a chart like the diagram below at your optician’s. The actual chart is much larger and is read from a distance of six metres. Each line equates to a standard.


Distance vision

6/12 or better with either your right or left eye

6/6 with both eyes together

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

Near vision

6/9 with both eyes together (aided).

If you are unsure what this means for you, visit your optician and check your current prescription.

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.

Tattoos & Piercings

We know some people like to express themselves with body art, however anyone who has a tattoo and / or piercing which could be reasonably interpreted as offensive to any religion or belief, or is in any way discriminatory, violent or intimidating, will not be accepted. In line with the College of Policing’s national guidance we will carefully consider the size, nature and prominence of visible tattoos and piercings to determine if they are acceptable.

If you have a tattoo on your arms, face, neck or hands you will be required to submit photos with your application.

We will assess all photos in the following locations to ascertain if they are acceptable:

  • on your hands
  • on the back or side of your neck
  • below your collar line
  • on your ears
  • behind your ears
  • your arms

Tattoos are unacceptable if they:

  • are on the front of your neck above the collar line
  • on your face
  • undermine the dignity and authority of a police constable;
  • are not compatible with the values of West Midlands Police;
  • could cause offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or invite provocation, careful consideration will be given to images of skulls;
  • are on the neck, hands, wrist and are garish or numerous or particularly prominent;
  • indicate unacceptable attitudes towards any gender, minority groups or any other section of the community;
  • indicate alignment with a particular group that could cause offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or are considered to be discriminatory, rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, violent or intimidating including all weapons for example guns, knives and swords

Substance misuse

If you are currently using any illegal drugs this will automatically rule you out of the recruitment process. On application you must agree to have a drugs test, as well as having a DNA sample and fingerprints taken for the purpose of conducting a speculative search against the national database.

Membership to political and radical organisations

The Police Service strictly prohibits any of their officers or staff from becoming members of organisations whose aims and objectives may contradict the duty to promote race equality, e.g. the BNP, National Front or Combat 18. If you are, or have been, a member of such an organisation you are not eligible to apply.

Police officers are not permitted to take an active part in politics.

Other applications

You’re only able to apply for the role of police officer to one police force/service at a time.

You can apply for alternative roles at West Midlands Police and other forces, for example Police Community Support Officer or staff opportunities.

Vision and Values

We welcome applications from those who are committed to achieving our vision and believe in, and demonstrate, our values; you can find out more about these here

Throughout the assessment process we will assess your alignment to our values.

Business Interests

You must declare any other employment or business interest you intend to maintain so that this can be reviewed to ensure no conflict of interest with the police.

This includes if you, or one of your close relatives, holds a licence or permit relating to alcohol licensing, refreshment houses or betting and gaming or regulated places of entertainment in the force area.

Accepted Level 2 Qualifications 

In order to study for the Degree Apprenticeship in Professional Policing Practice you will need to have achieved, and be able to evidence, a Level 2 qualification in English and Maths. Please note this is an apprenticeship requirement not just that of West Midlands Police or Staffordshire University. The Apprenticeship Certificates England (ACE) is the governing body for apprenticeship completion certificates and has a clear set of acceptable equivalents for GCSE qualifications. The evidence of these qualifications needs to be in the form of the original examining body or certified statement of results from the examining body if the certificate is not available. School or college produced statement, and provisional results, are not acceptable.

Please see below for accepted qualifications:

Accepted Level 2 Qualifications
Qualification Level / Grade Acceptable Unacceptable
Functional Skills – English Minimum Level 2 X
GCSE English including

– English literature

– English language

– English studies

– English communication

– Short courses

– International GCSEs (iGCSEs)

Minimum Grade 4 or C (dependant on year achieved) X
Key Skills Communication (Literacy) Level 2 X
Adult Literacy Certificates Level 2 X
A/AS Level English, English Language, English Literature, English Language and Literature Minimum Grade E X
O Level English, English Language, English Literature, or English Language and Literature Minimum Grade C X
Scottish Intermediate 2 in English


Minimum Grade C X
Scottish National 5 in English Minimum Grade D X
Scottish Standard Grade Credit in English Minimum Grade 3 X
GCSE English as a Second Language X
Access to Higher Education Diplomas X
Further Education (FE) Access Programmes in Literacy X
Baccalaureate Certificates X
Any other English qualifications not specifically listed in SASE X
Essential Skills Wales or Northern Ireland in Essential Communication Skills X
Any qualifications described as ‘equivalent’ to GCSEs, A or AS Levels but not listed in SASE X
Functional Skills – Maths Minimum Level 2 X
GCSE Maths including

– Linear Maths, Modular Maths, Application of Maths, Methods in Mathematics, Additional Maths, Use of Maths

– Short courses

– International GCSEs (iGCSEs)

Minimum Grade 4 or C (dependant on year achieved) X
Key Skills Application of Number Level 2 X
Adult Numeracy Level 2 X
A/AS Level Maths, Pure Maths, Further Maths, Use of Maths Minimum Grade E X
O Level Maths Minimum Grade C X
Scottish Intermediate 2 in Maths


Minimum Grade C X
Scottish National 5 in Maths Minimum Grade D ü
Scottish Standard Grade Credit in Maths Minimum Grade 3 X
Access to Higher Education Diplomas X
Further Education (FE) Access Programmes in Literacy X
Baccalaureate Certificates X
Any other English qualifications not specifically listed in SASE X
Any qualifications described as ‘equivalent’ to GCSEs, A or AS Levels but not listed in SASE X


UCAS points guidance

Use the following to calculate how your AS and A Level grades are converted into UCAS points:

UCAS A and AS level points guidance
AS Level A Level UCAS Points
 A* 56
A 48
B 40
C 32
D 24
A 20
B E 16
C 12
D 10
E 6

Please note that we only count the Tariff points of an AS qualification if you have not completed an A level in the same subject.

We have provided information below on some of the most popular Level 3 qualifications, please visit for all other qualifications including Access to Higher Education Diplomas.

BTEC Level 3 National Diploma points guidance
BTEC Level 3 National Diploma UCAS Points
D*D* 112
D*D 104
DD 96
DM 80
MM 64
MP 48
PP 32


BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma points guidance
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) UCAS Points
D*D*D* 168
D*D*D 160
D*DD 152
DDD 144
DMM 112
MMM 96
MMP 80
MPP 64
PPP 48


BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary UCAS points guidance
BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary (QCF) UCAS Points
D* 56
D 48
M 32
P 16


Extended Project UCAS points guidance
Extended Project UCAS Points
A* 28
A 24
B 20
C 16
D 12
E 8


Scottish Higher UCAS points guidance
Scottish Higher UCAS Points
A 33
B 27
C 21
D 15


Scottish Advanced Higher UCAS points guidance
Scottish Advanced Higher UCAS Points
A 56
B 48
C 40
D 32


Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate UCAS points guidance
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate UCAS Points
A* 56
A 48
B 40
C 32
D 24
E 16


International Baccalaureate UCAS points guidance
International Baccalaureate UCAS Points
H7 56
H6 48
H5 32
H4 24
H3 12
H2 0
H1 0