Eligibility Requirements for Police Officer, PCSO and Special Constable candidates

Eligibility requirements for the police service are fairly detailed, but we have provided a summary of some of the basic requirements below.


  • Age requirements
  • Nationality requirements
  • Criminal record
  • Tattoos
  • Financial status
  • Physical fitness
  • Health
  • Eyesight
  • Previous applications

If you would like to know more, or have a specific query, please contact:


Special Constabulary:


PCSO / Police Constable:



PC Eligibility Requirements ONLY


Qualifications / Experience


In accordance with an amendment to Police Regulations, North Wales Police now require applicants to evidence any of the below criteria:


  • (a) 2 A Levels (Grade A – E) or a Level 3 qualification (eg NVQ Level 3) with a minimum of a pass.
  • (b) An academic or vocational qualification gained outside England and Wales considered by the UK National Recognition Information Centre to be equivalent to a Level 3 qualification.
  • (c) Training or work experience, whether undertaken in or outside England and Wales considered by the Chief Officer to be equivalent to a Level 3 qualification. Consideration of such training or work experience will be on a case by case basis if other criteria are not met.
  • (d) A policing qualification approved by the Sector Skills Council for the Justice Sector.
  • (e) 2 years’ service as a Special Constable having achieved independent patrol status and continously worked the minimum number of duty hours per week (ie 4 hours).
  • (f) 2 years’ continuous service as a Police Community Support Officer designated  under Section 38 of the Police Reform Act 2002.
  • (g) 2 years’ continuous service in the employment of a police force or office which is related to a police force which is considered by the Chief Officer to prepare a person for service as a member of a police force.


Please note that all candidates must have been awarded qualifications referred to in categories (a) – (d) above at the time of application and expected grades will not be accepted.   If there is any doubt in relation to the validity of qualification or eligibility regarding any of the categories referred to above, the decision of whether to accept will be delegated to the Head of People Services.  


 The decision of whether or not to accept employment for “office related to a police force” will also rest with the Head of People Services and will be considered on a case by case basis. 


Age requirements


  • Police Constable and Special Constable applications can be accepted at the age of 18. There's no upper age limit for applying to the police service, but bear in mind that the normal retirement age is 60 years and that new recruits are required to undertake a two-year probationary period.
  • Police Community Support Officer applications can be accepted at the age of 18. There's no upper age limit for applying to the police service, but bear in mind that the normal retirement age is 65 years and that new recruits are required to undertake a 9 month probationary period.



Nationality requirements


  • You must be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.
  • Foreign nationals and UK citizens who have lived abroad may have to wait some time for security and vetting clearance.
  • All applicants have to be vetted to the same standard before appointment.



Criminal record


  • A number of crimes will mean a definite or likely rejection of your application, including anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or public order offence.





  • You should not have tattoos which could cause offence.
  • Tattoos are not acceptable if they are particularly prominent, garish, offensive or undermine the dignity and authority of your role.
  • You will be required to supply photographs of tattoos with your application form



Financial status


  • Applicants will have their financial status checked.
  • These checks are carried out because police officers/staff have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption.
  • Applicants with outstanding County Court judgements or who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, will be rejected. If you have discharged bankruptcy debts then you will need to provide a Certificate of Satisfaction with your application.



Physical fitness


To ensure you are fit enough for the role, you will undertake a fitness test.


There are two elements to the test and you must pass both before you can be appointed.

We are looking for no more than the minimum standard needed to enable you to work effectively as a Police Officer, Police Community Support Officer or Special Constable.


You will be given help to improve your fitness and if you prepare yourself properly, there is no reason for you to fail not meet the required standard.


There are two elements to the test:

  • dynamic strength and
  • endurance fitness.





  • Police Officers, Police Community Support Officers or Special Constables encounter stressful situations, trauma, physical confrontation and work long hours on shifts.
  • They need to be resilient enough to cope with the demands and pressures of police work.
  • Applicants must therefore be in good health mentally and physically to undertake police duties.
  • You will undergo a medical assessment to ensure you meet the health standards required.





  • Applicants will be required to attend an opticians to complete an eyesight form.
  • Failure to pass this test will lead to rejection.



Previous applications


  • You can only apply to one force at any one time.
  • If you have previously applied to join the police service and been unsuccessful, you must wait six months from the date of your initial letter of rejection before you can apply again.





The police need to ensure that adequate and satisfactory vetting is undertaken for all applicants. Police forces require a three year checkable history. This is due to difficulties often faced with gaining vetting checks from overseas, to the extent required for those who have been resident in the UK for a three year period prior to application.


If you have not resided continuously in the UK for a three year period immediately prior to your application to join the police service, then you may be ineligible to apply.


Please note that applicants serving in the British armed forces or on UK Government Service are considered to have been resident in the UK.




Recruiting Section
Shared Services Facility

North Wales Police Headquarters,
Colwyn Bay,
LL29 8AW

Telephone: 01492 804699 (follow options for HR & Training > Recruitment & Posting)

Email: Recruiting Section