The Selection Process and Essential Reading

Being a police officer is both a challenging and rewarding role.  Our selection process is designed to identify people who demonstrate they have the best potential to become an effective Police Constable - simply, to be the best police officers they are capable of being. 

We are seeking the best recruits across Scotland for a limited number of vacancies on our Divisions over the coming years.  We have adapted our recruitment process and whilst it broadly mirrors previous processes it has some noticeable changes which we hope enables you to demonstrate your qualities and attributes to becoming a Constable with Police Scotland.   

In general, the selection process can be broken up into the following five stages, each of which is designed to test your aptitude, character and physical suitability for the role. 

• Application Form

Complete your application form and send to your relevant Police Scotland Recruitment Office as indicated on the form.  The application form includes the essential criteria you must meet to be eligible to apply as a Police Constable.  You also need to submit your Posting Preference and Equality & Diversity Monitoring forms.

• Police Entrance Exam

If you are successful with your application form you will be invited to sit the Police Entrance Exam.  You will tested in three core areas - numeracy, literacy and information handling.  You must pass all three elements to be successful at this stage.  The exam requires you to have a satisfactory level of arithmetic, spelling and being able to interpret data / information, core skills you would need as an operational Police Constable.

• Fitness Test

The fitness test is currently a 1.5 mile run which candidates must run inside 18 minutes.  Candidates are assessed on their time and ability, so we would expect to see you run the distance continuously and well within the 18 minutes.  

Alternatively, you may be required to take the multi-stage shuttle run (MSSR) or ‘Bleep Test’ where individuals need to achieve level 5.4 to pass.
We expect you to be fit and ready to pass your fitness test prior to you applying to join Police Scotland.  If you are unable to run 1.5 miles without stopping, it is unrealistic for you to expect to be successful at this stage.  However, to assist in your preparation for applying, you will find plenty of information online and on social media to assist you in your fitness preparation.  

• Assessment Day

During the Assessment Day you will undertake several exercises specifically for you to showcase your strengths and potential to become a Police Constable with Police Scotland : 

• Icebreaker exercise
• Group discussion
• Group exercise
• Formal interview

If you’re invited to an Assessment Day, it is recommended you familiarise yourself with Police Scotland’s Competency and Values Framework as this details the competencies against which you will be assessed. The document also details our Values and Ethics, the common standards by which all employees of Police Scotland are expected to adhere to.  

• Final Stages

• You will be required to attend an appointment with our Health Provider to confirm you are fit and healthy to meet the standard required of an operational police officer.  This includes an eyesight test and BMI check.
• Candidates will also be subject of a Substance Misuse Testing during their recruitment journey.
• References will be obtained and formal vetting checks will be carried out.          
• Once your vetting clearance has been obtained, you have completed all stages of the recruitment process and you will receive an offer of employment.  It is at this point that we will work with you to finalise a date for your Police Constable career to start.

Related Documents

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