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Metropolitan Police Careers

Metropolitan Police - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on a question below to view the answer:

1. What are the nationality/residency criteria?


Police officers, police transfers and re-joiners, and special constables

Candidates for these roles, who are neither a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) or a Swiss national, are required to have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. Such applicants must reside in the UK free of restrictions or have an entitlement to do so.

Other roles

Any applicant for other roles within the MPS who is not a British Citizen, or a member of the EEA, must have a visa entitlement to live and work in the UK for a period of time sufficient to recoup the recruitment and training costs for the role. The timescales are as follows:

Police staff in administrative roles

Candidates must have 1.5 years left to run on their visa at the point of application.

Police community support officers and police staff in communication officer and other specialist roles requiring extensive training (including dedicated detention officers) -

Candidates must have 2.5 years left to run on their visa at the point of application.

If a candidate has not resided in the United Kingdom for the three years prior to submitting an application, the application cannot be accepted. The only exceptions are for British military personnel serving abroad, ie Army, Navy and Royal Air Force, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and police officer transfers, providing they meet the re-joiners criteria.

For further information on Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK please look at the home office website

Whilst the Home Office make no mention of a residency requirement it should be noted that ACPO have issued guidelines in respect of residency. The guidelines clearly state that for force vetting a candidate should have been resident in the United Kingdom for the 3 years prior to submitting an application.

Applicants must satisfy BOTH the nationality and residency criteria to be eligible for appointment (for all posts).

2. Are you recruiting for new constables?

Please view the new constable current vacancies page for recruitment updates.

3. Is there an appeals process / how do I appeal?

A: The Metropolitan Police Service has a limited appeals process for candidates who have been unsuccessful in their application for a post within the Metropolitan Police Service. Appeals will only be considered on the appeals proforma within 21 days following the notification of the rejection of an application, and where it appears that there may have been:

  • An abuse of process - defined as either an intentional act or failure to apply Service policy or the instructions published specifically for the purpose and/or
  • A perverse decision - defined as a decision, which has not been justified or indicates an error or inappropriate judgement/action by the personnel involved in the process.

Download the appeals form

4. Where can I find out more about Vetting?

A: For more information on vetting, please download the HMG Personnel Security Controls document

5. Can I apply if I have a criminal conviction/caution?

A: Ideally you should not have a criminal conviction or cautions record. The MPS need to be careful about recruiting people with cautions or convictions because:

  • Those with criminal associations or convictions may be vulnerable to disclose information
  • Convictions and cautions for certain offences can undermine a member of staffs position

The MPS is unable to state whether your convictions record will affect your application before you apply. This will be determined from the full and confidential information provided during the recruitment and selection process.

Download the Convictions Information Guide for more details on criminal convictions (including how criminal convictions of your relatives and associates may affect your application).

6. What are the age criteria?

A: As of 1 October 2006, the age criteria (at the time of application) are as follows:

  • Regular police officers, transfers, rejoiners and special constables: 18 - 57 years
  • Police (civilian) staff: 16 years, except where the role involves shift work where the minimum age will be 18 years
  • Police community support officers: 18 - 62 years & 6 months

7. How do I apply for a specialist role?

A: All police officers must complete their 2 year probation which predominantly involves work on the streets before they can apply for specialist roles (eg Mounted Branch, Dogs Section or CO19 Firearms Unit). There are no direct access routes into most specialist departments.

As vacancies arise (usually advertised internally with the necessary criteria for the role), an application may be completed and submitted for consideration for the specialist role / unit requested.

Competition for entry into these posts is fierce and the job requirements are stricter than entry to the police service. For example, more stringent eyesight and fitness standards may apply to officers applying to the firearms unit.

8. What is the salary for police officers?

A: From the 1st September 2008 on joining the pay is £22,104 and on completion of initial training (end of 31 weeks) it rises to £24,675. In addition all Metropolitan police officers receive London weighting and allowances amounting to £6,501 on top of the national police pay scales. Therefore during training pay will be £28,605 and after £31,176.

9. What is the salary for police community support officers (PCSOs)?

A: The current annual pay for a PCSO working full time and shifts is:

Basic = £20,894

Shift allowance = £2,612 (12.5%) or £3,134 (15%) or £4,179 (20%)

Location allowance = £3,466 (Zone 1) or £1,883 (Zone 2).

On occasion, you may be required to work overtime. You will have the option of payment at time and a half or, where possible, time off in lieu.

Therefore a PCSO working a 20% shift pattern in Zone 1 (Central London) will start on £28,539.

10. Can I do work experience with the MPS?

A: Work placements / work experience are not co-ordinated centrally.

If you are requesting a placement at a police station or a specific department or building, may we suggest you contact the location of your choice directly with full details of your request.

Each station etc will have their own local policy for dealing with such requests. To find contact details for your local police borough visit:

However, please note the current proposal is that for safety reasons individuals undertaking work experience at the MPS are NOT to shadow police officers on operational activities e.g. in a response vehicle; or who are in critical areas of responsibility e.g. custody suites.

Further information on the MPS can be found by visiting the following websites, and

11. What are the eyesight requirements for new police officer recruits?

A: The eyesight standards for new police officer recruits are:

  • Unaided vision (without spectacles or lenses) - 6/36 or better in either eye is required. Binocular vision (vision with both eyes) worse than 6/6 requires correction.
  • Aided vision (wearing lenses or spectacles) - 6/12 or better in either eye and 6/6 or better using both eyes (binocular vision) is required.
  • Near vision - N6 at 40 cm with both eyes together (aided).

12. What if I have a police application with another force:
can I transfer it to the MPS?

A: The Metropolitan Police Service are not currently recruiting new constables and therefore are unable to accept transferred applications.

13. What happens during the medical and fitness test? How do I prepare?

For full details on the medical and fitness test please download the Fit for the Job document

14. If my application has been unsuccessful, when can I re-apply?

You may re-apply after 6-months from the time you were notified of the outcome of your application. However, you should consider the reason for rejection to ensure a further application will not be rejected on the same grounds i.e. vetting

The MPS cannot give individal feedback on unsuccessful applications.

15. How do I apply to work for the MPS as an interpreter or translator?

Anyone wishing to apply should contact Language and Cultural Services (LCS) on 020 7109 6117 (option 6) Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm (Please note recruitment depends on current language demand). This applies to those who have expertise in British Sign Language and Lip Speaking as well as those who have foreign language skills.