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Eligibility requirements

Eligibility requirements

Due to the nature of police work and the situations you may encounter, we have a number of requirements which you must meet to be employed with us. In this section we will explain a little more about the requirements.

In this section

Criminal records
Financial status
Educational qualifications
Physical fitness

Age requirements

For Police Officers applications can be accepted at the age of 18. There's no upper age limit for applying to the police service, but bear in mind that the normal retirement age is 60 years and that new recruits are required to undertake a two-year probationary period.

For the Police Constable Apprentice Scheme we can accept applications from the age of 17.

For Police staff applications can be accepted from the age of 18.

Our apprenticeship opportunities offer level 3, 4 or 5 Standards of qualification in a variety of areas. Each apprentice has access to a dedicated coordinator and support for their learning and welfare.

Nottinghamshire Police apprentices are employed on an 18 to 24 month contract. The working week is 37 hours and as a living wage employer, we offer a competitive rate of pay from £16K to £18K subject to evaluation and the training Standard.

This apprenticeship programme is open to individuals who have the drive, ambition and desire to contribute to the success of the organisation.

Nationality requirements

You must be a British citizen for a minimum of three years, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.

Foreign nationals and UK citizens who have lived abroad may have to wait some time for security and vetting clearance. All applicants have to be vetted to the same standard before appointment.

Criminal record

Applicants should be transparent and include any crime, caution, road traffic offence, speeding ticket etc. Whilst a criminal record does not automatically mean a rejection, however a number of crime types will mean a definite or likely rejection of your application, including anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or a public order offence.


Independent research conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Police Federation of England and Wales in 2016 found that members of the public are largely accepting of police officers and staff with visible tattoos. Visible tattoos are unacceptable if they could reasonably be interpreted as discriminatory or offensive and/or indicate attitudes or views inconsistent with the College of Policing’s Code of Ethics and the Standards of Professional Behaviour.

Careful consideration will be given by the organisation to any tattoo on the neck, face, hands or forearms in deciding if it is acceptable. This includes considering the size, nature and prominence of the tattoo. Keep this guidance in mind when deciding whether to have such a tattoo.

Tattoos are not acceptable if they:

  • undermine the dignity and authority of the office of police officer
  • are garish or numerous or particularly prominent, i.e. on the hands, neck, face or fingers
  • could cause offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or invite provocation
  • this would include tattoos that are rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, violent or intimidating
  • tattoos that display unacceptable attitudes towards women, minority groups or any other section of the community, or alignment with particular groups, which could give offence to members of the community, are unacceptable

Financial status

Applicants will have their financial status checked. These checks are carried out because police officers have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption.

Applicants with outstanding County Court judgements, who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, will be rejected. If you have discharged bankruptcy debts you will need to provide a Certificate of Satisfaction with your application.


Police Officer entry routes

You must have a level 3 qualification (e.g. A level, AS level, National Diploma, National Certificate, Level 3 NVQ or City and Guilds, Access to Higher Education Diploma) - check with your examining body if you are unsure of the level of any qualification you hold and please be aware that we will need to see certificates later in the process.

For the Degree Apprenticeship
Have achieved Level 2 functional skills /GCSE in Maths and English or equivalent education (by time of appointment)

Have achieved a standard of education to Level 3 i.e. A-Level, BTEC Diploma or equivalent.

You may apply when you are17 based on predicted grades, providing you will be 18 by the expected start date and have achieved the necessary qualification/s.

A degree in any subject.

You must have a level 3 qualification (e.g. A level, AS level, National Diploma, National Certificate, Level 3 NVQ or City and Guilds, Access to Higher Education Diploma) - check with your examining body if you are unsure of the level of any qualification you hold and please be aware that we will need to see certificates later in the process.

For Police Staff
The person specification will list the qualifications required, or specialist qualification.

To be a police officer you must have a full, valid driving licence or pass your test within your first year of employment if you are on the PCDA scheme.

Other roles will specify the driving requirement within their advertised person specification.

Physical fitness

To ensure you are fit enough for the role, you will undertake a fitness test. There are two elements to the test, dynamic strength and endurance fitness. You must pass both before you can be appointed.

We are looking for no more than the minimum standard needed to enable you to work effectively as a police officer. You will be given help to improve your fitness and if you prepare yourself properly, there is no reason for you to fail.


Applicants will have their eyesight tested at the medical assessment stage. You may be asked to go to an optician to have your eyes tested and the eyesight form filled in. Failure to pass this test will lead to rejection.


Police officers encounter difficult situations, trauma, physical confrontation and work long hours on shifts. They need to be resilient enough to cope with the demands and pressures of police work. Applicants must therefore be in good health mentally and physically to undertake police duties.

You will undergo a medical examination to ensure you meet the health standards required which includes a maximum BMI of 30.

Eligibility requirements