About your application
The process comprises six stages and candidates must pass each one of these:
- Complete our application form
- Eligibility checks
- Pre-sift tool / online assessment
- Face-to-face interview
- Pre-employment checks
- Full offer of employment and your training begins
Candidates must successfully pass each step to be considered for the next stage of the recruitment process. The decision making process uses a linear assessment when progressing candidates.
This will tell us all the initial information we need to know about you. It will also ask about your reasons for applying to join the Cheshire Constabulary family.
This is in two parts. The first covers your educational qualifications. The second includes some of your personal details.
Candidates will be required to study for a degree, therefore the minimum eligibility requirement to apply to be a Police Constable with Cheshire Constabulary is for applicants to hold a level 3 qualification (2x A Level grade A*-D) or equivalent experience at the time of applying.
Should candidates not hold a level-3 qualification, other relevant experience will be reviewed on an individual basis as part of the application process (e.g. Management/supervisor experience, Special Constable or PCSO, or military experience).
As part of the degree programme candidates will be required to complete level 2 functional skills (GCSE grades A*- C/ 9 - 5 or equivalent) in Maths and English, before being able to complete the apprenticeship programme.
We strongly recommend that candidates address this requirement before commencing this apprenticeship programme if they do not already hold GCSE grades A* - C/ 9 - 5 in English and Maths at the time of applying. Local colleges or our partners at the University of Chester will be able to assist. You can email the apprenticeships department at Chester University for further information.
To apply you'll need to say 'yes' to:
- I am a National of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland OR I am a Commonwealth citizen or Foreign National with leave to enter or remain in the UK for an indefinite period.
- I have lived in the UK for three continuous years immediately before my application.
- I am 17 years of age or over at the point of application and 18 years prior to commencing the programme (there is no upper limit).
- I have a full UK manual driving licence.
- I do not have any visible tattoos which may be considered excessive, unprofessional or a cause of offence.
- I have declared a criminal record if I have one. (You must tell us about any previous convictions or cautions including those spent, fixed penalty notices, traffic offences or any involvement with the police.)
- I am not a registered bankrupt, subject to county court judgements or Independent Voluntary Agreements.
- I can pass a fitness test consisting of a 15m multi-stage shuttle run (bleep test) to level 5.4 (3 minutes and 40 secs).
- I am prepared to work shifts and accept postings to serve anywhere in the Cheshire area.
- I am dedicated to providing a service to the people of Cheshire and am prepared to uphold the Police Service Statement of Common Purpose and Values.
- I am not a current or previous member of an extremist group or proscribed terrorist organisation or group.
If your circumstances change…
If there are any significant changes during your application such as permanent partner, new residents at your home, change of address, arrests, cautions or convictions or association with criminals you should contact us by email.
The Standards required of a police officer are laid out nationally in the Code of Ethics.
To prepare for your assessment…
- Study the documents we'll send you.
- Read the College of Policing Competence and Values Framework and think about how you might demonstrate these.
This series of modules explores the skills and values that every police constable needs. No prior policing experience is needed to complete the exercises.
IMPORTANT: to take part you'll need a computer or other device with a webcam, microphone, keyboard and a reliable internet connection.
The Situational Judgement Test
This tests your behaviour and response when faced with everyday situations that are part of a police officer's work. It lasts around 30 minutes. If you pass this, you'll immediately go on to:
The Competency-Based Video Interview
You'll answer five questions, taking around 35 minutes. Your responses will be recorded live by the system and will test your:
- Attitude to public service
- Innovative thinking and open-mindedness
- Ability to take ownership of a problem
Your responses to this online interview will be reviewed by an assessor. You'll then be sent a report with your interview score. If you pass, you’ll be invited to take part in two further exercises:
The Written Exercise
You'll take on the role of a police constable who is required to complete an urgent written report about an incident for your manager. You'll be supplied with all the information you need to create your report.
The Briefing Exercise
Again, you'll take on the role of a police constable. This time you'll be presented with a real-life policing scenario and you'll be asked a series of questions about how you'd handle the situation. (At the start of the exercise you'll be given information and materials to help you prepare your answers.)
Successful assessment candidates will be invited to this panel interview with operational officers and police staff representatives. It will normally last between 30 and 45 minutes.
