Willing And Able

But Are You Eligible?

Just like any other individual who joins the police service, you will need to meet specific eligibility criteria.

Are you eligible?

We will consider applications from people over the age of 18 (at the time of application) but please be aware that while there is no upper age limit for appointment it should be borne in mind that the compulsory age of retirement for a police inspector is 60 years and 65 years for a superintendent.

We typically expect candidates to have a Level 6/7 qualification but will also consider applicants who can demonstrate equivalent level experience.

There are no nationality requirements. However, if you are not a citizen of the United Kingdom, a member state of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein, then you must have the status of indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom without restriction.

The police need to ensure that adequate and satisfactory vetting is undertaken for all applicants. Police forces require a three year checkable history and due to difficulties often faced with gaining vetting checks from overseas, to the extent required for those who have been resident in the UK. This could mean applicants may need to have resided in the UK for a three year period prior to application.

Note that applicants serving in the British armed forces or on UK Government Service are considered to have been resident in the UK.

Candidates should visit the website of the Force that they have selected to apply for prior to applying, to check any Force specific eligibility requirements and process stages.

Please note the following exemption:

If you are currently serving in the British armed forces or are working for the UK government overseas and can demonstrate UK residency by discounting any periods where you have been deployed overseas, then you are still eligible to apply.

There will be checks around your fitness, financial position, any previous criminal convictions, and membership of political groups.

To help you assess your own eligibility, please take a look at our list of our core competencies then complete our interactive self-selection questionnaire 

Training and support

You’ll be trained with the leadership qualities, operational skills and strategic thinking to constantly deliver against tight timetables. You’ll also be supported throughout by mentors, skilled workplace coaches and the College of Policing.

Most of your day-to-day development will come while in force through operational rotations at the ranks of constable, sergeant inspector and target rank of superintendent. The College of Policing will provide you with invaluable modular-based training, alongside a tailored personal development plan, leadership coaching, media training and a mentor.

Importantly, you’ll benefit from the experience and knowledge of experts from across policing and partner organisations. Through a combination of case studies, classroom inputs and immersive learning, the programme will get the very best out of you and ensure you are a competent operational superintendent. 


Rates of pay vary by force and will rise with each year of experience. A candidate can expect a starting salary (from day one) of around £64,000 a year. In some forces, there are additional allowances that will complement your salary.

There is also an excellent pension plan and a fair and inclusive promotion policy. Your preferred force will have more details on their individual packages.


If you are successfully placed on the programme, you’ll be required to undertake a fitness test. There are two elements to the test and you must pass both as a minimum standard to demonstrate you will be able to work effectively as a police officer.

​​If you don't pass the test at your first attempt you will be allowed to re-take it. Find out more about the fitness test and tips on how to prepare here


The College of Policing are unable to answer residency and vetting eligibility queries on the behalf of forces as criteria varies force to force.

Please visit individual force websites for further information on residency criteria.