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What happens after I apply to become a PCSO?

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After you have returned your completed application to be a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), the following process begins:

Step one: Application form

On receiving your application form we will check your eligibility against set criteria.

Step two: Competency-based questions

We will send your competency questions to be marked by an external independent provider. Please note we have raised the pass mark, to progress you must score at least nine on the competency questions.

Step three:  Force interview

You will be invited to a competency-based interview where we will assess your values, behaviours and transferable skills for suitability to undertake this high profile role in the community.

Step four: Pre-employment checks

Next, your references will be checked. You will undergo security, biometric, medical and eyesight checks.

Step five: Training

The seven-week initial training programme for the role of PCSO is designed to combine both classroom-based learning and operational experience.

The first part of the programme concentrates on ensuring you are operationally safe and competent ready to accompany your tutor for your first visit to division.

Training then continues, concentrating on law, powers, policies and procedures and on the IT systems that will be required to be used in the role.

At week four, the first role play day is conducted where you will be assessed on your competency in dealing with scenarios relating to found property, theft and dealing with vulnerable people.

More intense law learning then follows and you will be taught to use a BlackBerry in operational situations.

Preparation for working in a Neighbourhood Policing Team then follows in preparation for the next visit to division.

Learning is then undertaken on restorative interventions and options for means of disposal for minor offences.

The final week concentrates on communication skills appropriate to the role when dealing with witnesses, leading to a second role play day and a chance to practice more complex scenarios.

On the final day a member of the Chief Officer Team attends training school to confirm the powers of the PCSO and plans are put in place for the completion of development portfolios in conjunction with tutors.

Please note this process is subject to change.