Find out the answers to our most common queries about joining policing. If you have any further questions, contact the Police Recruitment Team on [email protected].
Starting a career in the police can be one of the best things you’ll ever do. You’ll be able to make a real difference in your community, reducing crimes and making people safer. But being a police officer isn’t for everyone – it’s one of the most challenging careers you can choose, being physically, mentally and emotionally demanding.
We are looking for student police officers who:
Can deal with complex and sensitive cases, requiring clear reasoning and evidence gathering
Are able to think on your feet – problem-solving and responding to new challenges
Are willing to develop new skills, as data and technology become ever more important to policing
Work well with colleagues as part of an effective team in a disciplined organisation
Can communicate well, both written and verbally
Build relationships easily, respect other people and appreciate views from communities across the region
Have great people skills, remaining calm and patient with members of the public, particularly in stressful or volatile situations
Can handle traumatic situations and be able to communicate information sensitively
Can be decisive and use your police powers appropriately
Are able to give clear and accurate evidence in court
Are willing to work shifts, nights and weekends (including public holidays)
Are able to be flexible about where you work - you might not work in your preferred location
Are reasonably fit and strong, to keep you and others safe
Are able to combine your studies with being a full-time police officer by completing your assignments on time throughout your degree or diploma.
You’ll receive training and support throughout your career to help you manage the demands of policing, but it’s important to be sure that becoming a police officer is right for you.
Once in the workplace, you will apply what you have learned on the job to your course of study. The student officer programmes require a minimum of 20% off the job learning, which will mainly be in work time, but you will probably study in your own time, too. However, you will be fully supported by your co-ordinator, tutor constable, colleagues and line manager. Most of your learning will be done digitally on Staffordshire University systems, watching lectures and accessing learning modules from your computer, without needing to travel to campus.
Student officers on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship and the Degree Holder Entry Programme will earn a starting salary of £28,551.
West Mercia Police will also be funding your degree or graduate diploma, meaning that you will not have to pay back a student loan.
As police officers provide a 24-hour public service, unsocial hours, working at weekends, nights and public holidays, shift work and emergency call-outs are a regular feature of the job.
The new student officer programme does not require you to take exams, as you will achieve your degree or diploma either by completing assignment work or by demonstrating your skills on the job. However, it is vital that you complete your assignments and on time throughout your time as a student police officer.
Once you have completed your apprenticeship or degree holder entry programme and you wish to be considered for promotion, Sergeant and Inspector promotion processes do require examinations.
You will apply to West Mercia Police and then go through a series of tests, assessments, medical checks and vetting processes to check that you are eligible and have the right capabilities, qualities and fitness required of a serving police officer.
At West Mercia Police, we recognise the valuable role disabled people play in our success and have several police officers with physical and learning disabilities. Please discuss with us any requirements which you may have and we will ensure that support is put in place and adjustments are made as necessary.
You must not have a conviction as an adult or juvenile, although some minor offences and cautions may not exclude you and will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Discreet tattoos will be considered on a case by case basis, but you must not have tattoos on your face or front of your neck. Tattoos which could cause offence to members of the public will preclude you from becoming a police officer.
No, you will apply to West Mercia Police and we will work with Staffordshire University to enrol you as a student.
No, we will be working closely with Staffordshire University to deliver and award your degree or diploma in Professional Policing Practice.
No, you won't. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of your learning will be done digitally on Staffordshire University systems, watching lectures and accessing learning modules from your computer, without needing to travel to campus. Once COVID-19 measures are lifted, the academic learning will be a blended approach, both in the classroom at either our Wellington base or HQ, or online, led by both university trainers and force trainers.
If you have not achieved the required Level 2 or Level 3 qualifications, please do not panic. We recommend that you contact a local college or a recognised, accredited online learning provider to find out about the courses that they offer.
You can apply, but you will need to evidence achievement of your predicted results prior to joining West Mercia Police.
All of your tuition costs are met by West Mercia Police, and you will be earning a full-time salary, too.