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FAQs.

Something you need to know? Here are all the answers to our most commonly asked questions. Just click on the question to find out more.

Application Process Enquiries

How do I create an account on the careers portal?

Click ‘apply’ for your chosen role and you’ll access the careers portal where you can register as a new user. You’ll be asked for a username (your email address) and to create a password.

Can I apply for more than one position at the same time?

There’s no limit on the number of roles you can apply for. However, if you are unsuccessful and wish to apply again for the same role, you must wait six months. This is to give candidates the opportunity to go away and upskill in the required areas before reapplying.

I have been unsuccessful in an interview, how long does written feedback take?

Due to the volume of applications we receive, we’re only able to provide feedback for candidates who have attended an interview. For staff roles, this may take up to four weeks and for Police Officer roles this may take up to eight weeks.

Can I have applications for Police staff and Police Officer live at the same time?

The short answer is yes, however, it is important to note the recruitment of Police staff roles is often much quicker. This means that if you are interested in joining us as a Police Officer, you will not be able to if you have already joined us in a staff role and are in your probationary period. Therefore, we recommend you only apply for roles that are of immediate interest to you.

Can I submit a CV?

While some applications will require you to submit a CV, it is important that all applications are made through our careers portal. This is so we process everyone fairly and capture important eligibility and vetting information.

Will you ask for references?

The minimum period for which we require employment references differs between employee groups.

For Police staff and PCSO’s, references will be required to cover a three-year period. For Police Officers we are required to cover a five-year period. Your references will only be contacted when you have received an offer.

Can I be notified when you are recruiting?

By registering on the careers portal, you can set up job alerts against relevant locations, salary levels and job titles. Click here to get set up. 

I want to be a Police Officer, but I am also considering other police Forces. Can I have multiple applications with different Forces?

As we operate a bespoke assessment process, it is possible to have an application with us as well as another Force. We do advise you to always check with any other Forces you may be applying with though, as their recruitment processes may be different to ours.  We ask that if you receive an offer of employment from either Force, you withdraw your application from the other.

Interview Assessment Centre Enquiries

I cannot attend the set interview date, can I re-arrange for a more suitable date?

Where possible, we will try to accommodate any changes. However, we ask candidates to be mindful that this will depend on the availability of the panel.  

What should I wear for my interview?

We recommend anyone attending an interview to dress in smart business attire. For transferees, it is not required to attend in uniform.

Do you cover travel costs to interviews/assessment centres?

Travel to assessment centres is at an individual’s own expense. We encourage you to plan ahead as we are unable to provide free parking at our assessment centre venues.

Can I transfer my results from a previous assessment centre with another Force?

Unfortunately, as we operate a bespoke assessment process, scores are not transferable. This is why we are agree for you to have a live application with another Force. 

Will I need to complete a fitness test?

Not for Police staff.

For officers and PCSO roles, as part of the assessment centre process you will need to complete The Job-Related Fitness Test (JRFT) which is a beep test to level 5.4. You will be required to complete the bleep test again during training then annually during your employment.

Eligibility/Vetting Enquiries

Is there an age requirement for Officer applications?

We will accept applications from those aged 17.5 at the time of applying but applicants must be 18 years old to start in role. There is no maximum age for applications for any role except for Police Officers which is 57.5 years of age. This accounts for the time required for training and probation before reaching the compulsory retirement age of 60.

What qualifications are required to become a Police Officer?

You don’t need any qualifications to become a Police Officer as we will assess your capabilities during the recruitment process. 

What security checks will I need to undergo to join?

Everyone who joins us has to go through a vetting process. The level and type of vetting will vary, depending on the role you are applying for.

What other checks will you conduct?

Along with your vetting checks, we will also conduct right to work and proof of residency checks.  It is important to let you know that vetting checks will only be progressed upon conditional offer.

If I am rejected by vetting, is there a right of appeal?

If you fail our vetting process, you will be sent formal correspondence informing you of our decision and this will include and outline your rights to appeal. It is important to know that if you fail our vetting process, the reasons why will be explained to you.  However, there can be certain exceptions where we can’t disclose full details.  The decision to fail vetting sits with the vetting team, who are separate from recruitment.  Subject to an appeal being made, the appeal decision is final.

