APPLYING FOR A ROLE
The recruitment process for police officers
Our work is of national importance. So it’s vital that our recruitment process is as thorough as possible. Learn more about the stages you’ll go through to become a CNC officer.Search Jobs
- Application form
Firstly, you’ll have to fill out an online application form. This gives us all of the details we need to identify whether you’re eligible to go through to the next stage.
Please note, our application form does ask you to provide quite a bit of your personal details about a wide range of topics. This includes information about your family, tattoos, business interests, financial position, and any previous convictions or involvement with the police (visit our Entry Requirements section to find out more).
After submitting your application, we’ll shortlist it against our national recruitment criteria.
We’ll let you know the outcome within six weeks from submitting your application.
If you’re successfully shortlisted, we’ll invite you to a telephone interview with a member of our Police Officer Recruitment team.
- Telephone interview
In the telephone interview, we’ll ask you three questions related to your application.
Your responses will then be scored against the role profile for an Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO).
If you successfully pass the telephone interview, we’ll let you know within three working days, and invite you to attend an Assessment Centre at the next opportunity.
- Assessment centre
The CNC follow the College Of Policing online assessment process to assess your suitability to be a police officer.
This is split into two stages.
Stage 1 - The National Sift – this comprises 2 exercises:
- Situational judgement test
- Behavioural Questionnaire
You need to achieve a pass to progress to the next stage.
Stage 2 - The Online Assessment Centre - this comprises 3 exercises:
- Competency based interview
- Written exercise
- Briefing exercise
Applicants who successfully pass the online assessment will be invited to undergo a firearms assessment to test your dexterity and ability to take instruction when handling firearms.
- Pre-employment assessments
Upon passing the assessment centre, we’ll ask you to undergo a medical examination. This includes a fitness assessment. Typically there will be a minimum of a three-week period between the assessment centre and the medical stage. This gives you time to obtain a medical declaration from your GP and a signed opticians form. These are important, as our Occupational Health team will need them to decide if you’re able to go through the assessments.
- Conditional offer
If you successfully pass our assessments, we’ll be in touch to make you a conditional offer. Once you’ve accepted, we’ll contact your current employer for references and begin the security vetting (more information on this can be found in our hints and tips section below).
As we carry out reference checks for the last three years of your employment, it can be a lengthy process. To help speed things up, we’ll ask you to provide all of the necessary information we need. If appropriate, we’ll also carry out military and police service checks, which can take up to three months to complete. If all of your references pass our checks, you’ll then need to have your fingerprints taken during your first week at the Corporate Learning and Development Department. These are used purely for crime scene elimination purposes.
- Initial training
Now it’s time to start your initial 18-week training. This will be a residential course delivered by our Corporate Learning and Development Team (CLD) based in Oxfordshire, and our Firearms Training Unit (FTU) based in Surrey. We’ll cover all of your accommodation and meal costs, as well as some travel expenses.
The recruitment process for police staff
Our work is of national importance. So it’s vital that our recruitment processes are thorough. The application process will vary depending on which police staff role you are applying for.Search Jobs
- Application Form
Firstly, you’ll have to fill out an online application form. This gives us all of the details we need to identify whether you’re eligible and have the required skills/experience to go through to the next stage.
Please note, our application form does ask you to provide quite a bit of your personal details about a wide range of topics. This includes information about you, your business interests, financial position, and any convictions or involvement with the police.
After submitting your application we’ll begin shortlisting applications. Part of this process will include a telephone conversation with a colleague from our HR Resourcing team, to find out more about your application and experience and to talk you through the rest of the process. Your application and notes will then be sent to the hiring team for shortlisting against the role requirements. Once this process has been completed, we’ll let you know the outcome.
If you’re successful following the shortlisting exercise, we’ll invite you to a competency based panel interview. In relation to managerial level positions the interview stage will also include a presentation and in some circumstances a 2nd Interview.
- Conditional Offer
If you’re identified as the successful candidate following the interview, we’ll be in touch to make you a conditional offer – this will be conditional based on passing our security vetting procedures. Once you’ve accepted we’ll ask you to provide all of the necessary information we need to start the vetting process. It can take a number of weeks for us to receive your Police Vetting and Security Clearance, but we’ll be sure to keep in touch with you throughout the process to keep you updated. Once we receive your clearance, we’ll then confirm your start date and send your employment contract to you.
Hints and tips for applying
Be honest and detailed
The more information you give us in your application, the quicker the whole process will be.
We’ll ask a lot
Be prepared to answer a lot of questions, including every interaction you’ve had with the police.
If you are applying to join as a police officer you’ll have to complete a multi-stage shuttle run to level 7.6. We recommend practicing a few times before your fitness assessment.
While many conditions won’t impact your application, some may not be compatible with specific roles. A full list of our medical standards can be found here.
This is the most time consuming part of the application process, and can take up to three months. So make sure you account for this. The type of vetting required will depend on the role you’re applying for.
The initial foundation training course for a CNC Police Officer is 18 weeks and takes place both in Oxfordshire, and in Surrey (where firearms training is carried out).
Many of our new police officer recruits have never used a firearm before. Our training is recognised internationally as being excellent and our experienced firearms instructors will show you how.