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South Wales Police

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Police Officers

Due to unprecedented numbers we will now close the September 2020 Police Constable Recruitment Campaign to new applicants.

Are you looking for a new, exciting and varied career, where no two days are the same? If so, then the role of a Police Officer could be for you! We are looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people who will be committed to our vision; to be the best at understanding and responding to the needs of the community; to protecting the most vulnerable, catching criminals and , keeping the public safe, whilst also abiding by the policing Code of Ethics.  

Which route will you choose?


The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) is a three year practice based higher education programme, leading to a BSc Hons Degree in Professional Policing Practice. To apply for the PCDA entrants must have already achieved a Level 3 qualification (A level or equivalent) or have successfully completed the online competency based assessment. Predicted grades will not be accepted. The necessary certification will also need to be provided. If successful you will need to undertake a number of assessments and assignments during the term of your Apprenticeship. Protected study time to support your professional development will be provided, however it is also likely that a level of private study, outside of working hours, will also be needed. Further information about the programme of learning will be made available shortly.

Degree Holder

The Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) is for those who already hold a degree in any subject area but want to join the force. This is a two-year programme combining on-the-job practical learning and operational competence with academic learning. Upon completion, successful candidates will also achieve a Diploma in Professional Policing Practice. The force covers all course fees relating to this entry route. Predicted grades will not be accepted. The necessary certification will also need to be attached before you can submit an application. If your degree was achieved outside of the UK, you must achieve ratification from a Higher Education Establishment within the UK to evidence your qualification is recognised at Degree standard. If you are yet to complete your degree, but would still like to apply, you should do so though the Apprenticeship route. If successful however you will be unable to complete your current degree qualification and you will not be able to defer your application to a later date.

Pre-join Degree

The Pre-join Degree in Professional Policing Practice is for those who choose to complete the degree at a Higher Education Institution of their choosing, at their own cost. Candidates recruited via this route will also undertake academic and practice based training to develop specific skills, assessed against national assessment criteria and operational competence This route to join will become available at participating Universities from September 2019. The College of Policing has introduced a new website with information about the pre-join Degree route. Please note this is not currently a live entry route into South Wales Police please apply for the Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) or the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA).

More about the Role

To be successful you will need meet our minimum entry requirements, and demonstrate a passion and commitment to providing a first class policing service to the people of South Wales. South Wales Police prides itself on our exceptional people so if you feel that you would like to come and join us keep an eye on our current vacancies. Please be aware that on appointment and during your service you may be posted to any location in South Wales based on operational need. Applicants should also be aware that although they will be entitled to a level of protected study time in the workplace to support your professional development, it is also likely that some students will also need to undertake private study, outside of working hours. It is estimated that any learner on a degree or graduate diploma programme will carry out an average of 5 hours per week private study, although this will very much dependent upon the student. All learners are required to successfully complete the required qualification. Please note that “protected learning time” will be subject to organisational need. If you are from a diverse background and culture and would like to speak with someone about this role, forthcoming recruitment campaigns, opportunities or support available to you, please contact our representative workforce team via e-mail

Am I Eligible?

Applying online The first part of the process asks questions to determine if you are eligible to apply. (see eligibility criteria below) If you are eligible, you will be guided through the application process. First, there will be some online tests. These will include an online Behavioural Style Questionnaire and a Situational Judgement Test. You can find out more about these tests in these guidance documents:

If you do not have a Level 3 qualification or above, you must also successfully pass a psychometric test (Verbal Reasoning and Calculation). This will test your academic ability to Level 3. If you pass these tests, you will move on to complete the online form. Eligibility criteria:

  • Be aged 17 years or over (will only be appointed at the age of 18)
  • Have lived in the UK for three continuous years, immediately prior to application.
  • Have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. N.B You will need to provide proof of this when completing your application. Not be a member of the British National Party (BNP) plus other organisations such as Combat 18 or The National Front.
  • Not have any tattoos that could cause offence. Tattoos on the neck, face or hands are deemed to be unacceptable but consideration may be given in some circumstances considering the size, nature and prominence of the tattoo. – Existing tattoos will be screened for eligibility and if candidates choose to have any additional tattoos during the recruitment process, after passing eligibility checks, the onus is on them to advise HR and provide appropriate photographs which will need to be checked.
  • Not have a criminal record or conviction which is incompatible with the role – please see eligibility criteria.
  • Must provide a certificate for a level 3 or higher qualification – Click here for level 3 qualifications list . If you do not have a Level 3 qualification or above you must also successfully pass a verbal reason and calculation test. This will test your academic ability to Level 3

