1 Pre-application Questions for Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) New Police Constables
2 INTRODUCTION Being a police constable isn t for everyone. It is physically, mentally and emotionally demanding but it is also very rewarding. Because of this, we need to ensure that you are right for the role and, indeed, that we are right for you. To join the MPS you must have completed the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) qualification before you start training as a new police constable. Undertaking the CKP requires an investment of your time and money. Visit if you d like more information on the CKP. This tool helps you to explore your suitability for the role of police constable and to make a reasonably informed decision about whether to do the CKP and whether to apply to become a new police constable with the MPS. It serves as a guide rather than a definitive statement about your suitability. It has three parts: Part 1 covers the eligibility criteria for becoming a police constable Part 2 provides information about the selection and assessment process Part 3 is a questionnaire designed to give you a more in-depth feel for what it s like to be a police constable and your suitability for this role. It should take about 45 minutes of your time to do.
3 PART ONE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA There are specific eligibility criteria that you must comply with to join the MPS as a police constable. We advise you make sure you meet these criteria before you commit your time and money to undertake the CKP. You will get an idea from answering the questions and from the information in this section. Note that all questions relate to the time you submit your application to join the MPS. You will be informed, and sometimes presented with extra information, if your answer indicates that you do not or may not meet a requirement. 1. Criminal convictions Ideally you should not have a criminal conviction or cautions record. The MPS need to be careful about recruiting people with convictions or cautions because: Officers with criminal associations or convictions may be vulnerable to disclosing information Convictions and cautions for certain offences can undermine a police officer s position as a witness in court. Criteria Have you ever been convicted for any offence or had any formal cautions by police for any offence or any bind-overs imposed by any court? Note, these include traffic convictions, fixed penalties for motoring or disorder offences, anti-social behaviour orders and any appearances before a court martial. This includes spent convictions. Response Ye s No Ideally, you should not have a criminal record but some minor offences may not exclude you from joining the police service. Note that the MPS is unable to state, before your application, whether your convictions record will affect your application. This will be determined from the full and confidential information provided during the course of the recruitment and selection process. Please refer to Page 10 for further guidance that we can give you at this stage. Note that any criminal convictions of your relatives and associates may affect your application. Please refer to page 10, section 4 for further guidance. Further details about Criminal convictions are available on page 10 of this document.
4 PART ONE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA 2. Nationality (part 1) Criteria Are you a British citizen, a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) excluding Bulgaria and Romania or Switzerland? Response Ye s No Go to question on Residency Go to next Nationality question 2. Nationality (part 2) Criteria Are you a citizen of a country outside of the EEA or Bulgaria or Romania and can prove that you have legal right of residence in the UK free of any restrictions (i.e. indefinite leave to remain without restriction). Response Ye s No Go to question on Residency You are not eligible to apply for the MPS at this time. Under Police Regulations 2003, candidates from outside the EEA are required to have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. Such applicants must reside in the UK free of restrictions or have an entitlement to do so. Although Bulgaria and Romania are members of the EEA, their citizens are not automatically entitled to work in the UK. They are required, therefore, to provide proof they have no restrictions on their right to work in the UK.
5 PART ONE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA 3. Residency The MPS must vet all applicants in an equitable manner. We do not currently have the means of facilitating vetting enquiries overseas to the extent required for those who have been resident in the UK. That s why this is part of our eligibility criteria. Criteria Will you have resided continuously in the UK for the three year period immediately prior to your application to join the MPS (with any absence from the UK being no more than six months during this time)? Note: Where the applicant has resided abroad due to the fact that they have been serving in the British armed forces or on UK Government Service, they are considered to have been resident in the UK. Response Yes No Go to next question You are not eligible to apply for the police service at this time. 4. Tattoos (part 1) Criteria Do you have any tattoos on your hands, neck or face? Response Yes Tattoos on your hands, neck or face exclude you from joining the MPS. No Go to next question
6 PART ONE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA 4. Tattoos (part 2) Criteria Response Do you have any other tattoos? Yes Tattoos are not acceptable if they: Undermine the dignity and authority of the office of constable Could cause offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or invite provocation. This would include tattoos which are rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, violent or intimidating, or tattoos which display unacceptable attitudes towards women, minority groups or any other section of the community, or alignment with particular groups which could give offence to members of the community No Are garish or numerous or particularly prominent. Note that you will be required to provide photos of all your tattoos with your application. An assessment will then be made. Go to next question 5. Age You must be 18 or over before you can apply to be a police constable. The upper age limit is, typically, 57. This is three years less than the compulsory retirement age of 60 and allows for the two year probationary period and the expectation of a minimum of one year of service following probation (so that the MPS get some return on their investment). Criteria Will you be 18 or over and under 57 years of age when you complete the CKP and submit an application for police constable? Response Ye s No Go to next question You are not eligible to apply for the police service at this time.
