How To Become A Police Special Constable

Published: 09th March 2011
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Copyright (c) 2011 Alison Withers

The application form is the first stage of the selection process for becoming a Police Special Constable.

Whenever I have completed application forms in the past I have always set aside plenty of time to give them justice. I would recommend you allow at least five evenings to complete the form, breaking it up into manageable sections. Many candidates will try and complete the form in one sitting and as a result their concentration will wane and so will the quality of their submission.

The questions on the application form that are based around 'knowledge, skills and experience' are looking for you to demonstrate that you can meet the requirements of the 'person specification' for the job you are applying for. Therefore, your answer should match these as closely as possible.

Essentially, the role of a Police Special Constable is made up of a number of core competencies which you will find as part of your pack. Be sure to check that these are relevant to the force you are applying for.

The core competencies that form the basis of the Police Special Constable role are similar to the following. Please note that the core competencies can and do change from time to time, so it is important to confirm that they are correct.

Respect for race and diversity

This essentially involves considering and showing respect for the opinions, circumstances and feelings of colleagues and members of the public, no matter what their race, religion, position, background, circumstances, status or appearance. We have already touched on this important subject and you will no doubt be aware of how important it is to the role of a Police Special Constable.

Team working

Police Special Constables must be able to work in teams as well as having an ability to work on their own, unsupervised. In order to meet this core competency you will need to be able to develop strong working relationships both inside and outside the team. If there are barriers between different groups then you will need to have the skills to break them down and involve other people in discussions and decisions that you make.

Community and customer focus

As a Police Special Constable you must focus on the customer. The customer is essentially the members of the public whom you will be dealing with. You will need to be capable of providing a high-quality service that is tailored to meet each person's individual needs. The only way that you can provide a high quality service to the public is by understanding the needs of your community. Once you understand the needs of your community then you will be able to provide an excellent service.

Effective communication

Police Special Constables must be able to communicate both verbally and in writing. You will also need to communicate to the people you are addressing in a style and manner that is appropriate. This can sometimes be difficult but with practice, it can be achieved.

As a serving Police Special Constable you will be required to take accurate notes of incidents that you attend. Therefore the Police Force that you are applying to join will want to assess your potential in this area during the written tests element of the selection process.

Personal responsibility

Police Special Constables have a reputation for getting things done. They are very good at taking personal responsibility for making things happen and achieving results. In order to effectively achieve this you will need to display a level of motivation, commitment, perseverance and conscientiousness. At all times you will need to act with a high degree of integrity.


As a Police Special Constable you will do doubt be faced with difficult and pressurised circumstances. It is during these tough situations that you will need to show resilience. For example, imagine turning up to a 999 call where a group of drunken lads are refusing to leave a pub after closing time. How would you deal with the situation? You must be prepared to make difficult decisions and have the confidence to see them through.

Planning and Organising

As a Police Special Constable you will be required to plan and organise your day in accordance with guidelines and policies.

Now that we have taken a brief look at the core competencies, we can start to look at some important tips, which will help you to submit a first class application.

- Make sure you read the whole of the application form at least twice before preparing your responses, including the guidance notes.

- Read and understand the person specification and the Police Special Constable Core competencies.

- Try to tailor your answers around the 'core competencies' and include any keywords or phrases you think are relevant.

- Make sure you base your answers on actual events that you have experienced either in your work life or personal life. - Fill the form out in the correct ink colour (unless it is an on-line application). If you fail to follow this simple instruction then your form may end up in the bin!

- If there is a specific word count for each question, make sure you stick to it.

- Make sure you keep a photocopy of your completed application form before sending it off as you could be asked questions relating to it during the interview stage if you progress that far.

- Do not lie.

- Get someone to read your practice/completed application form to check for spelling/grammar mistakes. You lose marks for poor grammar/spelling.

- Finally, send your application form recorded delivery. This will prevent your form going missing in the post, which happens more often that you think.

Follow the above tips carefully when applying to become a Police Special Constable and you won't go too far wrong.


Expert advice on how to pass the Police Special Constable selection process including how to complete the Police Special Constable application form.

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