Eligibility Requirements2022-10-19T12:08:02+01:00

Check your eligibility

Whilst we welcome applications from people from all backgrounds, there are some eligibility conditions that all our Police Community Support Officers need to meet.

Age

You must be aged 18 years or over to apply.

Business Interests

You must declare any other employment or business interests you intend to maintain.

The purpose of this is to ensure business interests and additional occupations do not conflict with the work of the police, undermine public confidence or adversely affect the reputation of you or Northumbria Police.

Cautions and Convictions

Applicants, who have been convicted or cautioned, may still be eligible for appointment, depending on the nature and circumstances of the offence.

Northumbria Police will not recruit those whose convictions or cautions may call into question the integrity of the applicant or the Police Service.

You should declare on your application form all convictions for any past offences, formal cautions by the police and any bind-overs imposed by any court.

Education and Qualifications

To join as a Police Community Support Officer with Northumbria Police, applicants for the apprenticeship must have:

Level 2 qualifications in both English and Maths for example a GCSE or iGCSE at grade C (level 4) or above, Functional Skills Level 2, Key Skills Level 2 (Communication and / or Literacy) or Adult Numeracy / Literacy Plus

AND

A minimum of ONE Level 3 (or higher) qualification for example 1 A-Level qualification

Proof of qualifications are required on application

If you do not currently hold Level 2 qualifications in English and/or Maths, read our guide to attaining Level 2 English and Maths or equivalent

Financial Position

PCSO’s are in a privileged position with regard to access of information and could be considered potentially vulnerable to corruption. Most applicants have debts, such as mortgages, undischarged student or other loans, and credit/store card debts. Whilst this is generally accepted, applicants to the police service should not be under pressure from undischarged debts or liabilities and should be able to manage loans and debts sensibly. The emphasis is on sensible management of debt.

If you have a discharged County Court Judgement you may be considered. We will not accept an application if you have an existing County Court Judgement outstanding against you.

If you have been registered as bankrupt and your bankruptcy debts have been discharged, you will be considered after three years from discharge of the debt. However, we will not accept you if you have been registered bankrupt and your bankruptcy debts have not been discharged.

If you are the subject of a current Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), you will not be considered.

Health and Fitness

Whilst our health and fitness requirements are not nearly as demanding as is often assumed, you will need to be able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the job. Applicants therefore must be in good health mentally and physically to undertake their duties.

You will undergo a medical examination to ensure you meet the health standards required.

Nationality and Residency

To be eligible for appointment, you must be a British citizen or a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. Commonwealth citizens and foreign nationals are also eligible but only if they are resident in the UK free of restrictions. If you are a Commonwealth citizen or other foreign national, you must provide proof during the recruitment process that you have no restrictions on your stay in the UK and that you have the right to work in the UK in accordance with post-Brexit immigration requirements.

You must have been continually resident in the UK for the three year period immediately before an application is made. This is to satisfy the requirement to vet all applicants in an equitable manner.

Tattoos

Tattoos do not prevent you from becoming a PCSO; however tattoos on the face are not acceptable other than for religious or medical reasons. In addition, tattoos, whether visible or otherwise should not:

  • undermine the dignity and authority
  • cause offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or invite provocation
  • indicate unacceptable attitudes towards any individual or section of the community
  • indicate alignment with a particular group which could give offence
  • be considered inflammatory, rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, violent or intimidating.

Although tattoos will not prohibit applicants from joining Northumbria Police (subject to the above), it is recommended they are covered when at work to maintain a professional image. The dress and appearance protocol outlines that officers should wear appropriate work wear which covers tattoos as far as possible when at work, which will be issued accordingly.

If your tattoo is determined as not acceptable, your application will not be progressed.

Inappropriate Social Media

The College of Policing advise us to look for inappropriate comments, behaviour and views on publicly available social media accounts to ensure the applicant’s online behaviour is compatible with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Behaviour. We therefore conduct social media checks on all applicants and consider every social media account.

We have and do decline clearance as a result of inappropriate, sexualised, racist and homophobic social media posts which are inconsistent with our values and behaviours.

It is strongly advised that you review your public social media content before submitting your vetting form.  Have you liked any posts or groups that represent a conflict in values with the police service? Do you really know all of your ‘friends’ you are linked to?  Think about how your content could be perceived by the public or the press, as well as your own online personal security.

