The recruitment process


There are different stages to the recruitment process so it is important that you understand what is required and how long you have to complete each stage.

At the end of each stage of the recruitment process you will be notified whether or not you have been successful and therefore eligible to proceed to the next stage.

Online registration

The first part of our recruitment process is online registration and eligibility. 

If eligible, you will be invited to complete an online Behavioural styles questionnaire and if successful you will then be invited to complete a Situational Judgement Test. 

Successful candidates at this stage will be invited to attend an Information evening.

The Behavioural styles questionnaire

The questionnaire ask questions about your typical behaviours and values.

It measures four competencies and eight values:

Managing PerformanceCommitment to Excellence
Decision makingService Orientation
 Fairness &Respect
 Positive Attitude

The Situational Judgement Test

The Test presents candidates with 20 scenarios that a special constable might face in the role. The scenarios relate to the same four competencies assessed in the Behavioural Styles Questionnaire.

Successful candidates will be invited to attend an Information evening.

Information evening

The information evening gives you the chance to find out first-hand what it is like to be a special constable and you are encouraged to ask as many questions as you like.

At the end of the evening, you will understand:

• the role of a Special Constable

• what is involved in the recruitment process and initial training

• the duties and responsibilities of being a special constable and our expectations of you.

It is an ideal opportunity to meet with people who want to make a positive difference in their communities and special constable colleagues will be attending the evening and available to answer questions you may have.

Your attendance at the information evening is mandatory. At the end of the evening you will be asked if you wish to have an application form sent to you.

Any application forms submitted without attending this event will not be progressed.

Candidate Application

After attending an Information Evening and requesting an application form, an online application form will be emailed to you.

Your application form can be handwritten or electronically completed.

The application form will ask for:

  • Personal information
  • Education 
  • Full work history.

Please ensure there are no gaps in the information you provide. It is very important that you follow the instructions as incomplete forms will not be accepted.

You must submit your application form by the deadline date advised at your open evening.

We will advise you by email if you have passed the application form stage and, if successful you will be invited to attend an assessment day.

Assessment Day

The assessment days are held at weekends, at Police Headquarters in Devizes, Wiltshire

During the day you will complete:

The job related fitness test

Don't be daunted by the name - it's more of a fitness check - to ensure that you're physically capable of performing the role of a special constable.

We test endurance through a fitness shuttle run commonly known as the 'bleep test.'  The test is a standardised assessment of your fitness level to ensure that you are physically capable of performing the role of a special constable.

The shuttle run test is a progressive test along a 15 metre track indicated by two lines.

You will be required to run between the two lines in time to the bleeps.  At each level the time between the bleeps progressively gets shorter which requires the candidate to run faster.

You will be given full instructions on the day of the test. You can make sure you're prepared by watching the fitness test explained.

Please note the fitness test is only six weeks after the induction evening so if you are thinking about applying to become a special constable you might want to start training. 

A Police Initial Recruitment Test (PIRT)

A verbal and logical reasoning test 

A role play scenario

A role play scenario based on any of the six competencies at practitioner level 1 in the College of Policing competency and values framework for policing. 

Drug and alcohol test

A few strands of hair are taken and tested for traces of any drugs then a breath sample is taken to analyse for alcohol.

Biometric vetting

For Biometric vetting we will take a sample of your fingerprints and a DNA sample (mouth swab), then checks will be made against the appropriate databases. We search to determine whether you have come to police attention or associated with a crime. 

You will be required to bring two forms of identification with you to the assessment day (including one photo ID).  If you do not bring these with you, you will not be permitted to progress any further with the application process.

You should receive your assessment results approximately one week after the assessment. 

If you are successful at this stage you will be invited to complete a vetting application form.

Security Vetting, and References

Vetting and why we need it

The police service is committed to maintaining the highest levels of honesty and integrity and to preventing corrupt, dishonest, unethical or unprofessional behaviour. Vetting helps support this, reducing the risks of unauthorised disclosure or loss of sensitive police information.

Public confidence in the police is crucial, particularly as we "police by consent." Public confidence in policing depends on officers, staff, Specials and volunteers demonstrating the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour.

The public must have confidence that police vetting processes are effective in identifying those who might pose a risk to the community. The police service must also be alive to the threat from organised crime groups and others who might try to gain access to police systems and intelligence.

Vetting helps identify people who are unsuitable to work in the police service. This includes those who are unsuitable through criminal activity or association, those who have a clear lack of honesty and those who are financially vulnerable.

Vetting helps us to maintain a healthy organisation.

Please note the following is provided as guidance; any successful application is assessed on a case by case basis and is subject to an individual successfully passing vetting.

The chief constable reserves the right to reject any application.

Your vetting

We will ask you to complete a form so we can carry out security checks. This will include information about you and your:

  • Spouse/partner
  • Parents
  • Stepfather/mother's partner
  • Brothers/sisters (full/half/step)
  • Children/children of your partner (only those age 10 years and over)
  • Any other adult living at your address

Financial circumstances

We will check your financial status.

These checks are carried out because police officers and police staff have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption. Applicants with outstanding County Court Judgements (CCJs),  or who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts will be rejected.

If you have discharged bankruptcy debts then you will need to provide a certificate of satisfaction with your application.  At least three years will need to have passed since the date of discharge.

Ideally you should not have a criminal record, but some minor offences may not exclude you. You should include full details on the online registration.


We will ask all your previous employers in the last five years for references.

If you have not been employed for five years, we ask for a HMRC employment record, character reference and education reference.

Medical Appointment

Our dedicated occupational health nurses will meet face to face with you to go through the necessary initial medical assessment to ensure you're fit for the role.

We will check:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Eye sight  
  • Colour vision  
  • Lung function
  • Hearing

Before your appointment you will be asked to complete a confidential medical history questionnaire. Depending upon your medical history, we may need to contact your GP or other specialist for further information.

Once you have been declared medically fit, you will then progress to the next stages.