Recruitment Timeline & Process

We are open for expressions of interest ahead of our next campaign due to launch later in 2020.  If you would like to register your expression of interest, please email Special Constable Recruitment. We will then contact you when this campaign launches next year.

For information regarding the recruitment timeline for the current recruitment window please see the image below. You will be communicated your results at each stage by email and will not receive this for several days after completion.

Please note - As COVID-19 is still very active within our communities our Assessment Centres scheduled for the end of June 2020 will no longer take place. Interviews will continue however will be held via Skype as your safety is important to us. Full information will be provided before these take place. If you have any queries about the recruitment process please don’t hesitate to contact us here.


Recruitment Process

The start of the recruitment process for you will be completing the online assessment tool. It is important that you are open and honest with your responses so that you gain the most benefit from the questions.

The online assessment will comprise of applicant registration, a realistic job preview and eligibility assessment. Access to the online assessment can be made at any time during the day or night for each element and from any location that has internet access.

The online assessment tool consists of:


This is where you enter your personal details such as your full name, full residential address, driving licence details and your national insurance number. You will also be required to provide proof of these details later on in the application process.

Realistic Job Preview Questionnaire 

The purpose of this section is to give you a real view of what it is like to undertake the work of a police officer and decide whether or not it is right for you. You will be asked to give your open and honest responses to different situations. There is no right or wrong answer. At the end of the questionnaire, the system will give you an overall rating of your suitability for the role of police officer based on your responses. You can then make a decision if you would like to continue with the application.

Eligibility Screen 

This screen checks your eligibility in line with the national recruitment standards. You will be advised at the end of the questionnaire if you have met all the eligibility criteria and then able to progress to the behaviour styles questionnaire. If you are referred as a result of any of your answers, a member of the recruitment team will contact you to let you know the outcome. The eligibility criteria are set out in the appendices of this document.

Candidates who have expressed an interest in the Special Constabulary will be invited to an Awareness Event. Attendance at this event is mandatory as this will give you the opportunity to meet serving Special Constables and Special Constable Trainers in order to obtain realistic first hand experiences regarding the role of the Special Constable. You will receive a recruitment briefing which will explain the recruitment process in more detail and talk you through completing your application form. Please note that application forms will be issued at this event.

The third stage of the recruitment process requires you to complete an application form. You will be assessed in the areas of planning and organising, and respect for race and diversity. Your answers in the competency based questions will help us to decide whether you have the skills and experience required to become a Special Constable. This is a pass/fail element.

Candidates who are successful at the application stage will be invited to an Assessment Centre at Dorset Police Headquarters to undertake the following:-

  • Presentation (no more than 5 mins)
  • Force Interview
  • Police Initial Recruitment Test (PIRT)
  • Fitness Test

The Job Related Fitness Test consists of one element designed to test your endurance. Test 1: Endurance Test (multi stage shuttle run)

Commonly called the bleep test, you will be asked to keep running between two points which are 15 metres apart. The speed you must run is dictated by a bleep, and the time allowed to run one shuttle will get shorter as the level increases.

You must reach Level 5.4 to pass.

How to Prepare:

Download 'Fit To Pass - the job related fitness test' information document

You will also complete an application review, Identification checks, Biometric Vetting and Fingerprints with the Resourcing Team.

The medical assessment stage of the recruitment process will require you to complete a medical history questionnaire and attend our Occupational Health Unit which will include an eyesight test. This is to confirm you are fit for duty as a Special Constable.

It is necessary for us to perform security vetting checks in line with Home Office policy and we also take up references from both current and previous employers and education establishments to cover the last 5 years.