Virtual Assessment Centre Click here to view a  Candidate journey  for the Virtual Assessment centre – Assessment Centre UPDATE Due to COVID 19 an online assessment process will be used until further notice. Information on this assessment process can be found Online candidate guidance The new process will enable rapid recruitment without face-to-face contact while social distancing measures are required. It will also enable secure online assessment to be part of an efficient and user-friendly candidate journey in the future. The online assessment process: The online assessment process consists of a three-stage approach designed for the efficient assessment and recruitment of police constables. The three stages are: Stage 1 – Situational judgement test (SJT) This test measures your ability to choose the appropriate action in situations similar to those you are likely to face as a police constable. This test will measure your judgement and ability to make effective decisions against the Competency and Values Framework for Policing. South Wales Police uses our own shortlisting tools so if you are invited to take part in the online assessment centre you will start the process at STAGE 2. Stage 2 – Competency-based interview You will be asked a series of questions about how you have dealt with specific situations in the past. This is your opportunity to provide some examples of the key competencies and values that are important for police constables. You can use examples from both your work and your personal life. If you have completed stage 1, you will be required to take stage 2 immediately upon completion. Stage 3 – Written assessment and briefing exercise Stage 3a – Written assessment In this exercise, you will assume the role of a police constable and will have to complete an urgent written task for your line manager. You will receive four items of information to help you with this task. Stage 3b – Briefing exercise In this exercise, you will assume the role of a police constable and will have responsibility for dealing with some issues presented to you. You will be tasked with providing a response to a number of questions in relation to this issue. You will be provided with preparation materials to consider your answer. Please note that you will receive and be able to take stages 3a and 3b separately   You must pass all stages in the Virtual Assessment centre in order to continuing with the remainder of the recruitment process.   Recruitment Checks Fitness Test

  • Policing can be physically demanding, so you will need to be in good physical condition to pass the fitness test. As part of your assessment, you will be tested to ensure your fitness levels are high enough. It is a thorough test, but don’t worry, it’s not about being super fit. We only want to make sure you would be physically able to carry out your duties. If you don’t meet the standard first time around, you can take the test again up to a maximum of three times, with six weeks in between each attempt in order for you to develop and improve. You will also be required to attend a pre-appointment fitness test approximately 6 weeks prior to the anticipated appointment date and you must pass this to progress your application.


  • The importance of honesty and integrity is made clear throughout our application process. Officers are subject to the Standards of Professional Behaviour, which clearly set out what communities can expect from their officers. You MUST declare all convictions for past offences, formal cautions (including as a juvenile) and any bind-over imposed by the courts. You should also include all traffic convections. Due to the nature of policing, it’s essential that we conduct rigorous vetting checks on successful applicants before they can join the program. Click here to find out more.  


  • Due to the nature of Police work, good health and fitness is paramount. However, applications are welcome from people with disabilities and every effort will be made to make reasonable adjustments if required. If you are Successful at the Assessment Centre you will complete a medical questionnaire and undertake a medical examination. There are certain medical conditions and disorders that may have a detrimental effect on your ability to conduct the role effectively; each case will be considered carefully as part of the medical process.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) – If your application is successful, your weight range will be assessed during a medical assessment. The healthy weight range is based on a measurement known as your body mass index (BMI). This can be determined if you know your weight and your height. The actual calculation is your weight (in kilograms) divided by your height (in metres squared). Guidance and easy to use charts on how to calculate your BMI can be found on the NHS website. The NHS advises that a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 suggest a normal healthy weight. This means your body is not at risk of weight-related disease. The Home Office sets BMI standards for police officers. The current Home Office circular 59/2004 outlines this as between 18 and 30. Applicants who do not meet this standard may find their application delayed and / or will not be appointed. Police Officer applicants with a BMI over 32 will not be considered fit unless their body fat percentage is less than 30% for men or 36% for women.

