How to Become a Scottish Police Officer in 2021

The complete guide to unlocking and passing the Scottish police recruitment process.

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How to Become a Scottish Police Officer in 2021

The complete guide to unlocking and passing the Scottish police recruitment process.

“…If you can answer the questions in these guides then there is no doubt that you will pass, I did!” – Naomi C. TrustPilot
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Become a scottish Police Officer

With the help of industry experts, we have put together the most comprehensive online resource to passing the Scottish police selection process available. From initial application to online tests, assessment centre to interview, we’ve covered every single base in this online resource. If you want to become a Scottish Police Officer, there’s no better resource.

Let’s start off by telling you what the Scottish selection process involves and how we can help you join the Scottish police!

We have collated a mass of insider information on how to successfully pass the selection process and it is all available on this page.

How to Become a Scottish Police Officer Recruitment Guide

The Scottish Police Officer Selection Process

The selection process to join the Scottish police will normally consist of the following elements:

Police Selection Process Stage 1 Job Application Form

Stage 1 – Completion of an online 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 and values that are relevant to the role.

Stage 2 – The Police Scotland Entrance Test (PSET)

Once you have successfully passed the application form you will be invited to take part in the Entrance Test. During which you will be required to answer questions based on the following categories:

The language element of the PSET will test you on areas such as grammar, spelling, punctuation, understanding of sentence structure, and tenses.

The numbers part of the test focuses on your ability to answer a range of different numerical problems, you are not permitted to use a calculator.

Information Handling will test your ability to interpret information presented to you in a number of different formats. The test on the day will last for 60 minutes and you will have to answer 57 question across the three subject matters.

Scottish Police recruitment Stage 3 Fitness test

Stage 3 – Fitness Test and assessment

Police Scotland expects its officers to maintain a high level of fitness. To have any chance of success you will have to prove this to progress. You will have to complete a multi-stage shuttle run to level 5.4, or complete a 1.5 mile run in under 18 minutes. You will also be assessed on your overall fitness levels, recovery period and your weekly exercise routines.

Stage 4 – Assessment Centre & Interview

During the assessment centre, you will have to take part in a number of exercises to further test your suitability for the role of police officer with Police Scotland. These will include an icebreaker exercise, group exercise, and a formal interview.

Police Scotland Entrance Test Stage 4 Assessment Centre

Stage 5 – Final Stages

The final stages of selection involve a medical, this will include an eyesight and BMI test. You may also be required to take a substance misuse test. Your references will be contacted and if you pass the final stage of vetting, all that will be left is to receive for your formal offer of employment as a Scottish Police Officer.

How to Become a Scottish Police Officer Recruitment Guide

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Scottish Police Officer: Commonly Asked Questions

How do you become a police officer in Scotland?

To be able to join Police Scotland as a police officer you will need to first be eligible to join. For example, to be appointed you will need to be over 18, but you can apply from the age of Seventeen and a half years old, but would not be able to start if successful until you are 18 at the earliest. There are also a number of fitness and medical standards which you will need to be able to pass to be eligible. Your BMI should be between 18 and 30, although this will not be assessed until the end of the process, you should have yours checked prior to your application to avoid disappointment of failing this part of the medical. Your eyesight must also must also meet the minimum national standard, like the BMI test this is not assessed until the end, so before applying get your eyesight checked to ensure yours meets the standard.

Police Scotland will only accept applications from British and EU citizens or Commonwealth citizens. Some foreign nationals can apply, but they must have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. If these conditions are met you will be eligible to apply and start your application by completing an online application, Standard Entrance tests, Interview and interactive exercises.

Is there an age limit to join Police Scotland?

As mentioned in the previous question, as long as you are 17.5 years old you can apply to be a police constable with Police Scotland, but you would not be able to start until you reach 18 years old. There is no upper age limit for applying to join Police Scotland as a police officer.

How much do police officers make in Scotland?

When you commence your service, you would start on a salary of £26,037, rising to £28,000 + after the first year of service. Upon completion of the second year, the salary will increase to over £30,000 per annum. This will continue to increase each year up to a cap at 11 years to over £42,000 per annum. If you achieve promotion at any stage this would also include further salary increments.

What grades do you need to become a police officer in Scotland?

You do not require any formal qualifications to apply to join Police Scotland as a police officer. However, you would be expected to demonstrate the Competency and Values Framework at all times during the selection process. This in itself will require much preparation and work that you align yourself to these core values and skills.

