How to Become a Police Community Support Officer in 2023
The complete guide to unlocking and passing the UK PCSO recruitment process.
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“I purchased the How2Become a PCSO back in January when I was applying to become one. With this program I was able to get through the application process and pass my interview!” – Phil D. – TrustPilot
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Police Community support Officer (pcso)
Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) perform a fantastic public service for the local community. Whilst the effectiveness of their job position in communities has been debated, there is no doubt that PSCOs represent a more visible presence from the police on our streets.
The emphasis for the UK Police Force is to ‘engage’ with local communities. This cannot be achieved by police officers alone, and therefore PCSOs act as a pivotal link between communities and the police force itself.
Police Community Support Officers are uniformed staff whose role is primarily to support the work of police officers. They assist the police in areas which demand a certain level of police presence, but don’t necessarily require the expertise of a trained police officer. An example of this would be in a predominantly rural location where the crime rate is low, yet a presence is still required for situations such as anti-social behaviour and minor occurrences of criminal damage.
Prior to the introduction of PCSOs, this type of work would be the responsibility of police officers. Whilst police officers still become involved in these types of incidents when required, they are now free to carry out more effective tasks in line with their expertise and job position.
The Police Community Support Officer Selection Process
The selection process to become a PCSO will normally consist of the following elements:
Competency-Based Application Form
PCSO Assessment Tests
Full Vetting and Final Interview
Medical and Fitness Tests
Stage 1 – Completion of the competency-based application form
The application form is the first stage of selection. You will normally be required to complete the form online and it should be your priority to ensure that you match the assessable competencies that are relevant to the role.
Some police forces will also require you to complete an Online Situational Judgement Test as a means to sift out applicants who do not match the values and qualities required to join the police.
Stage 2 – PCSO Assessment Centre
Once you have successfully passed the application form you will be invited to take part in an online assessment process. During which you will be required to undertake a number of the following online assessments. Please note this will depend on the force you are applying to:
Situational judgement test (or SJT)
Competency-based video interview
The pass mark for the assessment centre will vary depending on the force you are applying to. You will be assessed against the competencies and values of Policing, so always keep these in mind throughout this process and aim for 100% in every exercise.
Stage 3 – Full vetting checks and a possible final interview
Many UK Police Forces are now requiring PCSO applicants to sit a final interview in addition to the competency-based online interview. Due to the pandemic, the “final interview” is sometimes carried out before the Online Assessment Process and is known as the “in-force interview”. In addition to this, you will also undergo a number of vetting checks to ensure that you meet the minimum eligibility requirements for becoming a Police Community Support Officer.
Stage 4 – Medical and fitness assessments
The final stages of selection involve a medical and a fitness test. The two elements of the police fitness test are: the dynamic strength test and the endurance fitness test, (or the bleep test) as it is sometimes called.
Police Community Support Officer: Commonly Asked Questions
You will not be required to have any formal qualifications to join the police service as a PCSO. However, you will be required to be able to demonstrate a number of key qualities and skills to allow you to progress through the selection process. For example, you will need to have excellent communication and customer service skills as your role will be serving the community where you are based. You will also need the ability to be able to solve issues and remain calm when put under pressure. You should also be comfortable working in a team environment.
The length of the training will vary dependent on the force you have applied to as an example; some forces will send new PCSO recruits on 10-week training courses which last from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Once the training is complete you will be assigned to a station and your career as a PCSO serving the community will begin.
The average starting salary for a new recruit PCSO is £21,000. This can rise up to £26,000 after a number of years in the service. Please note this is only an average as many of the different forces have their own pay structure for the PCSO role.It is worth noting that many PCSOs use this as a stepping stone to join the Police as a regular officer. You would need to still undertake the selection process, but you would certainly benefit from the experience as a PCSO, which would assist you in your Police Officer application should you apply.
You cannot volunteer as a PCSO. This is a full-time occupation which requires the candidate to apply and pass the selection process. If you are looking for a part-time voluntary role in the police service, you may want to consider joining as a Police Special Constable, which you can get more information on by clicking here.
PCSO’s have around 20 powers they can use to assist them in their duties to protect and serve the communities they are based. They can issue fixed-penalty notices, such as parking and littering fines. They can also have the right to demand the name of any persons known to be guilty of any form of anti-social behaviour. A PCSO can also confiscate any contraband items such as alcohol from anyone under the age of 18. They are not permitted to arrest members of the community. They would be required to contact a serving police officer and ask them to make the arrest. It is also important to note that some police services issue PCSOs with various powers. There is not a set number of powers each one has.
