How To Become An RSPCA Inspector: The Definitive Guide

rspca inspector work with the police to protect stray dogs

RSPCA inspector/investigators carry out an amazing job, saving and protecting animals. It is not surprising therefore, that many people apply each year. This blog will provide you with some important information relating to the selection process and how you can apply.

RSPCA Inspector Selection Process

The selection process for becoming an RSPCA Inspector consists of the following elements:

The Application Form

This is completed on the societies website and it will give you an indication as to whether you are suitable for the role of an Inspector. The application form is the initial screening process, which will determine whether you go through to the Regional Selection Centre. There are usually approximately 3,000-4,000 applicants at this stage of the process.

The Regional Selection Centre

If you are successful at the application form stage then you will be invited to attend the Regional Selection Centre. At this stage there will be approximately 500 candidates who have made it through the application form stage and to the Regional Selection Centre.


taking the rspca inspector selection centre tests



RSPCA Regional Selection Centre

The Selection Centre consists of the following elements:

The whole process will last for approximately 3 hours.

The Selection Board Interview

If you have reached this far then you have done extremely well. There will be approximately 100 applicants left at this stage. The society do not have a specific cut off point in terms of the numbers they are prepared to interview. If they want to interview 150 people then they will do so, but the usual number left at this stage is 100.

During the interview you will be assessed on many different areas such as the reasons why you have applied, what qualities you can bring to the role, what you know about the RSPCA and how you would react in certain situations.

Offer of appointment

If you have been successful at the interview stage then you may be offered a place on the initial Animal Inspectors course following a successful medical. Successful applicants will embark on a challenging seven-month training course where they will major in animal welfare legislation and receive training in:

  • Investigation skills and interview techniques
  • Court work
  • Media and public speaking
  • Mountain and boat rescue techniques
  • Basic veterinary skills and animal-handling techniques

Applying to become an Animal Inspector

The Society only recruit Inspectors once or twice a year. You will need to keep an eye on their website, which can be found here to see when they are next recruiting. Only at this time will you be able to obtain an application form. It is possible to send the society an ‘expression of interest’ letter prior to the commencement of their recruitment campaign. An ‘expression of interest letter’ is basically a letter that is sent to the RSPCA Headquarters informing them that you are interested in applying to become an Inspector when their next recruitment campaign begins. The address for the RSPCA headquarters is RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham. West Sussex RH13 9RS

Once they have received your ‘expression of interest’ letter the Society will reply to you and provide you with the following information:

  • The current salary scales
  • A copy of A Career Within The Inspectorate
  • A job description
  • A returnable blue form. The blue form should be completed by you and returned to the Inspectorate as soon as possible. Once the recruitment campaign begins you will then receive an application pack.

We strongly advise that you study all of the information above, once you have received it. This will give you an understanding of the Inspector’s role, which will in turn assist you during the completion of the application form.


Animals cared for by RSPCA Inspectors