The online application is the first stage of the recruitment process. You will complete a number of online tests and provide information which will assist us in determining your eligibility.

The answers you provide will determine whether you are likely to have the skills and abilities necessary to become a good Special Constable. If successful, you will be invited to the next stage of recruitment – the interview.


Your interview will be based on the competencies contained within the role profile which was attached to the advert.

Use examples from your work, social, domestic or educational life to answer the interview questions. In these examples, we are looking for evidence of specific behaviours which research has shown to be essential to police work.

Be specific: we want to know what YOU said or did on a given occasion to deal with the situation. It’s therefore important that the examples you provide are your own experiences and as detailed as possible.

Try to use examples that you found difficult or challenging to deal with. These answers tend to achieve better marks.

We expect your answers to be relevant and focused. Please refrain from the use of jargon and slang as this is unacceptable.

Don’t leave it until the last minute to research the competencies required within the role profile and also the South Wales Police website.

Fitness test

Policing can occasionally be physically demanding, so you will need to be in fairly good physical condition to pass the fitness test.

The test will basically measure whether your fitness levels are high enough.

For the endurance test, you will be asked to run back and forth a 15 metre track in time with a series of bleeps. As the test goes on, the bleeps become increasingly faster to level 5.4.

You will also be required to attend a pre-appointment fitness test approximately prior to the anticipated appointment date and you must pass this to progress your application.

Medical assessment

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 interview stage you will 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)

Your weight range will be assessed during your 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 suggests a normal healthy weight. This means your body is not at risk of weight-related disease.

BMI standards for Special Constables are set by the Home Office. 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.

Inaccuracies in BMI can occur if you are athletic or very muscular as this can give you a higher BMI even if you have a healthy level of body fat. In these cases, as part of the recruitment process, we will be able to provide a simple test to assess the percentage of your body fat.

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.

Legislation has been introduced that requires applicants to undergo biometric vetting.

On the day 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 for 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 also that you are not linked to any outstanding crime scenes.

Formal training

If you are successfully recruited, you will attend formal training. Course details will be confirmed prior to your commencement date and will involve some evening and occasional weekend training.

In the training you will gain a good understanding of the many aspects of policing. You will learn about:

  • The police service and the duties of a police officer
  • Powers of arrest
  • Common crimes
  • How to prepare your evidence for court
  • Self-defense techniques
  • Emergency First Aid