Did you know you can gain a degree while training to be a police officer, earning a salary as you learn?
Minimum qualification level
You must have achieved a Level 3 qualification to be eligible to become a Police Officer via our PCDA route. If you do not already possess a Level 3 qualification, we can support you through our online Verbal Reasoning and Calculation Test (Maths & English), which will provide you with what is required and access to the application form.
If you do already possess a Level 3 qualification, you can upload this at the point of your application. Examples of level 3 qualifications can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.
Full probation period
Those successful on the PCDA entry programme will be fully qualified and signed off as Police Officers after three years.
You will also need to consider the full South Wales Police eligibility criteria for Police Officers when applying for this route. These can be found in the drop down below.
To apply for the role of police constable, you will need to be aged 17 years or over (will only be appointed at the age of 18).
Cautions and Convictions
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. 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 convictions. Due to the nature of policing, it’s essential that we conduct rigorous vetting checks on successful applicants before they can join the program.
You must be a British Citizen, citizen from the European Economic Area (EEA), Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom. You must also 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 and the UK Police service does not currently have any means of facilitating vetting checks overseas, to the extent required of those who have been resident in the UK. Applicants who cannot be vetted, cannot be appointed.
All applicants will have their financial status checked. These checks are carried out because Police Constables have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption. Any applicants with outstanding County Court judgements, who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, will be rejected. If you have discharged bankruptcy debts then you will need to provide a Certificate of Satisfaction with your application. Applicants who are the subject of a current Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) will not be considered.
Applicants must be in good health mentally and physically to deal with the pressures and demands of the role. Successful applicants who receive a conditional offer of appointment will then be asked prior to appointment to fill in a medical questionnaire and undertake a medical examination which will also include an eyesight test and BMI check (Body Mass Index).
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. If you have a disability, we will make adjustments where it is reasonable to do so.
You must be physically fit in order to effectively complete the duties required of a Police Constable. All applicants must pass a basic fitness test before appointment. For the endurance test you will be asked to run back and forth a 15 metre track in time with a series of bleeps, in time the bleeps become increasingly faster. You must achieve level 5.4.
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.
South Wales Police has a policy of prohibiting any of our officers or staff from being members of the BNP, or a similar organisation whose aims, objectives or pronouncements may contradict the duty to promote race equality. If you are, or have previously been a member of the BNP or a similar organisation, your application will be rejected.
Candidates with visible tattoos may be eligible for appointment. Each case will be considered on its own merits, taking into account the number, nature, size, prominence, appearance and location of the tattoos. Tattoos must not be offensive to colleagues or members of the public or undermine the dignity of your role within the Force. Tattoos on the neck, face or hands are still deemed to be unacceptable but consideration may be given in some circumstances considering the size, nature and prominence of the tattoo. 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.
Through this three-year apprenticeship to become a police officer you will;
Achieve a BSc Hons degree in Professional Policing Practice.
Earn a starting salary of £21,402 while training and studying, and £27,030 by the end of the three years
Gain vital skills to become a Police Officer, combining academic study and on-the-job practical learning
The application process for the PCDA and the Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) route are the same. All applicants wanting to join us as a Police Officer will apply through the joint PCDA/ DHEP vacancy. We will review each application, taking into consideration your qualification levels and will assign you into the most suitable programme – you will not have to do this yourself.