FAQs & Eligibility
As you'd expect, to make sure we give people of Dorset Police the best possible service, we're looking for the best possible police officers. That's why you'll need to meet the below set criteria before you can apply.
- Driving Licence
- Membership to BNP or Similar groups
- Previous convictions or recent cautions, bind-overs or findings of guilt
- Financial Position
- Other Applications
You must be 18 years at the close of the initial registration. The upper age limit is typically 56. This is three years less than the compulsory retirement age of 60 and allows for the three year probationary period and the expectation of a minimum of one year of service following probation.
You must hold a Level 2 qualification in Math’s and English, at grade C and above.
Should you not have the level 2 qualifications, please read this document about how to obtain this. Attaining English and Maths GCSE or equivalent.
And you must meet one of the following:
Hold a level 3 qualification in any subject or equivalent or award such as:
Level 3 Diploma
Level 3 Certificate
Level 3 Award
Level 3 International Certificate in Computer Studies
(ICCS) NCC Education UK
Level 3 NVQ
City & Guilds, Level 3
NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety Access to Higher Education Diploma.
A serving PCSO, who has been in post for at least 18 months at the time of application and been assessed by line manager as fully competent.
A serving Special Constable who has attained accompanied patrol status at the time of application, who are consistently completing sixteen hours per month and are up to date with all mandatory training.
Please check with your examining body if you are unsure of the level of qualification you hold. We will need to see original certificates later in the recruitment process.
Applicants must have resided in the UK for three continuous years immediately prior to application.
You can apply to become a Police Officer as long as you are an EEA National or a Swiss National. Commonwealth citizens and Foreign Nationals are required to have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period.
You must hold an EU manual driving licence when you apply.
Membership to BNP or similar groups
You must not be a member, or have been, of an extreme political organisation such as a BNP, National Front or Combat 18 or similar organisations.
You should not have tattoos on your face, neck or hands, or any tattoos which could cause offence. If you have a tattoo you will be asked to provide a brief description and photographs of the tattoo. The nature, location, size, prominence and appearance of tattoos will be considered.
Previous convictions or recent cautions, bind-overs or findings of guilt
Ideally, you shouldn't have a criminal conviction or cautions.
If you do have one, acceptance will depend on the age and nature of the offence. It is not possible to set out a full list of convictions that will preclude a person from becoming a Police Officer. Each case will be considered on its own merits, and if the offence is deemed sufficiently serious a person will be rejected irrespective of age at time of offending. There may be circumstances where an individual does not fall within the criteria, but whose suspected involvement in crime, or criminal associations make an offer of employment inappropriate. Click here for National Convictions Guidelines.
You must not have any current County Court Judgements (CCJ) against you or be the subject of an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA). If you have been registered bankrupt you may apply if it is at least three years since the date your debts were discharged.
You're only able to apply to one police force/service at a time in accordance with the national recruitment policy. Your application will not be accepted if you have previously applied unsuccessfully, in the last six months at any part of the national process.
If you have questions that aren’t answered on this page then you can email us at PoliceOfficerRecruitment@dorset.pnn.police.uk and we will try to respond to you within 72 hours during normal office hours, Monday to Thursday 9am–4pm and Friday 9am–3pm.
Unfortunately due to the volume of applications we will not be able to take telephone calls during the period the online assessment is open to applicants.
As this is a web-based assessment if you are experiencing difficulties, it may be associated with your own web browser capability. The minimum internet browser requirement to use the assessment will be:
- Internet Explorer 7
- Firefox 3.6
- Google Chrome
- Safari 5 (Mac and PC)
No. To be eligible to apply, you must be age 18 years or over by the close of the initial registration.
At the end of each element of the online process you will receive an email from the Apollo system. If you have not received an email you should check your junk mail / filter settings in case the email/s get filtered by your spam software.
Not necessarily. If you have tattoos you will need to make a declaration at the time of application. We will ask you to send in two digital pictures of each tattoo. One distance photograph clearly showing where on the body the tattoo is located and a second close up photograph that we can use to assess this against our standards.
All tattoos will need to be covered by standard issue uniform, this may require you to agree to wear long sleeved shirts.
You must be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national, a Commonwealth citizen or a foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom. You will be required to provide proof at any Assessment Centre that you have no restrictions on your stay in the UK and when assessing an applicant’s eligibility under the nationality rules, the force will carry out a check either against a full passport or national identity card or, where this is not available, a Home Office document confirming the individual has the required nationality and immigration status for the post.
Irrespective of nationality, applicants must have been a resident in the UK for three years prior to submitting the application form and the calculation of the three year period of time refers to the period immediately before an application is made, and not any other three year period, or any other accumulation of time spent in the UK.
An individual who has spent a significant period of time overseas (no more than 12 months) within a three year period such as a gap year or an individual who has gone travelling will be considered to have taken an extended holiday. As such they will maintain residency in the UK and therefore be eligible for consideration under the residency criteria.
An individual who has spent a significant period of time overseas (no more than 12 months) within a three year period working abroad but has maintained residency in the UK will be eligible for consideration under the residency criteria as long as equitable employment references can be made.
