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Police host innovative online recruitment surgery for potential future cops

Potential future cops got tips and advice from a serving frontline officer in a pioneering live social media event.

Response officer PC Karandeep Sandhu and resourcing manager Chloe Herrmann fielded questions and comments from those interested in joining the force’s ranks.

More than 350 questions flooded in from a range of platforms throughout the evening.

The innovative Q&A was hosted across the West Midlands Police social media network last night (14 August) and reached an estimated 23,000 people, ahead of A-level results day today.

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Those interested in applying to become a police officer were able to submit questions about the process via Instagram, Insta Stories and Facebook.

Chloe said: “There have been lots of changes to the recruitment criteria, so there were lots of questions about what that meant for people.

“Last night’s online surgery was the perfect opportunity to engage with a huge number of potential applicants in one go. We were able to address some of the more frequently asked questions and explain about the different programmes and routes into policing.”

Programmes include the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, which offers student officers the chance to study for a degree while they serve, and a shorter Graduate Diploma available for degree-holders only.

Chloe answered questions about entry requirements and eligibility while PC Karandeep Sandhu was on hand to field the questions about the role. He offered insight on everything from the fitness test to what the initial training’s really like and even what support is available to officers should they need it.

Visit our socials to see the questions and answers as they came in on Facebook, and our recruitment content on Instagram.

These are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Do I need A-levels to become a police officer?

For the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) you’ll need Level 2 English and Maths plus 64 UCAS points at Level 3 – these don’t need to be from A Levels, they may also be from vocational courses. Use the UCAS tariff calculator to check your UCAS points.

I’ve heard I’ll need a degree to join, is this true?

No. You don’t need a degree to join. If you haven’t completed an undergraduate course at university you’ll study for a Degree Apprenticeship in Professional Policing Practice as part of your training.

If you already have a degree you can apply for the Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice scheme.

If I’m on one of the degree programmes, how often will I have to attend university?

All of the training is delivered locally within the West Midlands Police area – you may have to visit Staffordshire University a couple of times during your two or three year training course.

Will I get paid, if so what’s the salary?

Of course. The starting salary is £21,525 for the Degree Apprenticeship or £22,550 for the Degree Holder route. This increases to £27,000 after 5 years.

What’s the age limit?

We accept applications from anyone over the age of 18. There is no upper age limit, but candidates will need to pass the fitness and medical tests.

What level of fitness is needed? Is there still a height and weight requirement?

You need to pass a bleep test at level 5.4. You can get more info on what the bleep test is here. All medical criteria will be checked – including eyesight and hearing. There is no height or weight requirement, instead this is worked out by Body Mass Index (BMI must be at least 18 and no more than 30). Use the NHS BMI Calculator to calculate yours.

How long does the recruitment process take?

We aren’t going to lie – applying to join us is a fairly long and challenging process compared to some other jobs. But, it takes time to make sure we are getting the best people who are capable of delivering a police service we can all be proud of. We work really hard to progress your application quickly and you can help us by attaching your qualification certificates and completing requests in a timely manner.

Why do I need professional qualifications to become a police officer?

The old training programme (IPLDP) needed updating as the job of a police officer has transformed due to the changing nature of crime. Together with officers, forces, Federation and others the College of Policing asked: ‘what does the job of a police constable involve today? Everyone agreed that the job had developed and everyday officers face complex problems, often in dangerous situations, with loads more digital investigation and protection of vulnerable people. So we updated the training requirements to meet what was needed to be a PC today. The skills outlined were then independently assessed by the Institute for Apprenticeships and others to be at degree level. The new training programme looks to recognise the work that officers do, the level of study involved in the training and provide formal recognition in the form of a degree apprenticeship of graduate diploma.

For more information, and to start your journey towards becoming an officer click here.

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Find out how to join the force by visiting our dedicated jobs website.


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