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Update 14/01/21 - We are currently accepting applications to transfer at the ranks of Constable and Sergeant, to a rural location or Island within L Division, Argyll or N Division, Highlands and Islands. We will also consider applications to transfer at the rank of Inspector to rural or Island locations within L Division or N Division should upcoming/future vacancies arise.

If you're a serving officer in a recognised Home Office Police Force in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, or the British Transport Police, you can be considered to transfer to Police Scotland. You must have a minimum of three years’ service and be free from any outstanding complaints.

Officers serving with the Ministry of Defence or another non Home Office Force such as Royal Parks, Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Ports of Dover, Liverpool and Bristol which are not classed as police forces under the Police Act 1996 are not eligible to transfer. 

In this instance, you'll be treated as a new candidate and, if appointed, undergo full foundation training and probation. 

On the basis of continued organisational change including the ongoing review of all HR processes training requirements may be subject to amendment due to Covid-19. We reserve the right to amend the current recruitment process over the coming months.

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

Application Form

Your application will be sifted to the same high standards expected for any applicant to this organisation.

Vetting / Professional Standards Checks

If successful we will then write to your current force to gain access to your personal record and PDR's. Checks will then be undertaken which includes your local Professional Standards Department and Vetting.


You will then be invited to attend a competency based interview and the personal qualities being assessed are:

  • Working with Others
  • Professionalism
  • Decision making
  • Service Delivery – operational
  • Service Delivery – organisational knowledge
  • Serving the Public
  • Openness to Change

Fitness Test

The fitness test is a mile and a half run which candidates must run inside 18 minutes, we strongly recommend officers prepare in advance of the fitness test. When applying to Police Scotland we would expect you to be fit and ready to achieve a standard well within these limits. 

You will find plenty of information online and on social media to assist you in your preparation. Candidates will also be subject to a Substance Misuse Test at this stage.

Final Stages

You will be required to attend an appointment with our Health Provider to confirm you are fit and healthy and meet the standards required of an operational police officer. This includes the eyesight test and BMI check.

Once you have completed all stages of the recruitment process you will receive an offer of employment. It is at this point that we will work with you to finalise your transfer date.


Officers transferring from forces outside Scotland will undergo local training, as well as a three week course at the Scottish Police College. You will not be required to serve a period of probation.


Initially, you will undertake operational policing duties at a territorial division. The division you will be posted to will be based on the divisional preference chosen by you on your posting preference form (L Division or N Division).

Pay and Allowances

When you transfer you will be paid at the equivalent rate of an officer serving in Police Scotland in respect of your length of service. If you received a housing allowance prior to August 1994, this will continue.


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