The interview will explore your understanding of the College of Policing Competence and Values Framework.
This will help our team decide your suitability for the role of a police constable with Cheshire Constabulary.
If your interview is successful…
We’ll let you know by email and explain the next steps. Please note that depending on intake numbers it’s possible our conditional offer to join the force may be put on hold until a later date.
Our interviews are always fair
We are an equal opportunities employer and are committed to attracting, supporting and developing a workforce representative of the communities we serve.
Throughout the recruitment process, the members of staff and assessors involved are trained to the highest standard, ensuring that the principles of the Equality Act are adhered to. Panel members will all have received an interview briefing as well as training in Standards of Practice to ensure fairness and legitimacy of our process.
Do you need any special arrangements?
For example, would you like us to take into account a disability, dyslexia, learning difficulties, injury, pregnancy, menopause, religion or belief? Any requests for reasonable adjustments will be considered and arranged where possible and treated in the utmost confidence.
For further information please email us as early as possible.
Please note: offers of employment could be delayed
Candidates who are successful at interview may be given a conditional offer of employment immediately. Or, depending on intake numbers, that offer may be put on hold until a later date.
For this reason, we recommend that you don’t give notice to your current employer until you’re sure that we have made you a firm offer of employment.
All conditional offers following interview are subject to the completion of pre-employment checks.
Important: any non-attendance or delay in attending appointments for this stage of the process may result in you not meeting a specific intake date. Your application to join Cheshire Constabulary could then be put on hold or withdrawn.
A conditional offer of employment with us is always subject to these checks. They must be completed successfully within an agreed timescale:
- Fitness test - This must show that you have the physical fitness needed to be a police officer. If necessary you will be offered 2 further attempts within a reasonable timeframe (failure to pass first time may cause delays in your application). Failure to pass on a third attempt will mean your application is withdrawn.
- Medical tests - These comprise of a signed GP statement (fee payable by applicant), a sight test (optician fee payable by applicant) - Cheshire Constabulary requires officers to meet Group 2 DVLA standards so they are able to undertake blue light driving. The medical tests also include an Occupational Health assessment and a drugs test for screening.
- Drugs Test – you will be asked to provide a hair sample at one of our pre-employment days which will be analysed by our third party provider.
- DNA and fingerprints - We hold this biometric identification data for all our officers
- Final vetting/security checks
- References - satisfactory references must be obtained from you current and previous employer or education establishment over the most recent two year period
If you progress from a conditional offer of employment to a full one after your pre-employment checks, it’s time to join the Cheshire Constabulary family. Candidates are advised not to hand in their notice until they have received their final offer of employment.
As a Police Constable Apprentice your initial weeks will involve being introduced to both Cheshire Constabulary and University of Chester.
You will be issued uniform and receive your warrant card along with registering you as a student at the university.
Classes will begin in the first week and will concentrate on introducing you to policing and the course content along with the academic requirements of the apprenticeship and the skills to help you through it.
There will be an introduction to the law and your first academic essay will be set along with time to maintain your fitness and 'parade on' to check your uniform to maintain standards.
This course will be delivered by Subject Matter Experts and experienced practitioners with a wealth of professional and subject expertise supported by a network of relevant subject specialists to prepare you with key transferable skills required for the role of Police Constable.
How will I be taught?
Methods of learning and teaching are varied to facilitate application of theory to practice. Bespoke facilities dispersed across two sites include simulated road policing scenes, interviewing suites, a Hydra immersive learning suite, court room and custody suite.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment methods include policy books; essays; reflective essays; academic posters; examinations; personal and group presentations; observed tasks; professional discussion; analysis of recorded interview; preparation of interview transcripts; review of case materials; plan and conduct an investigation into priority and volume crime; collecting and collating evidence; investigative case management exercise; case study and court tribunal; brief tutors on the investigation; conduct role-play practical exercises where students' compliance with legislation and professional practice will be assessed; podcast on the effective use of social media; evidenced based research - research proposal, research project and portfolio for full occupational competence and a professional discussion.
Fees and Funding
Student funding will be drawn down from Cheshire Constabulary Apprenticeship Tax Levy Digital Account.
Obligation after finishing degree
You won't be tied into a contract after finishing your degree. We really hope that you will stay with us but you are under no obligation to do so.