How to pass the Police Application Form

The police officer application form is the very first stage of the selection process. It is also the stage at which the vast majority fail. We have created a fantastic resource, which takes you through the entire police application stage. Not only will we show you how to answer competency based questions, but we’ll also show you how to construct values and motivations type responses.

If you want to pass the Police Officer application stage, then this is the perfect resource!

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Pass the POLICE Application Form

Where to start and how to fill out your application form successfully.

police application form

The first stage of the police selection process is the area in which the majority of candidates fall down. 75%, to be exact. Therefore, it is imperative that you are able to submit a strong application form if you wish to become a police officer. A professional application form which meets the criteria, will ensure that you stand out from the thousands of other applicants.

So, what makes a professional, and successful application? In order to pass, you’ll need to demonstrate:

  • A thorough understanding of the core competencies.
  • That your values and motivations match up with those of the constabulary.
  • Your ability to meet the eligibility criteria.
  • An understanding of simple instructions.
  • Attention to detail.

In our guide, we’ll show you how to meet ALL of the above criteria!

About the Police Application Form

The police officer application form is the first step in a comprehensive recruitment process. If your fail at any stage of the police recruitment process, it will be six months before you will be able to apply again, so it is important that you succeed on your first attempt!

You can download the police application form via the website of the constabulary that you are applying to join.

What the Application Form is Not…

  • The application form is not just about gaining your personal information; it is also a test designed to ensure that only the strongest of applicants are sent through to the next round of the recruitment process.
  • You need to make sure that your application form matches the requirements!
  • On average, a police force will receive 7 applications for a single available position. This means that they have the liberty to choose the very best candidate, and you want that to be you!
  • Applications forms can vary depending on the constabulary that you are applying to. You need to make sure that the constabulary you are applying to is using the CORRECT competencies. As of 2017, some forces, including the Met, are using brand new competencies. So, be sure that the competencies you’ve studied match up with the constabulary that you’re applying to!

How to apply to be a Police Officer: The 4 sections

The application form is comprised of the following four sections:

Your personal information.

Your employment history.

Education and Skills

Your education and skills.

Ask Any Question You May Have During Our Police Assessment Course

Competency and values-based questions.

How to Apply for THE Police

How the Police application forms are marked by the recruitment staff.

  • The recruitment staff only actually receive 5 pages of your form. The other pages which contain your personal information are removed to ensure that each applicant is treated equally and fairly. These are then vetted by another member of staff.
  • The pages which they focus on are your competency/and or values answers. By focusing upon these pages, they can determine whether you match the competencies of a police officer.
  • Grading is actually based upon the average that all other candidates have achieved on that question – not on what an individual scores.

Marks for answers are given from A to D grade.

  • An A-grade means that, when compared to other candidates, your score was within the top 15%.
  • A D-grade answer means that your answers were in the bottom 15%.
  • Your marks are added up to give an overall score. To pass, candidates must achieve a ‘B’ grade in 3 out of the 4 competencies, or a ‘B’ grade in 2 out of the 4 competencies, as well as a ‘B’ grade overall.

Understanding the person specification

apply for police

Your first step is to find out what the ‘person specification’ is for the particular force you are applying to join.

Essentially, the role of a police officer consists of a number of core competencies. You may receive these core competencies in your application pack. Alternatively, this information can usually be found on the main police recruitment website, or on the website of the particular force which you are applying to join.

Once you have found these ‘core competencies’, it is now time to structure your answer around this information. Ensure that you briefly cover each area and base your answers upon your own experiences in both your work life and personal life.


Whatever you do, make sure you get a copy of these core competencies and have them by your side when completing the application form for police. In order to complete a successful application form, you need to match your responses with the police officer core competencies.

Applying the core competencies to your answers

The core competencies which form the basis of the police officer role application, are similar to the following. Please note that the core competencies do change from time to time, so it is important to check and confirm that they are correct.