Inappropriate Associations

If you have a family member, friend or associate who you know has criminal convictions, or you believe that they are, or have been, involved in criminal activity then you should declare this within your application.  You should explain what your association is with that person, how often you see them, what your relationship with them is like and what steps you have taken to disassociate yourself from their criminal actions. You must provide as much information as possible based on what you know.

Having an inappropriate association does not necessarily mean that you won’t be granted a vetting clearance.  On occasion risk mitigation measures will be put in place after appointment, such as regular monitoring or you would be posted to a specific area.

Dress and Appearance

You will need to look smart and clean at all times when representing the Force on any duty. Religious or cultural clothing can be worn, provided it is suitable for the purpose.

Headwear – If you wear a turban or an Imama Shareef a force badge must be on display. Anyone wearing a hijab or skullcap must wear their headwear over it when on foot patrol.

Facial hair – operational officers should not have a long beard, because of health and safety risks; although we can make exceptions for religious reasons.

Jewellery – Religious requirements to wear jewellery are judged on their own merit. They are only allowed if not a significant health and safety risk and unobtrusive.

Full Declaration on Vetting

Where relevant information is not declared at the vetting stage, the presumption is that the applicant’s honesty and integrity are in question and this may lead to them being refused clearance.  Many people claim they were told by the police officer that dealt with them that there would not be a record of the event.  You should presume that everything is recorded and failure to mention it will have an adverse effect on your application.  If you declare something which is not relevant, the Force Vetting Unit will discount it.

Membership of a Proscribed Organisation or Other Group

We have a policy to prevent officers and staff from becoming members of organisations or groups whose aims, objectives or pronouncements may contradict our duty to promote equality (e.g. BNP, Combat 18, National Front etc.).  Therefore, if you are a member of a proscribed organisation or other group, you will not be accepted.

Age

You must be aged 18 years or over to apply.

Business Interests

You must declare any other employment or business interests you intend to maintain.

The purpose of this is to ensure business interests and additional occupations do not conflict with the work of the police, undermine public confidence or adversely affect the reputation of you or Northumbria Police.

Cautions and Convictions

Applicants, who have been convicted or cautioned, may still be eligible for appointment, depending on the nature and circumstances of the offence.

Northumbria Police will not recruit those whose convictions or cautions may call into question the integrity of the applicant or the Police Service.

You should declare on your application form all convictions for any past offences, formal cautions by the police and any bind-overs imposed by any court.

Education and Qualifications

To join as a Police Community Support Officer with Northumbria Police, applicants for the apprenticeship must have:

Level 2 qualifications in both English and Maths for example a GCSE or iGCSE at grade C (level 4) or above, Functional Skills Level 2, Key Skills Level 2 (Communication and / or Literacy) or Adult Numeracy / Literacy Plus

AND

A minimum of ONE Level 3 (or higher) qualification for example 1 A-Level qualification

Proof of qualifications are required on application

If you do not currently hold Level 2 qualifications in English and/or Maths, read our guide to attaining Level 2 English and Maths or equivalent

Financial Position

PCSO’s are in a privileged position with regard to access of information and could be considered potentially vulnerable to corruption. Most applicants have debts, such as mortgages, undischarged student or other loans, and credit/store card debts. Whilst this is generally accepted, applicants to the police service should not be under pressure from undischarged debts or liabilities and should be able to manage loans and debts sensibly. The emphasis is on sensible management of debt.

If you have a discharged County Court Judgement you may be considered. We will not accept an application if you have an existing County Court Judgement outstanding against you.

If you have been registered as bankrupt and your bankruptcy debts have been discharged, you will be considered after three years from discharge of the debt. However, we will not accept you if you have been registered bankrupt and your bankruptcy debts have not been discharged.

If you are the subject of a current Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), you will not be considered.

Health and Fitness

Whilst our health and fitness requirements are not nearly as demanding as is often assumed, you will need to be able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the job. Applicants therefore must be in good health mentally and physically to undertake their duties.

You will undergo a medical examination to ensure you meet the health standards required.

Fitness Test

The fitness test allows an assessment to be made of your endurance to ensure you are able to meet the demands of operational policing.

