Joining The Police With Dyslexia: How To Apply And Pass!

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One of the most commonly asked questions in regards to the UK Police selection process, is whether candidates with dyslexia can apply. The answer to this question, is yes! Dyslexia is not considered to be an obstacle for joining the UK police, provided you can pass the assessment tests and demonstrate your value as a candidate. The UK police are committed to diversity and equality, and this means ensuring that every candidate applying to the force has a fair and equal chance of joining.

In this blog, we’ll look at the selection process for dyslexic candidates, and what special requirements are needed when joining the police with dyslexia.

What is Dyslexia?

 ‘Dyslexia’ is a specific learning difficulty that affects how people interact with words and numbers. For this reason, it can make studying difficult. Dyslexia can inhibit reading comprehension, and make people have to work extremely hard to understand what they’re reading. It can also affect a person’s writing. Again, dyslexics will usually have to work a lot harder to put sentences together than non-dyslexics. Despite this, dyslexia is not categorised as a disability because it has no relationship with intelligence.

Alongside these elements, dyslexic persons may have difficulty dealing with text appearing on brightly-coloured paper, which may cause visual disturbances. To counter this, dyslexic students may benefit from placing colourful filters over their reading material in order to stop the words seeming to move around or vibrate. Despite this, recent studies have doubted claims that dyslexia interferes with vison in this way, suggesting that it is only a language-based condition. So, be careful of any miraculous products that claim to ‘cure’ dyslexia – just do what works best for you.

While struggles with reading and spelling are what everyone thinks of when they hear the word ‘dyslexia’, there is more to it than that; people with dyslexia may also be affected in many other ways. For example, you may have more difficulty understanding and following instructions, even verbally, or struggle to organise and plan assignments. Naturally, you might assume from all this that joining the police with dyslexia would be a tough challenge. However, this isn’t true!

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Joining The Police With Dyslexia

If you are dyslexic, then it’s natural to worry about how well you could cope in an environment such as a police station, where accuracy of reports, reading details, and written information play an essential role. However, the reality is that we now live in a time where the police and other public sectors are far friendlier towards people with conditions such as dyslexia than in the past. Now, the majority of written work you’ll do is computer-based. Computers have the ability to spellcheck for you, and you can run written content through online grammar checks too. All of this makes life much easier for dyslexic officers.

There are times, of course, where you won’t be able to rely on the functionality of technology to assist you, particularly if you have a handwritten report in front of you, or if you yourself need to construct a handwritten report. While this might pose a bigger challenge, it’s not the end of the world, and allowances can be made to accommodate for this. In today’s UK police, there are hundreds of officers with dyslexia, and all of them are perfectly capable of performing to the expected high standards.

How To Apply

As with any organisation, the police are committed to fairness and equality, and this means that candidates who have dyslexia can be afforded more time during the assessment process and tests. Usually, this amounts to 25% extra time, but it can also be less than this depending on the severity of your learning difficulty.

That being said, you will still be marked to the same standard as regular candidates, and you’ll need to provide evidence of your learning difficulty in order to get the extra time concessions.

Different constabularies have slightly different requirements for this, but the general rules are as follows:

  • On your application form, you’ll need to declare your dyslexia in the relevant section.
  • You must be able to provide the constabulary with a reference from a doctor, psychiatrist or dyslexia specialist. This may need to be sent off along with the application form, or presented at the assessment centre.
  • If you are unable to provide the constabulary with a professional medical reference, then the police may ask you to participate in an independent dyslexia assessment, prior to the assessment centre, where you will be measured on variables such as the speed and accuracy of your reading, and your writing. The provider will then determine whether you are eligible for extra time during the police assessment centre.

If you are successful in the recruitment process, then the constabulary will take immediate action to ensure that the necessary requirements are put in place to assist you during the process of training to become a police officer, and during the course of your work.

Looking For Help In Studying With Dyslexia?


If you’re looking for extra guidance on joining the police with dyslexia, we’ve got the perfect resource for you. Our fantastic audiobook covers all of the basics, including:

  • How dyslexia it impacts your studies, and how to make most from your revision.
  • Actionable advice, tips, and guidance.
  • Strategies for dealing with the effects of your dyslexia, and using them to your advantage
  • Advice on how to develop your organisational skills.
How to Become a Police Officer Audiobook

Alongside this, take a look at our incredible Police Audiobook, which covers all of the following:

  • The application form.
  • The assessment tests.
  • The interviews.
  • Guidance on how to demonstrate the core competencies.

We’ve got everything you need, to help you pass the tough police selection process!

7 thoughts on “Joining The Police With Dyslexia: How To Apply And Pass!

  1. Molly otoole says:

    Hi I’ve applied for the police, an I have dyslexia. I got assessed when I was 8 an got told I had it, but when applying for the police they have said they need an adult assessment and am struggling to find a place which does this. Iv looked on the British dyslexia association as they do adult assessments but just not sure if they will cover the police, just seeing if there are anywhere else where I could get an adult assessment done. Thankyou

  2. Debbie ford says:

    hi my name Debbie ford i am interested off joining the police but i have dyslexia

  3. Thomas Davison says:

    Hello my name is Thomas I’ve been wanting to join the police force but worried about the written assessment I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was 10 years old I was brought up in Spain and in Spain the didn’t recognise dyslexia so I never learnt how to read or write in English so I talk to my phone and it writes it automatically for me

    • Gemma Butler says:

      Hi Thomas, having dyslexia does not prevent you from applying for a UK Police Constable role. If you been formally diagnosed you will be required to show evidence of this during your application in order to receive concessions such as extra time during the assessments.

  4. Colin Sneddon says:

    Hi my name is Colin Sneddon its my dream to work for police scotland but I am dyslexia and plus I don’t drive do you need to be a driver to work for police scotland

    • Gemma Butler says:

      Hi Colin, it is not necessarily a requirement to possess a driving license to be eligible to apply but if this is a requirement it will be detailed in the advert or job description.

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