I don’t work for you but I’m already vetted with my current employer; is this transferable?

Typically, no. Even if you are a Police Officer in another Force you would still be required to go through the normal vetting process.

I currently work for you and am changing roles. Will I need to be re-vetted?

If your new role is the same vetting clearance level, then the vetting team will need to carry out health checks.  If your new role is a different vetting clearance level, you would need to be re-vetted at the appropriate level.

Can I apply if I have tattoos?

Tattoos are not acceptable if:

  • They are on your face
  • Above the collar line on the front or side of your neck,
  • Are large on the back of your neck and cannot be easily covered
  • They could be considered in any way offensive, regardless of their location.

Visible tattoos are permissible on other areas of the body including hands, arms, legs, feet and on the back of the neck (providing the tattoo is discreet and behind the ear lobe).

Discreet tattoos on the ear are also acceptable. Consideration will be given to tattoos on the face that were necessary following medical procedures or for cosmetic procedures e.g. eyebrows.

You are encouraged to contact the recruitment team if you are at all unsure about your tattoos and we will advise you wherever possible.

You can do this by emailing recruitmentteam@btp.police.uk

Will a criminal record prevent applications be successful?

If you have received a prison sentence, then unfortunately we will not be able to take your application further.  While any other conviction or caution will be judged on a case-by-case basis, we do encourage applicants to really think about if they may fail the process. Typically, recent and serious convictions result in a vetting failure whereas minor convictions, or those that are historical, may be less of an issue.  We are strict in our vetting as it is important for us to uphold the highest standards when employing new colleagues.

Should I declare all involvement with a police investigation even if 'no further action' was taken?

It is really important that if you have had any involvement in a police investigation (in any capacity) that you include this on your vetting declaration form, even if further action was taken. We advise you to always include anything you think may be necessary or relevant on your vetting form.

Role Specific Enquiries

What is your probation period?

This varies depending on the role you apply for and the probation period for each role is outlined below:

Police staff: Typically, six months although for a few specialist roles it can be up to one year.

PCSO: One year.

Police Officer: Two years.

Specials: This will vary as Specials are in their probationary period until they achieve their independent patrol status.

What hours will I be working?

The hours and shifts you work will depend on the role you do. Please see below a basic overview:

Staff roles:

  • While working hours can vary, typically most full-time staff positions are 37 hours per week.
  • Many roles will be from Monday to Friday during normal office hours such as 9-5 or a variation of that.
  • Some staff roles require you to work on a shift basis or a 24/7 roster but don’t worry, all details will be given to you during the recruitment process.

Police Officers:

  • As we provide a 24/7 service our officers are required to cover a working pattern that reflects this. This will include 12 hour rotating shifts, with varying start and finish times.  We do need to let you know that there may be occasions where you will need to be flexible due to occasional last-minute shift changes. 
What is the difference between a conditional offer and a formal offer?

We will make a conditional offer first; this is made when your application is still subject to vetting, medical and reference clearances. As soon as we receive these, a formal offer will be made, which is when you will receive your contract of employment. We advise candidates not to resign until a formal offer of employment has been made, just in case we encounter any problems in the application process. 

I would like to enquire about volunteering opportunities

We are always happy to receive enquiries relating to volunteering.  To find out about volunteering opportunities you need to send an email to BTP-Volunteers@btp.police.uk where the team will be happy to help you.

When are you advertising for Police Officers?

This varies, depending on the organisational needs.  When we are recruiting, you will always be able to find our vacancies on our careers portal. We recommend you set up an email alert so you are notified as soon as we are recruiting; this will help you ensure you don’t miss a campaign.

As a Police Officer, when am I eligible to apply to specialist roles?

All Police Officers need to have successfully completed their two-year probationary period before they are eligible to apply for specialist vacancies.

Do I receive any free travel for residential purposes?

Only our Police Officers, Specials and PCSOs are entitled to free or reduced-rate rail travel facilities for residential purposes.  This is in accordance with our current regulations.