  Drugs test and biometric vetting

  • You will also be asked to undertake a drugs test and provide information about any medication you may be taking. If you should fail the drugs test you will not be offered a position with South Wales Police. Any internal candidates who fail a drugs test will have their offer withdrawn and the results from the drugs test may be used in accordance with the South Wales Police Staff Discipline Police and Police Staff Code of Conduct. Legislation has been introduced that requires applicants to undergo biometric vetting. Please refer to NPIA Circular 2/2019 which can be viewed on College of Policing website. This means we will be asking you to sign a consent form to take your fingerprints and a sample of your DNA for the purposes of a speculative search and for your fingerprints and DNA profile to be retained on the Police Elimination Database (PEDb). The purpose of obtaining fingerprints and DNA samples is to allow a speculative search to be made against the local and national databases prior to your appointment to the police force. This is to ensure that you have not previously come to adverse police attention, which you have not informed us of, and that you are not linked to any outstanding crime scenes. We will ask you to take these tests after we have we have successfully completed all your background checks.

What are the Benefits?

    PCDA (Police Constable Degree Apprentiship)
Pay Point 0 Pay£20,880 Starting salary
Pay Point 1 £24,177 Gateway 1 (12 months)
Pay Point 2 £25,269 Gateway 2  (2 years)
Pay Point 3 £26,370 End of probation (3 years)

DHEP (Degree Holder Entry Program)

Pay Point 0 £20,880 Starting salary
Pay Point 1 £24,177 Gateway 1 (12 months)
Pay Point 3 £26,370 End of probation (2 years)
  • Annual Leave of 22 days (increasing with length of service), plus bank holidays or time in lieu.
  • Police pension.
  • Childcare Vouchers scheme – which can be used to pay for approved childcare providers.
  • Enhanced Maternity, Paternity and Adoption pay.
  • Assistance in gaining professional policing qualifications.
  • Support and advice from Occupational Health and access to a range of wellbeing services.
  • Support and advice from our Staff Associations and Support Networks which include: Female Police Association, LGBT Network, Black Police Association, Christian Police Association, Ability Support Network, Police Federation, Unison, GMB.
  • Access to subsidised gyms – throughout force area.
  • Cycle to work scheme.
  • Training, development and promotion opportunities within an organisation, which values continued professional development.
  • Lifestyle and organisational discounts, which include travel, financial products, an eye care scheme and many more.


The first six months of police training will be classroom based. Police officers and police staff trainers will deliver the course at a police-training establishment in Bridgend. This is a non-residential course designed to help maximise learning potential both academically and practically and start developing operational policing skills. The classroom syllabus is based on the curriculum developed by the College of Policing, which covers all areas required for the role of a Police Constable. Various E-learning packages alongside fitness, first aid and personal safety training will also be undertaken. At various stages of the course, student constables will need to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge through informal and formal assessment processes. This will include multiple choice examinations, assignments and practical assessments. Constables are always expected to display the appropriate behaviour and attitude during their training in line with the police service’s Code of Ethics. Following the successful completion of year one officers will commence a period of tutoring at an operational police station with a qualified tutor. Successful completion of the tutor phase will allow student constables to be placed on independent patrol. In years two and three, whilst working in an operational environment, student constables on the apprenticeship will be working towards achieving a degree in Professional Policing Practice whilst Degree holder student constables will be working towards achieving a Graduate Certificate in Professional Policing. Recruits on both programmes will be required to complete an occupational competency portfolio during their probationary period, and will be required to complete a level of private study, outside of working hours.