What shifts do Police Scotland work?

The role will definitely involve shifts, roughly 40 hours per week. As a police officer role is a around the clock support role, you would be expected to work days, nights, weekends and bank holidays, including Christmas and the new year celebrations.

 

Police Scotland: The Police Scotland Entrance Test (PSET)

Following the submission of your application form, provided you are successful, you’ll be invited to take part in what is known as the Entrance Test (PSET). You’ll take the PSET via an online assessment centre. You will be required to answer 57 questions in 60 minutes.

The PSET is an examination, which tests you on the following areas:

• Language;
• Numbers;
• Information Handling.

Now, let’s look at each of these sections in a bit more detail.

(CLICK THE BELOW TITLES TO CHANGE TABS)

PSET Language

The language element of the PSET will test you on areas such as grammar, spelling, punctuation, understanding of sentence structure, and tenses.

There are four different types of questions you will be tested on in the language part of the PSET.

Grammar: These are fairly simple grammar-based questions. It will contain questions based on spelling, tenses, verbs, conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns, comparatives and superlatives, and vocabulary.

Missing Words: This will test your reading comprehension ability and understanding of grammar. You’ll be provided with a passage,
and then be required to pick 12 words out of a total of 17, to fill in gaps in the passage.

Mixed Up Sentences: These questions are pretty tricky. You’ll be given four jumbled-up sentences and will need to work out the correct order of the words. These sentences are deliberately difficult, and therefore it’s important to stay calm and focused, and don’t panic if you find them confusing initially.

Reading Comprehension: This is a direct test of your reading comprehension. You will be presented with a number of passages, with questions following each passage. The questions will be based on what you’ve read. So, you need to pay close attention to all of the facts contained in the passage, and answer based on this.

PSET Numbers

As part of the PSET you will have to answer mathematical questions. This is possibly the area where the highest number of candidates fall down. If you aren’t familiar with the mathematical concepts that are assessed or haven’t practiced, then you will really struggle with this part of the test. With this in mind, you need to revise thoroughly beforehand. You will not be allowed to use a calculator for this assessment, and there are 20 questions in total.

The structure of the numbers questions are as follows:

  • Questions which will require you to perform simple calculations, such as adding, subtracting and multiplying.
  • The numbers questions will also contain a mixture of ratio questions, time-based questions, adding/subtracting money, calculating speed, distance and time, and percentages.

When taking this paper, a basic thing to remember is to always include symbols in your answers. For example, if the question asks you to add together two amounts of money, and you omit the £ sign from your answer then you will not get the mark. This is the same for factors such as %, am/pm and weight.

PSET Information Handling

The remaining subject of the PSET is the Information Handling assessment. Along with the numbers questions, these are also questions candidates tend to find the most tricky, and many people will fall down when it comes to this.

There are lots of reasons for why these questions are so hard. Foremost among these, is that the style of test is something that most people won’t be used to. You’ll be given lots of tables and charts, and will need to answer questions based on the information within these. Fear not though. While the test is really difficult, you can practice for it, and that’s where we are here to help!

The information handling questions run on a six-monthly rotation. This means that every 6 months, Police Scotland swap the questions for new ones. They have a number of questions in rotation at the moment, with all of the these differing in difficulty and style. This is deliberate. Although Police Scotland want you to prepare, they also want to see how well you can deal with unexpected information.

There are two different types of question in this subject, observation questions and calculation questions. Typical observation questions will look like this:

  • Which mode of transport are people most likely to use to get to the supermarket?
  • Between what times were most crimes committed?
  • What is the most likely crime for people between the ages of 30-40 to commit?

Typical calculation questions will look like this:

  • On average, how many armed robberies were committed per day in the month of June?
  • What is the difference in the number of cars that were stolen by people who are under the age of 40, compared to those over the age of 40?
  • Benefit fraud offences in April account for what percentage of total crimes committed throughout the year?

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How to Become a Scottish Police Officer Recruitment Guide

We guarantee that our How To Become a Scottish Police Officer online resources will teach you how to navigate the different elements of the selection process. The package contains 160+ pages of police recruitment information, tests 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.

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PASS THE POLICE SCOTLAND RECRUITMENT PROCESS

How to Become a Scottish Police Officer Recruitment Guide

We guarantee that our How To Become a Scottish Police Officer online resources will teach you how to join Police Scotland and navigate the different elements of the selection process successfully. The package contains 160+ pages of police recruitment information, tests, and top tips which will guide you through each of the different elements of selection, including the application form, the online tests, assessment process, the interview, and the fitness tests.

