What is the process?

We aren’t going to lie – applying to join us is a fairly long and challenging process compared to other volunteering roles. It’s a bit more involved than sending in a CV, having an interview and finding out if you’re ready to join us, as you’ll be given full policing powers.

There’s additional steps like assessments and vetting in our application and selection process. It takes time to make sure we are getting the best people who are capable of delivering a police service we can all be proud of.

Special Constabulary patrol

Special Constables and volunteers on patrol

We are proud to say that our process is robust and fair. We have designed our processes to get the best from you and give you the opportunity to demonstrate your values, experience and competencies in a variety of ways. You do not need any experience or qualifications related to policing to be successful through this process.

It is important for us to be transparent with you and make you aware that the process can take several months to complete but we are committed to keeping you updated at every stage.

We only ask for information that we require so it is really important you follow the guidance at each stage and include the information requested.

Stage 1 – Application form

The first stage of the process is to complete an online application form to join as a special constable with West Midlands Police.

Before you begin your application please make sure that you have read through the relevant pages on the website to gain a full understanding of the role, expectations, eligibility criteria and assessment process.

You will need to have photographs of any tattoos you have ready to upload with your application.

Our application form asks for quite a lot of detail, please make sure that you fully complete it. This will allow us to assess your eligibility to join us and ensure there are no unnecessary delays for you throughout the selection process.

Stage 2 – Online assessment

The online assessment consists a ‘values based questionnaire’. We use a platform provided by an organisation called Tazio to conduct this stage. You will need a mobile phone, tablet or a computer with a camera to complete this part.

You will receive a separate link to your usual application login for this part of the application.

Our online values based questionnaire looks to assess your values in action and how you make decisions in given circumstances. You will not have to prepare for the online assessment; these will be completed online in your home (or convenient place of your choice, such as a library). You do not need any policing experience to do well in the assessment.

These assessments are based around the College of Policing ‘Competency and Values Framework’ at level 1; you can find out more about this framework and the values within it by clicking here. We would recommend you view this information before you begin your assessment.

Stage 3 – Interview & assessment Centre

This will be a half-day assessment centre where you will complete an interview based around the competency and values framework. There will also be a statement taking exercise.

Guidelines for which can be found on the College of Policing website.

Stage 4 – Vetting, medical & fitness

Background Vetting

To be a Special Constable you need to go through security vetting and counter terrorism clearance. You will be required to complete information regarding yourself, your parents and family and any close associations that you have that may make you vulnerable as a Special Constable (for example – a friend who you know has a criminal history who you see frequently).

We ask that you are honest on these forms as anything missed off will result in failure to obtain the required clearances and your application maybe discontinued at this point. If you are honest about your information each individual is looked at on a case by case basis and it may not affect your application.

Your financial position will also be assessed.

Medical and Fitness

You will be required to complete a medical history questionnaire (signed by your GP) and attend a medical examination which includes a pre-employment drugs screening. Our Occupational Health department will assess your suitability to carry out the role you have applied for. This may include a medical report request from your family GP.

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.

You will also have a drugs test – for this you will be required to provide a saliva, urine and hair / fingernail sample.


You will attend a biometric appointment at your fitness assessment where your DNA and fingerprints will be taken to make checks against appropriate databases and eliminate you from future crime scenes should you be successful and appointed.

Stage 5 – References

Once you have given us permission to do so, we will contact your referees. We will require a total of three references; one of which will be your most recent employer or volunteer placement, or if you haven‘t yet been employed / volunteered, the last educational establishment you studied at.

Stage 6 – Offer

If you are successful through these stages we will then send you an offer. You will need to accept and agree to our service level agreement and then book to go have your uniform fitting so we can get everything ordered for you.

At this point you will also hear back from us with a date to start your training, and the schedule it involves.