The test focuses upon aerobic capacity. You will carry out a shuttle run over a 15 metre area and run in time with a bleep. At the end of each level the time in between the bleeps is shortened and you therefore have to run faster to keep up with the pace. The recruit pass mark is level 5.4.

If you do not think you can achieve this level, you should ensure you start improving your fitness levels as soon as you can (please check with your doctor before making any big changes to your fitness regime).

It is your responsibility to keep yourself fit throughout your career.

Nationality and Residency

To be eligible for appointment, you must be a British citizen or a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. Commonwealth citizens and foreign nationals are also eligible but only if they are resident in the UK free of restrictions. If you are a Commonwealth citizen or other foreign national, you must provide proof during the recruitment process that you have no restrictions on your stay in the UK and that you have the right to work in the UK in accordance with post-Brexit immigration requirements.

You must have been continually resident in the UK for the three year period immediately before an application is made. This is to satisfy the requirement to vet all applicants in an equitable manner.

Tattoos

Tattoos do not prevent you from becoming a PCSO; however tattoos on the face are not acceptable other than for religious or medical reasons. In addition, tattoos, whether visible or otherwise should not:

  • undermine the dignity and authority
  • cause offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or invite provocation
  • indicate unacceptable attitudes towards any individual or section of the community
  • indicate alignment with a particular group which could give offence
  • be considered inflammatory, rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, violent or intimidating.

Although tattoos will not prohibit applicants from joining Northumbria Police (subject to the above), it is recommended they are covered when at work to maintain a professional image. The dress and appearance protocol outlines that officers should wear appropriate work wear which covers tattoos as far as possible when at work, which will be issued accordingly.

If your tattoo is determined as not acceptable, your application will not be progressed.

Inappropriate Social Media

The College of Policing advise us to look for inappropriate comments, behaviour and views on publicly available social media accounts to ensure the applicant’s online behaviour is compatible with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Behaviour. We therefore conduct social media checks on all applicants and consider every social media account.

We have and do decline clearance as a result of inappropriate, sexualised, racist and homophobic social media posts which are inconsistent with our values and behaviours.

It is strongly advised that you review your public social media content before submitting your vetting form.  Have you liked any posts or groups that represent a conflict in values with the police service? Do you really know all of your ‘friends’ you are linked to?  Think about how your content could be perceived by the public or the press, as well as your own online personal security.

Inappropriate Social Media

If you have a family member, friend or associate who you know has criminal convictions, or you believe that they are, or have been, involved in criminal activity then you should declare this within your application.  You should explain what your association is with that person, how often you see them, what your relationship with them is like and what steps you have taken to disassociate yourself from their criminal actions. You must provide as much information as possible based on what you know.

Having an inappropriate association does not necessarily mean that you won’t be granted a vetting clearance.  On occasion risk mitigation measures will be put in place after appointment, such as regular monitoring or you would be posted to a specific area.

Dress and Appearance

You will need to look smart and clean at all times when representing the Force on any duty. Religious or cultural clothing can be worn, provided it is suitable for the purpose.

Headwear – If you wear a turban or an Imama Shareef a force badge must be on display. Anyone wearing a hijab or skullcap must wear their headwear over it when on foot patrol.

Facial hair – operational officers should not have a long beard, because of health and safety risks; although we can make exceptions for religious reasons.

Jewellery – Religious requirements to wear jewellery are judged on their own merit. They are only allowed if not a significant health and safety risk and unobtrusive.

Full Declaration on Vetting

Where relevant information is not declared at the vetting stage, the presumption is that the applicant’s honesty and integrity are in question and this may lead to them being refused clearance.  Many people claim they were told by the police officer that dealt with them that there would not be a record of the event.  You should presume that everything is recorded and failure to mention it will have an adverse effect on your application.  If you declare something which is not relevant, the Force Vetting Unit will discount it.

Membership of a Proscribed Organisation or Other Group

We have a policy to prevent officers and staff from becoming members of organisations or groups whose aims, objectives or pronouncements may contradict our duty to promote equality (e.g. BNP, Combat 18, National Front etc.).  Therefore, if you are a member of a proscribed organisation or other group, you will not be accepted.