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Police Scotland: The Assessment Centre

If you pass the PSET and the fitness test/assessment, you’ll be invited to attend the assessment centre. Your assessment centre will consist of the following exercises:

  • An icebreaker exercise;
  • 3 group exercises;
  • A competency-based interview.

Below we’ve laid out some information on these tasks:

Group Exercises

During the assessment centre you will be asked to take 3 practical exercises. All of the exercises will be group-based tasks, which place an emphasis on teamwork and co-ordination, as well as your understanding of the competencies and values. Group activities may also range from the cerebral (using the group to think) to the physical (and this could be anything from the less strenuous building a tower from spaghetti, to the more testing issue of swinging from ropes). Group activities are usually included in an assessment centre to test how you perform within a group situation – how you decided on your place within the group and how you interact with others. Today it is accepted that mechanical skills and knowledge are not enough by themselves; they are only part of the story. Very few people work in isolation and the ability to work with others, motivate and tap into their idea streams are key. This is especially important in the police, where your ability to work with others could have a direct impact on issues such as crime rate, and the welfare of members of the public.

In essence, group activities are designed to test how you react in people-focused situations, and put you under some form of pressure. It is when we are under pressure that we see how short a person’s temper really is, or how they handle discord in the group. It’s very important that police officers can maintain a calm and composed outlook, and stay in control of their emotions.

Assessment Centre Interview

The assessment centre interview will be competency-based. You will need to answer a series of questions, these questions will be focused around the Competencies and Values Framework (CVF). This consists of 4 values and 6 competencies contained within 3 clusters.

Values:

  • Fairness
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Human Rights

Clusters:

  • Resolute, compassionate and committed
  • Inclusive, enabling and visionary leadership
  • Intelligent, creative and informed policing

Competencies:

  • We analyse critically
  • We are innovative and open minded
  • We are emotionally aware
  • We take ownership
  • We deliver support and inspire
  • We are collaborative

You will likely be asked at least one question based on each of the competencies and values. It also would not be unusual for the interviewers to ask one or two motivational style questions on top of this. When you answer these questions, you will need to use the STAR method.

Below we have provided you with a sample question and responses, from one of the above competencies!

Sample Scottish Police Officer Interview Questions

Q. “Tell us about a time when you have used your communication skills to resolve a difficult problem.”

Sample Response:

“In my previous role, I worked as a team leader at a catering company. The company have a great reputation, and are well-known nationally. Our company would organise the catering for parties and events. Different events were handled  by different teams within the organisation. As one of the team leaders, my role was to oversee the management of any projects that my team was given. This included making sure that the budget was adhered to, motivating staff to perform at their best, and giving my team instructions on how we should allocate our resources. In order to help me manage the team, I had assigned a sub-team leader, named Michelle. Michelle would take responsibility for making key decisions.

We were preparing to host a birthday party in Wolverhampton. The event in question was a big birthday party. I sent my team to the venue to help start setting up, whilst I met with the person who was running the event, just to cross-check on key elements such as time, and dietary requirements. When I arrived at the venue, I found that two members of the team were engaged in a furious debate. One of them was Michelle. Voices were raised and things were getting extremely heated. This was attracting the attention of the venue staff, who looked extremely unimpressed by the situation.

I quickly stepped in, and asked Michelle and the other team member to calm down and asked them come outside with me, so that we could resolve this. I then calmly and professionally asked them to explain what the issue was. Michelle explained to me that the team member was refusing to obey her instructions. She had asked him to lay out a series of fish pasties across the table on the right-hand side, but he had refused. Upon hearing this, the team member furiously interrupted. He said that we shouldn’t be serving fish pasties, because some attendees would be allergic to fish. He referred to Michelle in extremely demeaning terms. Having spoken with the event manager, I was fully aware of all allergy requirements – and none of the attendees were allergic to fish.

After listening to both sides of the story, I first addressed the team member. I explained to him that the way he had spoken to Michelle was completely unacceptable, and that even if she had made a mistake, this would not be okay. I then explained to him that dietary requirements were discussed with the event manager and I can confirm that no attendees who were allergic to fish. To reassure the team member I showed him the event listing, which contained the details of all known allergies.