7 PART ONE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA 6. Financial position Police constables are in a privileged position with regard to access of information and could be considered potentially vulnerable to corruption. Applicants to the police service should not, therefore, be under pressure from un-discharged debts or liabilities and should be able to manage loans and debts sensibly. Criteria Have you been subject to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), had County Court judgments against you or been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts? Response Yes You may not meet this requirement to join the MPS. Here are some basic guidelines: Applicants who have existing County Court judgments outstanding against them or who have been registered bankrupt and their bankruptcy debts have not been discharged, will not be considered Applicants who are subject to an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) will not be considered Applicants who have discharged County Court judgments may be considered Applicants who have been registered as bankrupt and their bankruptcy debts have been discharged will only be considered after three years from discharge of the debt. No Go to next question
8 PART ONE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA 7. Membership of BNP or similar organisations Police officers should abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of their duties or which is likely to give rise to this impression amongst members of the public. Criteria Are you a member of the British National Party (BNP), Combat 18 or National Front? Response Yes No You are not eligible to apply for the police service at this time. Go to next question 8. Politics Criteria Do you take an active part in politics and intend to continue these activities if successful with your application to become a police constable? Response Yes You are not eligible to apply for the police service at this time. The Police Regulations 2003 state that members of the police service should not take an active part in politics. No Go to next question 9. Other applications You are only able to apply to one police force at a time. Your application will not be accepted if you have previously applied unsuccessfully, in the last six months, to another police force in England and Wales that requires candidates to undertake the Police SEARCH Recruit Assessment Centre. 10. Business interests You must declare any other employment for hire or gain or any other business interests that you intend to maintain, when you apply to become a police constable. A decision on whether you meet the eligibility criteria will be made on the basis of the full information provided during the recruitment and selection process.
9 PART ONE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA 11. Eyesight You may have seen a chart like the diagram below at your optician s. The actual chart is much larger and is read from a distance of six metres. Each line equates to a standard. A BC DEFG HIJKLM NOPQRSTU VWXYZABCD EFGHIJKLMNOPQ RSTUVWXYZABCDEF 6/60 6/36 6/24 6/18 6/12 6/9 6/6 6/5 The standard you need to meet either with or without spectacles or contact lenses is: Distance vision 6/12 or better with either your right or left eye 6/6 with both eyes together If you wear spectacles or contact lenses you also need to reach 6/36 without your spectacles or lenses. Near vision 6/9 with both eyes together (aided). The use of colour correcting lenses is not acceptable. Colour vision Severe colour vision deficiencies (monochromacy) are not acceptable. Mild anomalous trichromacy is acceptable. Severe anomalous dichromacy or trichromacy is also acceptable but you will need to be aware of the deficiency and make appropriate adjustments. Radial keratotomy, arcuate keratotomy or corneal grafts are not acceptable. Eye surgery Other forms of refractive surgery such as LASIK, LASEK, PRK, ICRS and epiflap are all acceptable provided that six weeks have elapsed since surgery, there are no residual side effects and the other eyesight standards are met. You may be asked to provide a report from an optician.
