Recruitment FAQs

If I am successful in my application to become a PCSO or Special Constable, can I transfer to become a Police Officer?[+ / -]

No, you would have to go through the official recruitment process like all other applicants in order to qualify as a police officer.

I’d like to become a Firearms officer – if my application is successful can I join the unit straight away?[+ / -]

No. All newly recruited police officers must undergo a two year probationary period, so you could not apply for any specialist posts within the force until you have completed at least two years service.

What’s the difference between a neighbourhood police officer and a response police officer?[+ / -]

Response police officers work in allocated teams to answer emergency (999) calls.

Neighbourhood police officers work in an allocated area of the community to prevent and reduce crime and improve quality of life.

I want to apply to become a police officer but I have asthma. Does this mean my application will be rejected?[+ / -]

If you are successful in the assessment centre stage of recruitment you will undergo a medical examination, and unless your asthma is severe, it will not affect your application.

Can you become a police officer if you wear glasses or contact lenses?[+ / -]

If you successfully reach the medical examination stage of recruitment, you will have to undergo an eye test.

New recruits must have at least 6/12 vision in their right or left eye, or at least 6/6 vision in both eyes.

Those who wear glasses, spectacles or contact lenses must have at least 6/36 vision in both eyes without wearing their glasses, spectacles or contact lenses.

If I have a disability can I apply?[+ / -]

South Wales Police welcomes applications from people with disabilities as defined by Equality Act 2010 i.e. a person is disabled under this Act if they have a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term (over 12 months) adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

If you consider yourself to have a disability, please inform us of the type of adjustments you might need to assist you in participating in the recruitment and selection process. South Wales Police will try to make the reasonable adjustments required where practicable.

Please note that once a conditional job offer has been made, an applicant will be asked to complete a functional assessment form and attend a health screening where appropriate, which will require them to meet the health criteria intrinsic to the functions of that role where specified with or without reasonable adjustment.

Can you become a police officer if you are colour blind?[+ / -]

Those with colour blindness are eligible to become police officers, but would be restricted from fulfilling certain specialist posts, such as a traffic officer or firearms officer. If your colour blindness is monochrome however, you would unfortunately be unable to apply.

I am epileptic – can I still apply?[+ / -]

You can apply to become a police officer as long as you have not had an epileptic attack or taken medication for the illness within the last two years. Your doctor will need to supply a medical report for clarification.

I have diabetes – can I still apply?[+ / -]

Yes as long as your diabetes is under control. Your doctor will need to supply a medical report for clarification.

Is there a height restriction for police officers?[+ / -]

No, there is no minimum or maximum height.

I am not a British citizen – will this affect my application?[+ / -]

You can still apply to become a police officer as long as you are a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area, or Switzerland, a Commonwealth citizen, or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom. You must have lived in the UK for the past three years.

Foreign nationals and UK citizens who have lived abroad may have to wait some time for security and vetting clearance.

I turn 18 in December but the closing date of application is October. Can I still apply?[+ / -]

No, you must be 18 when the application is submitted.

Will I be expected to work night shifts?[+ / -]

Yes, all police officers work on a rota system which includes both day and night shifts.

Do I need to have a driving license?[+ / -]

You don’t need a driving license to apply, but if appointed you must pass your theory and practical driving tests within your first two years of service.

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?[+ / -]

If, unfortunately, you do not pass the initial application stage, we will notify you by post. You can reapply to join South Wales Police six months from the date of your notification letter, but only if we are currently recruiting.

I have a criminal record. Does this mean I can’t apply?[+ / -]

You may still be eligible to join the police service if you have minor convictions/cautions, but there are certain offences and conditions that will make you ineligible. This includes anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or public order offence. When making our decisions we are guided by Home Office Circular 54/2003.  You can view this document on the Police could you website.

Didn’t find what you were looking for?[+ / -]

Contact us directly, or try www.askthe.police.uk, an official police resource with a huge bank of FAQ answers about the police.