Once the team member saw this, he acknowledged that he had made a mistake, and apologised profusely to Michelle. Michelle immediately accepted his apology, and informed him that mistakes happen, and that the important thing is to move forward and resolve this. I was happy with this, and authorised the team member to continue preparing for the event.”

Police Scotland: Sample Competency Questions

Now, let’s look at some sample competency questions. For the purpose of this page, we’ve provided you with 2 sample questions and a brief description of how to answer each one. Within our resources you will find many more questions just like these, plus full and in-depth responses!

Q1. Can you give me an example of a time when you have utilised your job knowledge, to resolve a difficult situation?

Job knowledge is a really important part of working as a Scottish police officer, and is one of the listed competencies and values. The better you understand the core requirements of your role, and how they fit into Police Scotland’s wider objectives, the better you will be able to act as an exemplary representative of the police service. Police Scotland don’t just want a candidate who goes through the motions with their job, they are looking for someone who is enthusiastic and committed, who has made a conscious effort to understand every single element of the role. When answering this question, think about the following:

  • What was the situation?
  • What needed to be resolved?
  • What have been the consequences if you had not intervened?
  • What did you say/do?
  • How did you utilise your job knowledge?
  • What was the end result of this?

Q2. Can you give me an example of a time when you have worked with a colleague to help improve their performance?

This question is asking you to demonstrate the competency of working collaboratively. It’s important that police officers can work constructively together, to achieve organisational goals. Part of being a good co-worker is helping your colleagues when possible, to improve their own methods, and become more valuable members of the police service. When answering this question, think about the following:

  • What was the situation?
  • Did you approach your colleague, or did they approach you?
  • What steps did you take to help them improve?
  • Did you need to overcome any obstacles, or change your initial plan?
  • How did your colleague respond to your help?
  • What was the outcome?

Police Scotland: Sample Motivations and Values Questions

Now, let’s look at some sample motivational and values questions. For the purpose of this page, we’ve provided you with 2 sample questions and a brief description of how to answer each one. Within our resources you will find many more questions just like these, plus full and in-depth responses!

Q1. Tell us why you want to become a police officer.

This is an incredibly common opening question, and it would be a huge surprise if you weren’t asked this during your interview. The best response here, is to be honest! Think about the reasons why you want to become a Scottish police officer. What has motivated you to apply? What is it about the police service that inspires you? Take a look at the goals and aims of Police Scotland on their website, do you share these goals?

Q2. Tell me about yourself and what qualities you believe you have, that will be relevant to the role of a police officer.

This is another very common question. Remember, the purpose of this interview is to help Police Scotland find out more about who you are, and why you would be a great police officer. So, it’s not unusual for them to just ask you this outright!

Once again, your best response is to be honest in this situation. Think about what makes you a good fit for the role? What are your best qualities? How would they be of use to Police Scotland?

Pay attention here! It’s pretty easy to go off on a tangent and reel off a big list of qualities that actually have nothing to do with the police service. Remember, you need to keep it relevant, and link your qualities back to what the police are looking for.

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Complete guidance to ensure you pass the ENTIRE Police Scotland recruitment process

How to Complete an Application Form Icon

Insider advice on how to complete the application form, including sample questions and answers

Application Form Answers Icon

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!)

How you will be assessed Icon

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 complete breakdown of the PSET Police Scotland Entrance Test and how you MUST prepare if you wish to succeed

Sample Scottish Police Officer interview questions and guidance on how to answer each one of them for the interview

What are competency-based questions, how to structure your responses, what keywords you MUST use, and how to impress when answering each question

Competencies Icon

A full breakdown of the competencies and values, cutting out the filler so you can memorise only what you NEED to know, making preparation a lot easier

Written Test Questions and Answers Icon

Practice questions and answers for the PSET. Practice the same skills you’ll be tested on so you enter your test fully prepared

The importance of ensuring you meet the minimum eligibility requirements (and understanding the role of a police officer – hint: you will need to demonstrate this!)

Why joining The Force right now is a fantastic career choice

Time-saving strategies and score-boosting methods verified by our panel of recruitment experts

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How to get fit and be able to pass the fitness test and medical test

Suitable for ALL Scottish police forces

PLUS…BONUSES!