PCSOs ARE COMMONLY INVOLVED IN WORK SUCH AS:
- Providing a visible and reassuring presence within communities;
- Attending incidents of social disorder, nuisance and anti-social behaviour;
- Dealing with community issues such as littering and dog fouling;
- Investigating abandoned vehicles;
- Gathering evidence through observations;
- Helping with missing person’s enquiries;
- Speaking to young people who might be drunk and causing problems;
- Conﬁscating alcohol and tobacco;
- Crowd control and directing traffic at public events;
- Helping direct traffic at roadblocks or scenes of accidents;
- Assisting police with recording names and addresses or door-to-door enquiries.
PASS THE PCSO RECRUITMENT PROCESS
We guarantee that our How To Become a PCSO online resources will teach you how to navigate the different elements of the selection process. The package contains 180+ pages of PCSO recruitment information, tests, and videos which will guide you through each of the different elements of selection, including the application form, the assessment centre, the interviews and the fitness test.Start Preparing Now 👉
PASS THE PCSO RECRUITMENT PROCESS
We guarantee that our How To Become a PCSO online resources will teach you how to navigate the different elements of the selection process successfully. The package contains 180+ pages of PCSO recruitment information, tests, and videos which will guide you through each of the different elements of selection, including the application form, the assessment tests, the interviews, and the fitness tests.Start Preparing Now 👉
Sample PCSO Interview Questions
Q. “Please provide an example of where you have worked as part of a team to achieve a difficult task.”
Tips for Structuring Your Response:
TIP 1: Try to think of a situation where you volunteered to work with a team in order to achieve a difficult task. It is better to say that you volunteered as opposed to being asked to get involved by another person.
TIP 2: Candidates who can provide an example when they achieved the task, despite the constraints of time will generally score higher.’
Sample Response Structure:
Pass the PCSO Selection Process. First Time.
Crafted for everyone, no matter your skill level or background, this guide was made to help you achieve one goal: become a PCSO.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?
Essential information about how you will be assessed during every stage of the selection process.
APPLICATION FORM SAMPLE ANSWERS
Lots of up-to-date sample application form questions, responses and tips on how to pass this initial stage.
PRACTICE ONLINE ASSESSMENT PROCESS TESTS
Step-by-step information on how to pass the assessment processes.
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Sample answers to each of the competency-based interview questions.
Insider tips on how to answer the interview questions and advice on how you will be scored.
Get ahead of the competition with unique and proven strategies 16 years in the making.
Pass the Police Community Support Officer Selection Process. First time.
Crafted for everyone, no matter your skill level or background, this guide was made to help you achieve one goal: become a police community support officer.
Customer Success Stories
Having helped 1,000s of aspiring PCSOs for over 16 years, it is no wonder our customers love us…
Could not of prepared half as well without this book. Absolutely fantastic insight and builds confidence to pass on the day.– How2Become Customer
Fantastic book. Very helpful if you’re looking to join Kent Police. – How2Become Customer
Very happy with my purchase as it has giving me great insight into the role of a police community support officer. – How2Become Customer
The books and videos were fantastic…final interview last week and passed…100% in oral communication. – Hilary. F. – TrustPilot
I purchased the How2Become a PCSO back in January when I was applying to become one. With this program I was able to get through the application process and pass my interview! – Phil D. – TrustPilot
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN YOUR CAREER PACK?
Complete guidance to ensure you pass the ENTIRE PCSO recruitment process
Insider advice on how to complete the application form, including sample questions and answers
Previously successful application form responses that you can use to develop your own winning application!
Revealed – avoid the common pitfalls that most applicants make (75% of people fail the application stage – don’t be one of them!)
Which forces use sifting tests (the police SJT and behavioural questionnaires, and how you can pass them with ease)
Discover exactly how you are assessed throughout the entire selection process (hint: understanding this will allow you to know exactly how the assessors want you to act at every stage)
A detailed breakdown of the online SJT including practice questions and answers so you can fully prepare
PCSO interview questions and guidance on how to answer each one of them
What are competency-based questions, how to structure your responses, what keywords you MUST use, and how to impress when answering each of the 4 questions
A full breakdown of the competencies and cutting out the filler so you can memorise only what you NEED to know, making preparation a lot easier!
Practice questions and sample answers for the various tests you will have to pass
Practice questions and answers for the final interview – suitable for all England & Wales police forces
The importance of ensuring you meet the minimum eligibility requirements (and understanding the role of a PCSO – hint: you will need to demonstrate this!)
