Recruitment for Special Constables is now open
Update - October 2023 - we are currently accepting applications to join us as a Police Special Constable:
Recruitment will close at 11:55pm on Sunday 31st December 2023
About Special Constables
Special Constables have the same powers as regular police officers, wear the same uniform and equipment, and perform the same role on a voluntary basis. They undertake a wide range of police duties and provide a vital link between the police and the diverse communities that we serve, helping the Force to meet policing needs and increase the public’s confidence in the police service.
Special Constables are expected to provide a high quality of service at all times. They are quick-thinking problem-solvers, team players who communicate well, and have the ability and resilience to cope with the unexpected. They are committed and enthusiastic individuals who demonstrate the utmost levels of integrity, fairness and respect.
As a Special Constable you will be asked to commit a minimum of 16 hours a month to the role. This will be two eight hour shifts.
For more information on this exciting opportunity – this is your checklist :
- View our Meet our Special Constables page for first hand accounts
- Read our Frequently Asked Questions to find out how to apply and the recruitment process
- Follow our social media for regular updates on recruitment news
Special Constable Videos
What do I need to apply?
Anyone over 18 years can apply to join the Special Constabulary and West Yorkshire Police welcomes all suitable applicants. There is no upper age limit for applicants.
You don’t need any formal qualifications to join the Special Constabulary, but you do need plenty of common sense, patience, enthusiasm, compassion, commitment and self-motivation.
You must be a British citizen, EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth Citizen or a foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the UK. We must also be able to verify your personal background for the minimum of three years preceding your application.
How does the application process work?
Complete your application form on the West Yorkshire Police website.
Your application will be reviewed and if it is progressed you will move on to the national sift.
The national sift consists of two exercises. These are:
- A situational judgement test
- A behavioural styles questionnaire
You will be assessed against the competencies and values that are important for effective special constables, as set out in our competency and values framework (CVF) for policing. The competencies review criteria is set at level 1 for Special Constable recruitment.
Guidance on the national sift can be found in this PDF on the College of Policing website
If you pass the national sift you will be invited to an interview.
You will be interviewed by a panel from West Yorkshire Police. They will ask you a series of questions based on the Competency and Values Framework. These may be followed by additional questions to further explore your initial answer. The panel may interrupt your answer to make sure they understand what you have said or to ask for more information. This is to help prompt you to present as much evidence as possible. The panel will take notes during the interview to capture all evidence.
Following a successful interview we will contact you for details of your referees to request references and you will be required to attend for a physical fitness test, a medical, and have a drugs test.
Once all aspects of your application have been completed and approved you will be notified. We will create a record for you on our HR systems, allocate you a collar number and ask you to attend an induction session to talk to you about training options. Successful individuals will be expected to give their full commitment to the training programme.
Other Application Stages
Whilst you are not expected to be an athlete, you will need to demonstrate a good level of fitness and pass the fitness test. The test is a bleep test whereby you will be asked to run along a 15 metre track (this is known as a shuttle run) in time with a series of bleeps. If you arrive at the end line before the bleep sounds, you will need to wait for the bleep before resuming running and adjust your speed. The timing between bleeps is slow at first but the bleep becomes faster as the test progresses and it becomes more difficult to keep up at the required speed. You will run until you can no longer keep up with the set pace. You will need to reach a minimum of four shuttles at endurance level 5.4 to pass. If you are unsuccessful on your first attempt, we will give you the two further attempts, with time to improve your fitness in between.
It is worth starting your training now! Further information is provided on the College of Policing’s website by clicking on the relevant link at the bottom of this page.
At this stage you will be asked to attend a medical appointment at the West Yorkshire Police’s Occupational Health Unit. At the appointment you will be asked about your previous vaccinations and your height, weight and blood pressure will be checked, as well as your eyesight and colour vision. They will also take a sample of your urine. You will be expected to perform a lung function test and a hearing test. You may also be required to be medically examined. A drugs test will also be undertaken. Click here to view our Medical Standards page.
The final stages of the process include vetting and reference checks. You will be asked to provide the relevant information during the application process.
To view the vetting criteria for potential applicants, please click here.
Appointment and Training
If you successfully complete all stages of the recruitment process, you will be asked to state your preferred Districts that you would be willing to serve in (Bradford District, Calderdale District, Kirklees District, Leeds District, Wakefield District).
You will then be allocated a place on a training course. For recruit applicants (i.e. those who have not previously been a Special Constable or currently serving as a Special Constable in another Police Force) the Specials training program is run over 35 weeks which is every other weekend (19 weekends) Saturday & Sunday 8am-4.30pm. Once you have been appointed, HR will send you the training schedule.
Please note that if you are offered appointment as a Special Constable and have committed to a course programme, it is expected that you will attend every element on the relevant dates as indicated, as there is very little flexibility to attend on different dates. If you anticipate this to be an issue, please let us know as soon as possible.
Before you start your induction and training, you will be asked to make an appointment with the West Yorkshire Police Regional Scientific Support Unit for biometric vetting. You will provide a DNA sample and undertake a Livescan Fingerprint search.
Business Interests and Precluded Occupations
There may be some restrictions to becoming a Special Constable, and you will need to check with the specific force you're interested in joining. This could include:
- certain occupations (eg, neighbourhood and street wardens, other types of uniformed patrol warden, or those involved in the administration of the law)
- If you, your spouse or a relative holds or has a financial interest in any local licence or permit relating to liquor licensing, refreshment houses or betting and gaming or regulating places of entertainment
In addition to this, you may have a business interest (including unpaid or voluntary work) with which West Yorkshire Police would not consider it appropriate that a Special Constable be involved in. You will be asked to submit any details in the application form.
If you currently have an ongoing application for the role of Police Officer or Police Community Support Officer with which you wish to continue, your Special Constable application may be put on hold pending the outcome of your other application.
Links and other useful information
- Our Standards
- Medical Standards
- The College of Policing Code of Ethics
- Inclusion and Equality information
- West Yorkshire Policing and Crime Plan
- Physical Fitness Test
Page last reviewed - October 2023