Foreign nationality is not an automatic bar to recruitment or to granting security vetting clearance (which is a necessary part of the recruitment process). However, if individuals cannot be vetted in line with the requirements of the National Vetting Policy, they cannot be granted vetting clearance, as the risk cannot be adequately assessed.
Essentially we will need to be able to carry out equitable security checks on you and your family members but in some cases due to disproportionate costs or difficulties in obtaining the necessary information from various countries of your origin or residency we may not be able to satisfactorily carry out these checks. In such cases the recruitment process cannot continue and it will be necessary for the force to reject your application.
Yes you must have a full manual driving licence.
Dorset Police will need to assess the motoring offences. However, if you have more than six penalty points on your driving licence and/or two or more motoring offences within the three years prior to the application date you may not be eligible to apply to join Dorset Police as a student officer.
Eligibility will depend on the nature and circumstances of the offence. It is not possible to set out a full list of convictions that will preclude a person from becoming a Police Officer. Each case will be considered on its own merits, and if the offence is deemed sufficiently serious a person will be rejected irrespective of age at time of offending. There may be circumstances where an individual does not fall within the criteria, but whose suspected involvement in crime, or criminal associations make an offer of employment inappropriate. Click here for National Convictions Guidelines.
We are currently not accepting transferred applications/scores from other forces. You will need to withdraw your current application and complete the full process with Dorset Police should you wish to apply.
If you have been unsuccessful at shortlisting or at a SEARCH assessment centre within the last six months (based on the date you were notified of the outcome of the process) you will be unable to apply on this occasion.
No, you would have to go through the official recruitment process like all other applicants in order to qualify as a Police Officer.
No. All newly recruited Police Officers must undergo a probationary period, so you could not apply for any specialist posts within Dorset Police until you have completed this.
As part of the recruitment process you will need to undergo an eye test. New recruits must have at least 6/12 vision in the right or left eye, or at least 6/6 vision in both eyes. Those who wear glasses or contact lenses must have at least 6/36 unaided vision in both eyes. For further information please refer to the eligibility criteria.
Those with colour blindness are eligible to become Police Officers, but would be restricted from fulfilling certain posts, such as traffic officer or firearms officer. If your colour blindness is monochrome, you would be unable to apply.
Dorset Police welcomes applications from people with disabilities as defined by the Equality Act 2010 i.e. a person is disabled under this Act if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term (over 12 months) adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day tasks.
If you consider yourself to have a disability, please inform us of the type of reasonable adjustments you might need to assist you in participating in the recruitment and selection process. Dorset Police will try to make reasonable adjustments required where practicable. Please email PoliceOfficerRecruitment@dorset.pnn.police.uk.
It will depend upon the nature of the medical condition. We require that all our new officers undergo a medical assessment with our Occupational Health Support Unit. You will need to pass the medical assessment to be eligible to join Dorset Police. Student officers in Dorset must be eligible to hold a Group 2 Drivers Licence to enable them to undertake blue light driving.
No. There is no minimum or maximum height restriction.
You must hold a Level 2 qualification in Mathss and English at grade C and above.
You must have at least a level 3 qualification or be a serving Special Constable or PCSO with 18 month, service. Please refer to the ‘Eligibility’ page to see a list of level 3 qualifications.
Should you not have the level 2 qualifications, please read the below document about how to obtain this.
We will accept your application with proof supplied by either the original results slip detailing your name, school/college, date of birth, qualification, awarding body and grade, or a bespoke letter from the school/college, providing the same information.
Dorset Police does however reserve the right to insist that applicants supply original certificates.
Some schools and colleges will charge up to £120 for replacement certificates, which can take up to 4 weeks to arrive. We will not reimburse applicants for any costs associated with obtaining this information.
The process can take six months to complete. However intakes are planned throughout the year therefore it may be longer than six months before you commence as a student officer.
An important consideration for every applicant is that you WILL have to work shifts as a police officer, covering a 24-hour period. There are many different shift patterns but generally they cover 8-10 hours Monday to Sunday (earlies, lates and nights) incorporated with rest days. Upon completion of a two-year probationary period, unpaid career breaks of between three months to five years are also currently available. Additionally, Dorset Police has several family-friendly policies such as a generous maternity leave scheme, paternity leave, child-care vouchers as well as part-time working which is also available in the probationary period.
Whilst on probation you must work at least 24 hours per week (or 1,248 hours per year). However, initial training must be completed on a full-time basis (approximately first 31 weeks). Salary, leave entitlement etc would be calculated on a pro-rata basis. If you decided to apply as a part timer it would be really helpful if you indicated your intentions ideally on the application form or at the earliest opportunity. Importantly though, a request to work part-time will not affect or influence your application in any way, as a decision will be solely based on your evidenced application and subsequent performance over various assessments.
Dorset Police will allow any candidate who has been unsuccessful through the pre-assessment tool in another Force to register their interest for this campaign.
Initial training will be completed at Ferndown, Dorset.