10 CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS FURTHER INFORMATION Criminal convictions This section offers further guidance on criminal convictions. Note that it is just a guide*. 1. Applications will not be accepted if an applicant of any age has been convicted or cautioned for an offence such as murder, manslaughter, rape, kidnapping/ abduction, treason, involvement in espionage, terrorism or sabotage, hostage taking, hi-jacking or torture, any offence involving causing death by, firearms offences, incest, sexual activity with a child or domestic violence offences. 2. In general, applications will also be rejected if an applicant has committed any offence (as an adult or juvenile) which resulted in a prison sentence, including custodial, suspended or deferred sentence and sentences served at a young offender s institution or community home. 3. Your application is likely to be rejected if you have been involved in any of the following (unless there are exceptional and compelling circumstances): Offences involving serious violence or injury (including Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) and Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)) Offences involving unsolicited violence towards others Unlawful possession of weapons, firearms or going equipped to steal Gross indecency and acts of indecency Abuse or neglect of children Public Order offences such as involvement in riot, violent disorder, affray, causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress Racially motivated or homophobic offences Burglary and offences which involve elements or acts of dishonesty, corruption, substantial financial gain or serious loss to anyone including theft, fraud and deception Serious involvement in drugs including possession of a Class A drug (heroin, morphine) or more than one Class B drug (amphetamines) and/or supplying drugs of any kind Reckless or dangerous driving or one offence of drink driving, drunk in charge, or drugs driving, within the last ten years Other serious motoring offences such as convictions within the last five years, driving without insurance, failing to stop after an accident or driving whilst disqualified More than three endorseable traffic convictions (including fixed penalties) and/or two or more convictions for regulatory offences such as failure to renew vehicle excise licence within the last five years Criminal damage Drunk and disorderly behaviour.
11 CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS FURTHER INFORMATION Relative s or Associate s Convictions 1. Where the relatives or associates of an applicant are found to have spent or unspent convictions or cautions for recordable offences, or there is intelligence suggesting involvement in criminal activity, the following will be considered: The likelihood that the applicant s performance of duty will be adversely affected, for example, through adverse pressure or a conflict of interests The nature, number and seriousness of the offences or involvement in criminal activity and the time period over which these took place Whether the circumstances are likely to bring discredit to or embarrass the police service. Note that the MPS is unable to state, before your application, whether your relatives or associates convictions record will affect your application. This will be determined from the full and confidential information provided during the course of the recruitment and selection process. That concludes the section on eligibility criteria. Next you will learn about the selection and assessment process. *The information is correct at the time of publication. This information is subject to alteration resulting from changes in legislation.
12 PART TWO SELECTION AND ASSESSMENT PROCESS If you are eligible, or know what changes you need to make to be eligible, to become a police constable, the next stage is the selection and assessment process. This is where you have to show that you have what it takes to successfully complete the training and undergo the challenges of the role. There are five steps in the selection and assessment process Check your eligibility and suitability for the role of new police constable by successfully completing and passing the Pre-application Questions for MPS New Police Constable Complete an application and security vetting form Undertake and pass the selection assessment day (Day 1) Undertake and pass the medical assessment and fitness test (Day 2) References and security checks. Step 1 Check your eligibility and suitability for the role of new police constable by successfully completing and passing the Pre-application Questions for MPS New Police Constable before enrolling on the CKP. To join the MPS you must have completed the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) qualification before you start training as a new police constable. Visit if you d like more information on the CKP. Step 2 Complete an application form The application form asks you to demonstrate, with evidence, that you have the qualities and core competencies needed to be effective in the role of a police constable. It also asks you to outline your reasons for wanting to become a police constable. Step 3 Undertake and pass the selection assessment day (Day 1) If your application passes step 2, you will be invited to attend a day-long assessment at the MPS selection centre. This day includes: A competency-based structured interview with four questions (20 minutes) A numerical ability test (23 minutes) A verbal ability test (30 minutes) Two written exercises (20 minutes each) Four interactive exercises (10 minutes each).
13 PART TWO SELECTION AND ASSESSMENT PROCESS Step 4 Undertake and pass the medical assessment and fitness test (Day 2) If you pass the selection assessment day, you will be invited to undertake a medical assessment and fitness test to determine whether you can meet the physical challenges of policing. You must be in good health, of sound constitution and able both physically and mentally to perform the duties of a police constable once appointed. You should give careful consideration to whether you are likely to meet this requirement before committing to the CKP. Police regulations also require that candidates who are offered appointment as a police constable be tested for substance misuse and have their DNA and fingerprints taken (to ascertain if they have previously come to police attention or if they are linked to any outstanding crime scenes). Failure to comply with either of these requirements will result in your application being rejected. For more information about the Day 2, please see Fit for the Job at Step 5 References and security checks The final requirement is to obtain satisfactory references and security clearance. Note that if you have been dismissed by an employer for misconduct, bullying, harassment or discrimination, it is unlikely that your application will be progressed.