Public Service
  • Demonstrates a real belief in public service, focusing on what matters to the public and will best serve their interests.
  • Understands the expectations, changing needs and concerns of different communities, and strives to address them.
  • Builds public confidence by talking with people in local communities to explore their viewpoints and break down barriers between them and the police.
  • Understands the impact and benefits of policing for different communities, and identifies the best way to deliver services to them. Works in partnership with other agencies to deliver the best possible overall service to the public.
Working With Others
  • Works co-operatively with others to get things done, willingly giving help and support to colleagues. Is approachable, developing positive working relationships.
  • Explains things well, focusing on the key points and talking to people using language they understand.
  • Listens carefully and asks questions to clarify understanding, expressing own views positively and constructively.
  • Persuades people by stressing the benefits of a particular approach, keeps them informed of progress and manages their expectations. Is courteous, polite and considerate, showing empathy and compassion.
Decision Making
  • Gathers, verifies and assesses all appropriate and available information to gain an accurate understanding of situations.
  • Considers a range of possible options before making clear, timely, justifiable decisions. Reviews decisions in the light of new information and changing circumstances.
  • Balances risks, costs and benefits, thinking about the wider impact of decisions.
  • Exercises discretion and applies professional judgement, ensuring actions and decisions are proportionate and in the public interest.
  • Acts with integrity, in line with the values and ethical standards of the Police Service.
  • Takes ownership for resolving problems, demonstrating courage and resilience in dealing with difficult and potentially volatile situations. Acts on own initiative to address issues, showing a strong work ethic and demonstrating extra effort
    when required.
  • Upholds professional standards, acting honestly and ethically, and challenges unprofessional conduct or discriminatory behaviour.
  • Asks for and acts on feedback, learning from experience and developing own professional skills and knowledge.
  • Remains calm and professional under pressure, defusing conflict and being prepared to step forward and take control when required.
Service Delivery
  • Understands the organisation’s objectives and priorities, and how own work fits into these.
  • Plans and organises tasks effectively, taking a structured and methodical approach to achieving outcomes.
  • Manages multiple tasks effectively by thinking things through in advance, prioritising and managing time well.
  • Focuses on the outcomes to be achieved, working quickly and accurately and seeking guidance when appropriate.
Openness To Change
  • Positive about change, adapting rapidly to different ways of working and putting effort into making them work.
  • Flexible and open to alternative approaches to solving problems. Finds better, more cost-effective ways to do things, making suggestions for change.
  • Takes an innovative and creative approach to solving problems.

The New Core Competencies

As of 2018, the UK police have been piloting a new selection process, which has resulted in major transformation. Some forces are using new competencies and values, to assess their candidates. So, please be sure to check with your constabulary which process they are using before you apply! Below we’ve listed some information on the new police values and competencies.


Similarly to the core competencies, the police values are a key part of the basic behavioural guidelines for any police employee. As one of the most esteemed and respected organisations in the world, the UK Police naturally have a number of values that they expect all candidates and employees to abide by, along with a strong code of ethics. In the past, the police have largely focused on the competencies of candidates rather than on their values as a person. While these values were still important, they played a secondary role. Now, the police are recognising that it’s extremely important to hire candidates with strong values and ethics, and the new selection process is a reflection of this.


The new police core competencies are as follows:

  • Emotionally Aware
  • Taking Ownership
  • Working Collaboratively
  • Deliver, Support, and Inspire
  • Analyse Critically
  • Innovative and Open Minded

Each of these competencies has 3 levels to it. You can find out more information about all of these competencies in our fantastic guide!

Increasing your chances of success

The following 10 tips can help you to submit a STRONG application:

  • Make sure you read the whole of the application form including the guidance notes, at least twice before conducting your responses;
  • Read and understand the person specification and the police officer core competencies;
  • Try to tailor your answers around the ‘core competencies’ and include any keywords or phrases you think are relevant;
  • Make sure you base your answers on actual events that you have experienced; either in your work life or personal life;
  • Follow all instructions carefully;
  • If there is a specific word count for each question, make sure you stick to it;
  • Make sure you keep a photocopy of your completed application form before sending it off. This is because you may be asked questions relating to it if you progress to the stage of the interview;
  • Do not lie! It is important to be honest when completing your police application form;
  • Have someone read through a drafted application form to check for any spelling/grammar mistakes. You will lose marks for poor grammar and spelling.

BONUS TIP: Want to get your application checked over by a Police Officer recruitment specialist before submitting?

Check out our Police Officer Application Form Checking Service.

How we can help you pass the police application form FIRST TIME…

how to become a police officer online course

This resource will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to complete the police application form successfully.

  • The author of this guide, Richard McMunn, is an expert in the completion of application forms, and has been assessing and marking forms for over 10 years;
  • The resource is easy to follow and examines every part of the form and what you need to include;
  • You will be shown insider information to significantly increase your chances of success;
  • You will be provided with actual sample responses to the competency-based questions.

Our guide for the Police Officer application form is the most comprehensive tuition resource available on the market!

Topics covered in this incredible insiders’ guide

  • Explanations from an expert highlighting how to complete the police application form;
  • A thorough step-by-step guide on completing each section properly;
  • The core competencies and how you will be assessed on the application form;
  • How to complete the form correctly so that you PASS ON YOUR FIRST ATTEMPT;
  • Insider tips on what constitutes a strong application;
  • How to correctly create your answers to the application form questions;
  • How to ensure success during the competency assessment section;
  • Successful sample responses you can use to assist you with your application.

As well as these resources, the guide contains a wide range of INSIDER information which you can use to help prepare for the selection process of becoming a police officer.

How to pass the Police Application Form

The police application form is the first stage of the police officer application process, yet so many applicants stumble and fail on it.  This guide contains expert advice on how to successfully apply to be a police officer and gives YOU the best chances of success!

Download now


When you order you will receive the following free bonus;

Free Online Interactive Police Practice Tests

Plus 30-days FREE ACCESS to the police online testing suite. Thereafter, just £5.95 per month. No minimum term. You may cancel anytime. Cancel before the 30-days are up and you will not be charged. Online suite access on PC, MAC and mobile devices.