Why joining the police service as a PCSO right now is a fantastic career choice
The training and probationary period that you will undergo when you join
Time-saving strategies and score-boosting methods verified by our panel of recruitment experts
How to get fit and be able to pass the fitness test and medical test
Suitable for ALL England and Wales police forces
150-Page Interview Skills Insider’s Guide
FOR A LIMITED PERIOD ONLY we are able to give you our powerful 150+ page ‘Interview Skills’ online guide free of charge. It is the perfect guide to help you prepare for the tough PCSO interview!
- All of the most common (and not so common) interview questions you are likely to face broken down.
- Full and detailed answers to every question – ensure you always have the perfect answer!
- How to use the STAR method to come up with your own winning answers that match the experience, values, and skills the interview assessor is looking for.
- Created by interview panel experts and packed full of insider advice.
Important: This insider’s guide cannot be purchased individually anywhere else and is exclusively available as a limited-time bonus!
Worth £9.99, Yours FREE
How to Get PCSO Fit Insider’s Guide
A concise guide to show you how you can get “PCSO fit” and see results quickly to ensure you pass the fitness test (even without having a gym membership!).
- Crafted with the fitness benchmark levels required of a PCSO in mind, this guide provides an insider insight to police fitness regimes you can follow.
- Your very own “PCSO fit” workout regime formed by former emergency service staff.
- No nonsense guide on how to score highly at the multi-stage fitness test.
- Full technique diagrams, workout timetables and regime templates you can implement right away!
Important: This insider’s guide cannot be purchased individually anywhere else and is an available exclusively as a bonus with this resource.
Worth £9.99, Yours FREE
PLUS…30-Day Free Subscription Trial To The Online Police Assessment Centre Testing Platform!
As well as lifetime access to the PCSO career resource, this product also includes a 30-day free trial to our brand new Online Police Assessment Centre Testing Platform (usually £9.99 + vat per month).
- 100s of PCSO practice questions on each element of the assessment centre to help boost your scores;
- Practice all of the PCSO test questions under timed conditions using our online testing suite;
- Instant online access;
- Compatible on mobiles, tablets and computers;
- Scores are tracked so you can focus on areas that need improvement.
Important: This powerful free trial costs £9.99 + vat every month for everyone else! You will get unrestricted access to all of the quick-win strategies and tip tutorials to give you the advantage right away.
Worth £9.99, Yours FREE for 30-days*
*We want you to know: This is a subscription service that is charged at just £5.95 + vat per month after the 30-day trial expires. No minimum term. If you cancel before the 30-day trial ends, you will not be charged. Please see our terms for full details.
THE TOPICS COVERED IN THIS GUIDE INCLUDE:
HOW TO PASS THE PCSO SELECTION PROCESS
- Professional advice on how to complete the PCSO application form;
- Sample PCSO interview questions with professional sample responses;
- Sample role play exercises and insider tips on how to pass your interview;
- Sample test exercises;
- The criteria for becoming a Police Community Support Officer;
- In-depth explanations on how to understand the competencies of equality and fairness;
- Essential guidance to assist you during your preparation period.
IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE TO PREPARE FOR YOUR CAREER
- How and where to apply to become a PCSO;
- About the career;
- Why you should become a Police Community Support Officer;
- Your training and probationary period;
- The take home salary and benefits;
- Community policing and what it involves;
- Crime and disorder reduction partnerships;
- Promotion and opportunities.
HOW TO PASS THE PCSO INTERVIEW
- Sample questions and answers with explanations for the numbers test;
- A comprehensive video that shows you how to pass the interview stage;
- Information and advice on how to match the important PCSO competencies;
- Exclusive insider tips on how to answer the 4 competency-based questions with relative ease;
- Guidance on how to prepare for the interview;
- Sample mock interviews to help you succeed;
- Final insider tips from a successful candidate.
180-page How to Become a PCSO Online Guide (Lifetime access)
32-minute PCSO Interview Coaching Video (Lifetime access)
Psychometric and IQ Tests Online Workbook (Lifetime access)
97-page Police Role Play Exercises Online Guide (Lifetime access)
PCSO Bleep Test Audio File and Worksheet (Lifetime access)
150-page Interview Skills Online Guide (Lifetime access)
How To Get Police Fit Insider’s Online Guide (Lifetime access)
30-Day Free Trial to the Online Police Assessment Centre Recruitment Testing Platform. Thereafter just £5.95 + vat per month (Monthly Service)
You don’t just get advice on what to do. We will show you exactly HOW to pass the PCSO recruitment process.
Over 16 years’ of experience packed into on-demand insider recruitment guides that have helped 1,000s.
Includes unique PCSO recruitment training content built from the ground up and not found anywhere else.
We don’t just share what you need to do, but also HOW you should do it with tips and strategies you can implement today!
These templates are worth the value of the resource themselves – we give you the exact foundations you can use to build your application and master assessment stages!