14 PART THREE SELF-SELECTION QUESTIONNAIRE This questionnaire is designed to give you an indication of your suitability for the role of police constable and a clearer indication of whether you should continue with the process of applying for your CKP. It is entirely optional and your responses or results will not be seen by anyone other than yourself. You will be invited to respond to a number of policing scenarios. You should be open and honest in your responses to get the most out of the questionnaire. Looking and feeling the part Becky is someone who really enjoys keeping up to date with fashion and trends in clothing, hair and jewellery. However, when at work in her role as a police constable, it is important that she puts her own personal sense of style to one side and instead complies with the strict uniform and dress code in order to ensure her personal safety and to portray the positive image of the MPS that the public expects. Although she has less choice about her appearance at work, when Becky wears her uniform she feels smart, professional and confident. Please note the police uniform and dress code makes allowances for items of religious dress. Would you be able to put aside your own sense of style and dress and comply with the police uniform and dress code? No Not Sure Yes Keeping fit Kavita has been a police constable for the past year. In order to join the MPS she had to pass the compulsory fitness test, and ever since joining she has continued to keep up with her own fitness regime which involves regular running and gym sessions to build strength, agility and stamina. The job can involve strenuous physical activity, and she knows that it is important to maintain high fitness levels to ensure she can effectively protect herself and others. How do you feel about continually maintaining a high level of fitness throughout your career as a police constable? Not very happy Not Sure Happy
15 PART THREE SELF-SELECTION QUESTIONNAIRE Not just the normal 9-5 Jonathan is a police constable with the MPS. He has been in the role for six months and he is really enjoying his new job. However, it has taken him a little while to get used to the shift work, which involves him working some weekend and night shifts. This means he has had to adjust his social and family activities, and there are times when the demands of work means he has to do some overtime during busy periods or when there are large scale events in London. However, for Jonathan the unpredictability of his working hours is far outweighed by the variety of the role and the fact that no two days are ever the same*. Would working shifts and unpredictable hours affect the way you feel about being a police constable? Very probably Not sure I d enjoy the challenge Acting with impartiality Caroline has been a police constable for eighteen months. Since joining she has really enjoyed her new lifestyle, although a few things have had to change. For example, when she was at university she used to be a highly involved member of a political society. Now she is in the police service she cannot take an active part in politics as all police constables need to ensure they can carry out their duties with impartiality and in such a way as not to bring any discredit to the service. Although she misses being involved in politics, she realises that it s important for her to conduct herself in a way that is congruent with being a police constable, even when she is off duty. Would any aspect of your life impact on you being able to act with impartiality as a police constable? Yes Not Sure No *Information regarding flexible working arrangements in the Met is on the Met Careers website.
16 PART THREE SELF-SELECTION QUESTIONNAIRE Never off duty David has been in his role as a police constable for the MPS for twelve months and has just had a week off work to move into his new flat. One of his friends has been very helpful in the move, lending him a van and helping to transport all of his belongings. On the Tuesday evening of the move, there were a couple of teenagers outside the flats shouting aggressively and throwing stones at one of the windows of the building. They didn t interact with him and his friend but David assessed the risk and challenged their behaviour, asking what they were doing, and encouraged them to leave the premises. Although he felt nervous in this situation, he knows how important it is for him to conduct himself in a way that is consistent with being a police constable, even when he is off duty. Being a police constable means that sometimes, in your day-to-day private life, you have to put yourself on duty as necessary. Are you prepared for that? No Not Sure Definitely Accepting the authority of others Amit has been a police constable in the MPS for nine months. Previously he was a manager in a large security firm, but was keen for a change in direction. So far he is pleased with his new career, although he has had to get used to a different way of working. For example, it has been a big adjustment learning to take orders from others and being at the lower end of the rank structure within the service, especially as he is more used to being the one who tells others what to do. However, he accepts that the MPS is a disciplined service and it is essential officers follow rules and accept authority. How comfortable would you be following strict rules and authority to carry out the needs of the service? Not very comfortable Not sure Very comfortable
