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 officers they are capable of being.
We are seeking the best recruits across Scotland for the limited number of vacancies on our Divisions over the coming years. We have introduced a new recruitment process, broadly mirroring previous processes but with some noticeable changes. Becoming a Police Officer with Police Scotland is not a short or easy process, and each step demands dedication and commitment.
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.
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 to as a Police Constable.
Police Scotland Entrance Test (PSET)
Our new Police Scotland Entrance Test consists of one exam paper comprising the three core elements - numeracy, literacy and information handling. You will be required to answer 57 questions in 60 minutes. You must pass all three elements to pass the PSET.
Candidates aspiring to join Police Scotland as a Police Officer require to be physically active and already maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. When attending your fitness assessment we would expect a candidate to be at the peak of their physical fitness, having prepared in advance of the assessment.
Candidates will be assessed over a mile and a half run or during inclement weather, a multi-stage shuttle run (MSSR). During the fitness assessment we will consider your weekly fitness routine, overall fitness level, effort applied, timed run and recovery period. Joining Police Scotland is a highly competitive recruitment journey, so candidates require to give the very best account of themselves to progress further.
During this day, held at one of our selection centre, you'll undertake several exercises which are specifically designed to allow you to showcase your strengths and demonstrate your potential to be a police constable in Police Scotland :
- Icebreaker exercise
- Group exercise
- Formal interview
If you’re invited to an Assessment Day, it is recommended you familiarise yourself with the Competency and Values Framework via the College of Policing website.
- 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 the 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.
There is a lot of information you should be aware of when considering a role as a Police Officer, and on this page, you can download and read about the benefits, information about basic training, some of the most Frequently Asked Questions, and a wealth of other information. You may also wish to read the Code of Ethics for Policing in Scotland.
- Police Officer Training
- Police Officer Benefits
- BMI Chart
- Police Scotland National Fitness Standard
- Eyesight Standard Police Officer
- Competency and Values Framework
To take the next step and download the various forms you will need to apply, click here.