BONUS #1

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Interview Skilss | Sample Interview Questions and Answers Guide How2Become
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Recruit Assessment Centre for police constables online practice
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THE TOPICS COVERED IN THIS GUIDE INCLUDE:

THE POLICE SCOTLAND COMPETENCIES & VALUES

  • An in-depth explanation on each of the competencies, values and clusters;
  • What you should say in order to demonstrate these competencies;
  • Which competencies can be used in conjuction with each other;
  • Why the competencies are important to Police Scotland.

HOw to answer competency-based questions

  • An extensive overview of how to demonstrate every single competency;
  • How to avoid making critical interview mistakes;
  • The importance of structuring your responses concisely and logically;
  • Sample questions and how to answer them successfully.

THE poLICE scotland ENTRANCE TESTS

  • Sample questions and answers with explanations for the numbers test;
  • Sample questions and answers with explanations for the language test;
  • Sample questions and answers with explanations for the information handling test.
Contents

160-page How to Become a Scottish Police Officer Online Guide (Lifetime access)

Scottish Police Tests: Numbers Tests Questions & Answers (Lifetime access)

Scottish Police Tests: Language Tests Questions & Answers (Lifetime access)

Scottish Police Tests: Information Handling Tests Questions & Answers (Lifetime access)

How to Pass the Scottish Police Officer Interview (Lifetime access)

150-page Interview Skills Online Guide (Lifetime Access)

How to Get Police Fit Insider’s Online Guide (Lifetime Access)

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FAQ
Frequently asked questions
How will the 'How2Become A Scottish Police Officer' resources help me become a Scottish police officer?

Simply put, this training works and is proven to help people like you to successfully join the Scottish police service. As a life-time access police guide member, you will not only benefit from our flagship 160-page ‘How to Become a Police Officer’ guide (which has sold 1,000s 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 Scotland become police 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 police training material on the market.

Who is a good fit for the 'How2Become A Scottish Police Officer' resources?

This resource is our flagship career guide, designed to help anyone looking to become a Scottish police officer and conquer the gruelling selection process.

It is ideal for those just staring 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 online PSET, interview, assessment centre, fitness tests and more with 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.

What training is included in these resources? Will it really help me become a Scottish police officer?

Yes! With the ‘How to Become a Scottish Police Officer’ guide you will be able to access training that has been helping applicants successfully become police officers 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 police selection process, this guide will ‘hold your hand’ step-by-step. Here is a full list of everything you will get within this resource.

Is there a time limit on accessing the material?

You will get unlimited access to all of the content contained within these resources with no time restrictions! We understand that applying to the police can be a long and stressful experience, that is why we want to take away that worry – you will get access whenever you need, whether it’s just for a week, or for a year, you will have full access to the ‘How to Become a Scottish Police Officer’ resource whenever you need it. You will also have access to all future updates we make to this guide, ensuring you are getting the latest guidance.

Are your resources specific for geographical regions?

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 1000s 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 Scottish Police Officer’ guide is designed specifically for all Scottish police forces. The British Transport Police, forces in England and Wales, 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!

What's the difference between the Silver, Gold and Platinum versions?

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 160-page police guide: ‘How to Become a Scottish Police Officer’, and the bonuses listed on this page. The Silver package contains our Scottish Police Officer career guide, plus the Scottish Police Officer interview guide.

The Gold package contains our full range of Scottish Police Officer testing workbooks, covering the Numbers, Language and Information Handling assessments.

The Platinum package contains everything in Silver and Gold, but also includes the Scottish police interview guide, the #1 resource to help you pass the Scottish Police Officer interview. This pack is our most comprehensive resource to help you join Police Scotland and covers the entire selection process from start to finish, whilst offering the best value.

How will I access the guide/training materials?

As soon as your order is complete you will be able to access all of the guides, training resources via your admin account! You can use any smart phone, PC, Mac, or tablet to access your materials.

Is your training really driving success?

Yes, absolutely! We get 100s of testimonials and comments each month from those that have used our training, thanking us for the help it has given them.

How often is this guide updated? Is it relevant for my police force?

Having created recruitment guides for the last 16 years, we know how often selection processes change. 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 Scottish Police Officer.

WHY BUY WITH HOW2BECOME?

CREATED BY THE EXPERTS

PROVEN TRAINING

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 officers).

How2Become Police Scotland Careers Guide

Learn how to join the SCOTTISH POLICE SERVICE

We’ve helped 1,000s of aspiring applicants in their journey to becoming serving police officers across the UK. Trust the UK’s #1 careers and education specialists to help you secure your role.

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“Great resource and excellent information for interview preparation.” S. Peruri


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