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Joining The New Police Scotland

For many little boys and girls up and down the country, joining the police is a childhood dream. The opportunity to fight crime, as a career, is a thought that stays with many as they grow into young adults.

With the merger at the beginning of April this year of Scotland’s eight police forces, the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency and the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland into one central force – Police Scotland – how does that affect police recruitment, and what are your career options once in the force?

Needless to say, good, committed police officers are always required. It’s a challenging yet rewarding role for the right person, so understandably Police Scotland have a rigorous selection process that not only assesses your suitability for the role, but your commitment to it. A thorough application form is followed by a Standard Entrance Test, which is made up of three papers covering language, numbers and handling of information – and all three papers must be passed to proceed to the next stage.

Following the SET, candidates must pass an Initial Fitness Assessment, which puts you through your paces to see if you can cope with the physical demands of being a police officer. This includes a mile and a half run as well as a multi stage fitness test.

Passing the SET means you’ll have an interview, and you might think you’re almost there. Wrong. The initial interview, which covers your team work skills, communication skills, personal awareness and other competencies, will be followed by vetting procedures, an assessment centre (testing you on your leadership potential and knowledge of the job), a thorough medical and a final fitness assessment.

Clearly it’s a rigorous process, but it’s also an opportunity for you to find out whether you’re suitable for the role. has lots more information as well as sample Standard Assessment Tests.

There are many benefits to working in the police, and not just working outdoors. Salary’s start at £23,259 on commencing service, with 22 days annual leave, which increases with your length of service. As a civil servant, the pension scheme, which you’ll automatically be enrolled into, is attractive, and you’ll also have access to staff support groups, such as counselling and physiotherapy.

But how can you progress? You may well think once you’re in the police, that’s it. But no, there are a wealth of options open to you if you wish to progress. Many police officers go into investigations, detective work or private security – while many stay in the force and rise up the ranks. But there’s no limit – the range of skills you’ll gain in the police, such as people skills, safety awareness and of course crime prevention, are hugely important to a wide range of careers. And, in addition, you will of course have held a public position of respect and authority – which will put you in good stead for any future line of work.

If you are looking for your dream job make sure you have a look at our jobs and see if we have it.

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