Frequently Asked Questions

Special Constable Recruitment

Every application is different dependent on the amount of references and checks that need to be carried out but it should generally take around 6 months. The recruitment process can be delayed by not providing complete and accurate information on your application form.

It is Dorset Polices current recruitment policy to obtain both current and previous employment and full-time education references for the last five years. If you have limited employment references we will also take up personal references. All references state you are applying to be a Special Constable.

No, you will need to pass the national assessment process but no formal qualifications are required. As a Special Constable you will be required to produce a high standard of written work for reports and statements etc. Your spelling, grammar and legibility should be of an adequate standard to ensure effective written communication.

Yes, you will be required to pass a job related fitness test as part of the recruitment process. The purpose of the test is to ensure you are fit to undertake the officer safety training and role of a Special Constable.

There is some flexibility with the training but this may delay you performing operational duties. If there is a specific training date you are unable to attend, alternative arrangements will be made.

There is only one written exam, which forms part of the self-defense training. There are no other formal exams, however you will be required to complete knowledge check papers on every course. These are not pass or fail papers but are used to see if there are any developmental areas where additional training may be required. During your training some homework will be given and you will be expected to do some reading in your spare time. Student notes are also given out after every training session for you to keep.

You will be asked during your training which three stations you would prefer to be based at and it is very likely you will receive one of your three options. However, Special Constables will be posted to where the demand for increased resources is required.

As above.

However, before applying you should firstly consider how far you would have to travel to reach the Dorset boundary, as travel expenses will not be paid for outside of the Force area. If you consider this to be too far perhaps you should consider applying to your local Special Constabulary.

Once you have taken the oath you hold the office of Constable until you leave the post, however you will only be expected to use those powers when booked on duty. In exceptional circumstances those powers may be lawfully used when off duty and the correct procedure for doing this will be explained during training.

Normally you would store your uniform at your designated police station. Special Constables are only expected to take their uniform home if locker space cannot be provided at their designated police station.

Yes, you can work as many hours as reasonably possible allowing for work and home commitments. Consideration should also be given to the Working Time Directive to ensure Health and Safety compliance. It is suggested that you confirm your availability two weeks in advance. You will probably find, as most Specials do, that you will establish a regular working pattern. You can choose to work during the week, during the weekend or both. You can also choose to work during the day, afternoon or evening.

Yes, as a Special Constable you are an important resource and therefore will be utilised in many ways, which may include your involvement in local operations and force initiatives.

Should you make an arrest as a Special Constable and the case is later taken to court you may have to attend court to either give evidence or to be a witness. You will be entitled to any loss of earnings you may incur due to a court appearance.

Yes, travel to and from your posted police station will be paid for as well as any other travel expenses made by yourself whilst on duty. If you live outside the force boundary travel costs can only be claimed from the point of entry to the force area. A refreshment allowance is also paid, this is dependent on the number of hours in any given tour of duty.

Yes, you would be covered by Dorset’s insurance if you were injured whilst on duty as a Special Constable.

For more information about what your career as a Special Constable with Dorset Police could look like please click here.