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1. Application Form
2. Initial Sift
3. Competency-Based Questions Pass/Fail
4. National Police SEARCH Assessment Centre
5. Final Interview at Police Headquarters
6. Pre-Employment Checks
7. Start Date

It is important that you do sufficient research into the constabulary, our priorities, structure and role of a police constable to ensure this is the right career for you.

The application procedure consists of several challenging steps designed to ensure applicants of the highest quality are recruited.

Please note that external applications can take between six and nine months to process.

Stage 1 - Application Form  

Before completing your application form ensure you read the guidance notes all the details on the advert. Incomplete application forms will not be considered for shortlisting. 

All applicants will be notified as to whether they have been successful or not at each stage.

Stage 2 - Initial Sift

All applications will be reviewed at the initial sift to ensure they meet the essential criteria. Those candidates that do not will fail this stage.

Stage 3 - Competancy-Based Questions 

Should you pass the initial sift your competency-based questions, (section 4 of the application form) will be marked by qualified College of Policing assessors. Grades A & B will pass, C & D will fail.

Stage 4 - National Police SEARCH Assessment Centre

Successful candidates will be invited to complete the Police Online Assessment. The online assessment consists of the following activities: 
Competency-based interview – 35 minutes with 5 questions

Written test – 40 minutes

Briefing test – 46 minutes

Full details of the online assessment are available on the College of Policing website, here:  

Stage 5 - Final Interview at Police Headquarters

A final interview will be conducted at Durham Constabulary Police Headquarters and this will be your opportunity to further demonstrate your suitability to join the constabulary as a police constable.

Stage 6 - Pre Employment Checks

Medical screening
You will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire which must be signed by your GP and returned confidentially to our Occupational Health Unit.

All medical questionnaires will be assessed by our Occupational Health Nurse Advisors who may require further information from your medical practitioner. Candidates who are declared as "fit to proceed" will then be examined by a medical practitioner on behalf of Durham Constabulary. We will check:

  • BMI: Candidates who are successful following the assessment centre and final interview, MUST have a BMI of 30 or below
  • Eye sight test
  • Colour vision
  • Lung Function
  • Hearing

Fitness test
We test on endurance fitness and you are required to pass the fitness test before we can continue with your application.

Candidates will be required to run a fifteen metre track in time with a series of bleeps which become increasingly faster. A good indicator of the fitness level needed for this test is to be able to run at a good pace for around four minutes over a distance of about 700 metres.

Guidance on police eyesight standards can be found here.

Vetting checks
We will carry out internal and external vetting checks on you and your spouse/partner, members of your family including step brothers and sisters, and half brothers and sisters. We will also check your/partner's children if they are over 10 years and any other adults who reside at your address.

Financial checks will also be carried out on all candidates. Those with outstanding County Court Judgements (CCJs), Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) or who have been registered bankrupt will be rejected. If you have discharged bankruptcy debts, you will need verification from the court of this and three years must have lapsed since the date of discharge.

Biometric vetting
Samples of your fingerprints and DNA will be taken to carry out final vetting checks against our database. You will be required to consent in writing to this process.

Durham Constabulary will seek references from your current employer, along with the two character references provided on your application. We will notify you before we approach your employment referees.

Stage 7 - Start Date

Once you have successfully passed all of the above stages we will contact you and give you all the details you need to know about your start date.