17 PART THREE SELF-SELECTION QUESTIONNAIRE Dealing with distressing situations Lawrence has just finished a long and difficult shift. He and his colleague were the first on the scene of a road traffic accident where a cyclist was killed. He needed to take witness statements from a number of very shocked and distressed onlookers, including the driver who knocked the cyclist off her bike. He then had to visit the deceased s family and tell them what had happened. The family was obviously very upset and Lawrence had to control his own emotions whilst supporting them as much as he could. He finds this a difficult but rewarding part of his role, and prides himself in his communication skills and ability to deal with people in a sensitive and considerate manner. Could you deal with traumatic and distressing situations with compassion and a level head? No Not Sure Yes Your place of work Dympna has just finished her police constable training and is really excited about starting in her first post. She was given an opportunity to state her location preferences, although due to operational requirements she has been asked to take a post in a different London Borough. This means that she needs to travel to another area of London and ensure she turns up for duty on time. Although she was a little disappointed at first, she realises the needs of the MPS must take priority, and is looking forward to getting to know a new part of London. Are you ready to be very flexible regarding your work location to fulfill your obligations as a police constable? No Not Sure Yes
18 PART THREE SELF-SELECTION QUESTIONNAIRE Being confident in your actions Laura loves her new job as a police constable and particularly enjoys being part of a team. She knows there are always people to back her up and provide support when required. But there are times when she has to use her initiative and take difficult decisions on her own, especially in the heat of the moment or during a rapidly evolving situation. She has learnt to have confidence in her own judgment and quickly draws upon the knowledge she gained during training and her previous experiences, in order to make the best and safest decision in a given situation. Are you happy about working in a team and also confident about taking the initiative when needed? It s not for me Not sure Of course Doing the paperwork Aisha has always wanted to be in the police and really enjoys her new role in the MPS. Her favourite part of the job is patrolling the streets of London, meeting the public and dealing with the unexpected challenges that occur every day. She sometimes gets frustrated at the amount of paperwork that goes with the job, but she realises that she needs to keep detailed records to ensure that everyone knows what has happened on a case and to support successful prosecutions and outcomes. Does doing paperwork and meticulously keeping records put you off being a police constable? Yes Not sure Not at all
19 PART THREE SELF-SELECTION QUESTIONNAIRE Making your case Tim has been in his new role as a police constable in the MPS for six months and has been enjoying the variety of the work and being part of a wider team with common goals. However, he is feeling nervous as today he has to go to court and give evidence in support of the prosecution of a suspected mugger. He is slightly daunted by the fact he will be in the witness box alone, and he knows he will have to answer questions from the prosecution and the defence. Despite his apprehension, he is looking forward to the opportunity to do something new and he is keen to play a role in the successful prosecution of a known criminal, who is suspected of mugging a number of elderly people in South London. How would you react if you were in Tim s position? I wouldn t like it Not sure I d love the challenge Overview You have considered your suitability for working as a police constable within the MPS, including the lifestyle you would need to adopt and some of the challenges you might face within the role. Now consider your overall fit or suitability for this role. Being honest with yourself, how much do you now want to be a police constable? Not very much Not sure I can t wait to apply
20 PART THREE SELF-SELECTION QUESTIONNAIRE Feedback Score Feedback to potential candidate Thank you for completing our questionnaire. We hope you found it useful. You sound like you would enjoy the role of a police constable at the MPS. Therefore, you should consider undertaking the CKP Thank you for completing our questionnaire. We hope you found it useful. Not all of your preferences match what we are looking for in our police constables. We recommend you take some time to think carefully about whether this role is suited to you before making the decision to undertake the CKP. You may wish to do some further research on our website. Visit if you d like more information about the role of a police constable and the CKP. 25 and below Thank you for completing our questionnaire. We hope you found it useful. A number of your preferences did not match what we are looking for in our police constables, so you may want to reconsider whether this is the right role for you at this time. Please take the time to read through all of the information on our website and think carefully about whether you are suited to this role before deciding whether to undertake the CKP. Visit if you d like more information about the role of a police constable and the CKP. Please ensure that you have successfully completed and passed all three sections of this self-selection questionnaire before considering to undertake the CKP.