Your Guide To Success.
Our best-selling guide in a compact, accessible, online format to hold your hand throughout the entire police officer selection process.
Created By Experts. Made For You.
With over 16 years of history behind us, we are the leaders in recruitment advice. So whether you want to understand the scoring criteria, learn what must go on your application form, recognise what not to say at the interview, practice and pass the online tests, or watch video guides on the briefing exercises, you can access it all at your finger tips, today.
Frequently asked questions
Simply put, this training works and is proven to help people like you to successfully join the police as PCSOs. As a lifetime access PCSO guide member, you will not only benefit from our flagship “How to Become a PCSO” guide (which has sold 10,000s of copies) but you’ll also get access to a dynamic portal of content that we update frequently with all the very latest information, practice material, and strategies that are helping people across England and Wales become police community support officers. With 1,000s of customers frequently thanking us for the career success we have helped them gain, and 16 years’ experience in providing recruitment and assessment centre training, you can rest assured knowing you are getting the best PCSO training material on the market.
This resource is designed to help anyone looking to become a PCSO conquer the gruelling selection process.
It is ideal for those just starting out at the application stage, who want an “over-the-shoulder” guide to passing each stage of the process.
If you have already begun the selection process, then you’ll be able to pick up this guide from the exact stage you are at and follow the step-by-step guidance to passing the assessment process, in-force interview, final interview, fitness tests, SJTs and more with winning confidence.
Whatever stage of the process you are at, you can be confident you’ll have all the strategies and tools you need to succeed.
Yes! With the ‘How to Become a PCSO’ guide you will be able to access training that has been helping students successfully become PCSOs for over a decade.
At How2Become.com we like to do things a little differently. Instead of just giving you access to guides which explain how the selection process works, and what you need to do to pass, we teach you HOW to do it also. For example, we don’t just provide you with sample interview questions, we provide winning sample responses and step by step guidance on how to create your own successful answers. Whether you are thinking about applying, or you are half way through the PCSO selection process, this guide ‘hold your hand’ step-by-step. Here is a full list of everything you will get within this resource.
You will get unlimited access to all of the content contained within this resource with no time restrictions! We understand that applying to become a PCSO can be a long and stressful experience, that is why we want to take away one less worry – you will get access whenever you need, whether its just for a week, or for a year, you will have full access to the ‘How to Become a PCSO’ guide whenever you need it. You will also access to all future updates we make to this guide, ensuring you are getting the latest guidance.
When we launched How2Become.com we wanted to ensure our content would help as many people as possible no matter where they are, and we are achieving just that! We sell our resources to every country in the world, with 1,000s of customers in the USA, UK, India, Australia, Africa and more! All of our content is either written or spoken in English, with the content designed to be as universal as possible unless otherwise stated. Our ‘How to Become a PCSO’ guide is designed specifically for all England and Wales police forces. The British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence, Scottish Police, and PSNI have different selection processes and we have guides specifically for these. If you can’t see a guide you need in our huge catalogue, then just let us know and we will help if we can!
Whichever option you choose, you can be confident you are getting the latest and highest quality training to become a police officer. All packages contain our flagship PCSO guide: ‘How to Become a Police Community Support Officer’, our interview video walkthrough, and the bonuses listed on this page.
The Gold package contains extra video coaching for the role plays, bleep test audio file and worksheet and the psychometric & IQ tests online workbook.
As soon as your order is complete you will be able to access all of the guides, training resources, and view the on-demand video via your How2Become account! You will also get an email providing your access instructions. You can use any smart phone, PC, Mac, or tablet to access your materials.
Yes, absolutely! We get 1,000s of testimonials and comments each month from those that have used our training thanking us for the help it has given them.
Having been creating recruitment guides for the last 16 years, we know how often selection processes change. In addition, with over 40 police forces across England and Wales, they all make adjustments to their recruitment criteria. That is why we keep close ties to those in the know and we regularly update our content. You will get the latest and best strategies to enable you to become a PCSO.
WHY BUY WITH HOW2BECOME?
CREATED BY THE EXPERTS
EXCLUSIVE FREE BONUSES
Firstly, these guides are created by us and our team of experts – we have all the answers to your questions and will help you succeed (like we’ve been doing for the last 16 years), we update our material frequently and you can contact us at any time with any questions you have.
Secondly, we provide exclusive bonuses with all our products that you won’t find anywhere else. These bonuses include free guides, powerful online testing suites and more!
Finally, our guides and training just work. Take a look at our TrustPilot page where you will see our rating of 4.9/5. There, our customers share their positive buying experiences and more importantly the time-saving success our resources have given them (hint: they are now police community support officers).
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