Selection Process

You may apply to join West Yorkshire Police from the age of 17 (you must be 18 years old to start your training course). There is no upper limit for applying and older applicants are encouraged. The normal retirement age for a Police Officer is 60 years. Additionally, there are no height restrictions; it is your abilities that are important.

The application form is very in depth and must be filled in completely and correctly. Make sure you read the requirement of each stage thoroughly as failure to pass each section will see the end of your application. When completing your answers follow these hints –

  • Relevant – relates to your use of any relevant skills
  • Action – what you did and said at the time
  • Personal – what 'YOU' did personally, not what 'we' did
  • Appropriate – examples must be appropriate
  • Specific – examples must relate to a specific occasion, do not generalise

If you have applied to join the Police with any force in England or Wales within the last 3 months and your application was rejected you are unable to submit a new application.


Sickness and Attendance Standard

We have an Attendance Standard that relates to SICKNESS, to which we strictly adhere. Details are as follows –

  • It applies to both internal and external candidates
  • It is about the availability for work and not about ascertaining whether the illness was genuine/certified
  • The intention is to recruit, retain, select, and promote staff that the Service can depend upon to work
  • You must not have been absent for ten or more working days in the last twelve months
  • There can be no more than 2 occasions of sickness during these twelve months.
  • If you have had zero sickness over the previous twelve months on the day your absence starts then your absence will be excluded. Only one period of absence will be excluded in this way in a twelve month period


Convictions & Cautions

Applications will be rejected from those who have been convicted for serious crimes such as murder, rape and kidnapping. Other offences resulting in prison sentences, recordable offences and cautions could also result in your application being rejected. There are many occurrences that may lead to a rejected application, so if you are unsure, please check with our recruiting office as to your eligibility.



Tattoos are not a bar to appointment.  However, some tattoos could potentially offend members of the public or colleagues, or could bring discredit to the Police Service. Therefore, visible tattoos on hands and neck will be considered on a case by case basis.



Due to the nature of Police work, good health and fitness is paramount. However, applications are welcome from people with disabilities and every effort will be made to make reasonable adjustments if required. If you are successful at an assessment centre you will complete a medical questionnaire and undertake a medical examination and eyesight test.


Political Membership

West Yorkshire Police prohibits any Officers or staff from being members of the British National party or similar organisations whose aims, objectives or pronouncements may contradict promotion of race, equality and diversity. On appointment of Constable you may become a member of the Police Federation. Police Officers may not join a trade union but existing union members, on joining West Yorkshire Police, may be allowed to remain a member of that union, though consent from the Chief Officer must be obtained.


Business Interests

You may not be eligible for appointment as a Police Officer if you have any of the following business interests:

  • You hold any office or employment for hire or gain (other than as a Police Officer) or you carry on any business
  • Your spouse or relative living with you keeps a shop or similar in the West Yorkshire area
  • You, your spouse or any relative living with you holds or has a financial interest in, any licence or permit relating to liquor licensing, refreshment houses or betting and gaming or the regulation of places of entertainment in the West Yorkshire area

However, the Chief Officer may decide to allow the business interest if it is deemed to be compatible with being a member of the service.



Police Officers are potentially vulnerable to corruption. Applicants should therefore be able to manage loans and debts sensibly. You will have to answer questions on your finances in respect of the last 6 years. These questions will focus on any credit or loan arrangements you have and enquire as to whether you have had any Court action taken against you.



It is important, for screening purposes, that the Police know whether any close family member or associate is involved in criminal activity. A search for any criminal convictions or cautions will be undertaken against your family. You must advise them that these enquiries will be made. The results of these enquiries cannot be disclosed to you.



You will be required to provide details of your previous employment, both full time and part time, and your reasons for leaving.



You will need to provide the names and addresses of referees that cover the last three years of employment/education.  References can also be taken from H.M. Services and other Police Forces.


H.M. Forces

Applications from service personnel are only accepted if you have 12 months or less to serve. It is at the discretion of the Chief Officer as to whether successful applicants are allowed to remain on the Reserve List. Enquiries will not be made with your current employer until you are recommended for appointment or if you have agreed to let us approach them now.


Education & Skills

For the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) :

You must evidence pass grades in both English and Mathematics at Level 2/GCSE (A*-C / 9-4) or equivalent.

You must also possess a Level 3 Qualification within the meaning of Section 3 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 or equivalent. You will be required to produce examination certificates if recommended for appointment. If you are still in, or have recently left, full-time education, we may also ask for a referee from the relevant institution.


For the Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) :

You must have a Degree in any subject (or overseas equivalent) or a Master’s Degree.


Competency Assessment

The assessment process has been designed to allow you to demonstrate the skills you already possess, or which you have the potential to develop, thus enabling you to carry out the role of police officer.

When you are invited in for assessment you will be sent a 'Welcome Pack' which will give you lots of information to help you understand what to expect and this in turn will assist you in your preparation.


Page last reviewed July 2020