8 Steps to Joining the Police (Part One)
“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
In the Police Success comprehensive guide to becoming a UK police officer, I break down the journey into 8 steps, providing guidance on how to pass each in detail. Joining the police will be a challenge, both mentally and physically, but now is a fantastic time to join as most forces are doubling their recruitment intakes. However, it remains a highly competitive process, so recognising the journey ahead will help. Here are the broad steps you will take, which as shown in the image I group into three simple themes of aptitude, physical and administrative:
What Experience do you Need to Join the Police?
“Experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer."
- Randy Bausch
The ongoing police recruitment drive aims to boost UK police numbers by 20,000 officers. To achieve this means recruiting an estimated 45,000 police recruits over the next few years accounting for natural turnover. So if policing is a career that appeals to you or someone you know, there has probably never been a better time to apply and a greater chance of being accepted.
In the UK police recruitment process, you will be required to provide details about your life and work experiences in support of your application.
Police Application Forms: Evidence & Examples
“What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”
Having chosen to become a police officer, as part of the police recruitment process you will be expected to provide some supporting information about your life and work experiences. This will be assessed against the role and behaviours expected of police officers.
Police application forms contain set questions. Different police forces ask different questions on their recruiting forms, but all require specific information to assess against their policing competencies. For example, in England & Wales, evidence is often required to demonstrate behaviours such as Professionalism, Working with Others, Decision Making and Service Delivery. Whether your chosen force uses these or other behaviours of an effective police officer, it can be daunting to think about what evidence or examples you may have from your own experiences, then writing about it. The good news is that you almost certainly have what forces are looking for...
Steve Cooper is a former Royal Marine, Detective Inspector, and is a qualified coach/mentor. With extensive police experience, Steve also established Rank Success to help officers achieve police promotion.