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Eligibility and What it Takes

Am I eligible to volunteer as a Special Constable?

All applications will be subject to the national recruitment and selection process for Police Scotland. Those who are successful will benefit from a revised training programme which is closely aligned to the content of the initial training provided to Probationer Officers, currently delivered at the Scottish Police College.

  • You must be 18 years of age to be appointed as a Special Constable, although you can apply at the age of 17.5 years of age.
  • You must be physically and mentally able to undertake police duties. The fitness assessment will be based on the Scottish Police Service National Fitness Standard. Your Body Mass Index should be between 18 – 30. However, this will not be assessed until the medical stage which is at the very end of the selection process.
  • You must not have an occupation or business interest which will be considered to be a conflict of interest with the role of a special constable.
  • You must meet the mandatory national eyesight standard. 
Candidates' eyesight will not be assessed until the medical stage at the very end of the selection process. Failure to meet the standard means you cannot be appointed. Therefore to minimise disappointment applicants may wish to consider consulting with a qualified optician.
  • Only applications from British citizens, EU/EEA nationals, Commonwealth citizens, or foreign nationals with indefinite leave to remain in the UK will be accepted. You should also have been resident in the UK for a minimum of three years immediately prior to application.
  • We are Disability Confident Committed to the recruitment and selection of people with disabilities. We guarantee an interview to any applicant who has a disability as defined under the Equality Act 2010 who meets the essential criteria for the role.
  • Please note, vetting checks are carried out upon successful completion of the Assessment Centre as part of the Final Stages of the selection process.

Do I have what it takes?

Special Constables come from every walk of life. In this role who you are is so much more important than where you are from or what your qualifications are. What is really important is that you bring commitment, enthusiasm, common sense, confidence and great interpersonal skills.

In addition to having a genuine interest in police work, you must be in good health and be physically fit in order to undertake duties. There is no upper age limit but you do need to be 17.5 years of age to apply. Personal attributes and qualities essential for the Special Constabulary are:

  • A good all round education.
  • Good character.
  • Strong community focus.
  • The ability to keep a clear head, even at the most challenging times.

Residency Criteria

Applicants must be a British citizen, a member of the EU or other states in the EEA, a Commonwealth citizen or a foreign national free of restrictions. You should also have been resident in the UK for a minimum of three years immediately prior to application. It is also important you have no conflicts of interest. For example, members of the Fire Service are regularly called to work unexpectedly. Employees of security organisations, private investigators, managers or staff of licensed premises and betting offices, or serving members of the HM Forces, are also unlikely to be considered eligible.



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