  • Am I eligible? Our Eligibility criteria is detailed in full on our website. However if you have any questions which we have not answered, please feel free to contact us directly.
  • What is the recruitment process? First step will be an on-line application process which entails several on-line tests and an application form.  All tests must be successfully completed before you can complete the application form. Following successful completion of the application process you will be contact by HR to take part in the remaining elements of the recruitment process, details of which are on our website.
  • How will students be selected? Our selection procedure is no different for all applicants, and is based solely on merit. The procedure does not remove competition and South Wales Police will always take the best applicants.
  • If I am successful in the recruitment process, but I fail to achieve the necessary qualification will I have to pay back any costs? You will receive full support throughout your probationary period, however should you fail to meet the required standard, you will not be expected to pay back any of the costs incurred.
  • Can I decide to withdraw from the recruitment process at any point? The short answer is yes you can. Policing is an exciting but equally challenging role, which is not for everyone. However, we do ask that all prospective police officers fully consider these challenges and their suitability before submitting their application.
  • As an Apprentice, how long will I be on probation for? As a student enrolled on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeships ( PCDA ) you will have a 3 year probationary period.
  • As a Degree Holder, how long will I be on probation for? As a Degree Holder you will have a 2 year probationary period
  • What will the Apprenticeship probation period look like? Following appointment, you will embark on a 6-month initial learning programme at South Wales Police Learning and Development services Bridgend. You will also undertake a 12 week tutoring period within the community, where you will be expected to achieve independent patrol status. For the remainder of the probationary period you will carry out operational duties in the workplace gathering evidence of occupational competency. You will also be required to carry our academic elements assigned to you by a partner university. Successful completion of both practical and academic elements will result in you being confirmed in rank.
  • What will the Degree Holder probation period look like? Following appointment, you will embark on a 6-month initial learning programme at South Wales Police Learning and Development services Bridgend. You will complete a 12 week tutoring period within the community, where you will be expected to achieve independent patrol status. The remainder of the probationary period you will carry out operational duties in the workplace gathering evidence of occupational competency. You will also be required to carry our academic elements assigned to you by a partner university. Successful completion of both practical and academic elements will result in you being confirmed in rank. So how is one shorter than the other? This is due to the variance in the the academic requirements.
  • Will I be given time to complete the academic elements of the qualification? Yes you will. The Force and HEI have calculated the amount of time required for you to complete all elements of the qualification and this will be rostered into your shift pattern.
  • If I fail at any point during the recruitment process, can I resit? If you fail at any point in the process, the force will notify you. While it is not possible to complete a resit, it will be possible to re-apply within six months following notification.
  • Where will I study? All face to face delivery will take place on police premises within the South Wales Police area. Self-study and on-line learning will be carried out remotely.
  • Will I receive travelling or subsistence costs during training No – any travelling costs incurred will be your responsibility.
  • Will I have to pay for any course materials I need to buy? Books etc Students will be provided with learning materials by both South Wales Police and the partner University at no cost.
  • I don’t have level 3 qualification, can I still apply? Yes you can still apply for the PCDA ( 3 year apprenticeship ) however you will be required to carry out an on line test that measures academic capability.
  • What if I want to apply but I don’t have any qualifications? As above
  • What do the on-line tests consist of: If you do not have a Level 3 qualification or above you must also successfully pass a verbal reason and calculation test. This will test your academic ability to Level 3. If you successfully complete the above tests, but if you fail in another part of the recruitment process, you will not be required to retake these tests again, should you wish to re-apply after 6 months. There are 2 tests that every applicant must complete (regardless of qualifications), these are a Situational Judgement test and a Behavioral Style Questionnaire. Both of these must be passed in order to continue in the application process.
  • Do I need a CKP to apply? You no longer need a CKP to apply, however a CKP is classed as a Level 3 qualification and therefore if you already have a CKP this can be used as the Level 3 qualification required to apply.
  • If I am a serving PCSO or Special Constable, but I don’t have a Level 3 qualification, can I still apply? Yes you can , however the eligibility requirements for the Apprenticeship route will still apply.
  • . What will happen should an applicant fail to attend an appointment? In the case of applicants who fail to attend any appointments during the process, without prior notification and identifying a satisfactory reason, we reserve the right to withdraw them from the process.
  • Will annual leave be permitted during training period? Our exciting new PCDA and DHEP courses and the academic regime behind them, mean that annual leave will be restricted during the initial 6 months of your probation. Please be mindful that if you have holidays booked or are unable to attend training for any reason on days outside the pre-determined leave periods, it will mean that there is a high probability that you will be unable to join. Extended periods of annual leave cannot be accommodated during this period. On appointment you will be provided with 3 designated weeks off during your initial 6 months of training. Unfortunately due to constantly changing force requirements we are unable to provide intake/leave dates in advance
  • Should a Candidate declare a disability such as dyslexia are there any reasonable adjustments for the Virtual Assessment Centre? If you wish to seek reasonable adjustments for the Virtual Assessment Centre, a full diagnostic report (obtained over the age of 16) will need to be obtained and submitted, preferably at the point of application, to South Wales Police for onward transmission to the College of Policing. The College is responsible for confirmation of the validity of the report and subsequent proposal/s for reasonable adjustments. Any adjustments will need to be agreed by the candidate in advance of the assessment centre. Applicants enquiring about additional reasonable adjustments should do so via the HR Recruitment team. Further information about the requirements for reasonable adjustments can be found in the Reasonable Adjustment and Accommodation Policy which is available on: