Policing is a career like no other. Our police officers, police staff and volunteers show courage, teamwork and compassion on a daily basis to make a real difference to people’s lives in the communities they serve.
As a police community support officer (PCSO), you will be working at the heart of the local community, providing a visible and accessible uniformed presence to improve the quality of life and offer public reassurance. As well as making a real difference, you’ll benefit from great variety in what you do every day, a good salary and benefits. Some people join the constabulary to be a career PCSO and others join as it opens up opportunities to develop skills and experience needed to serve in other roles such as a police officer.
Do you have the skills we are looking for?
We look for all kinds of skills, because we know it takes all kinds of people to protect the public. Problem solving, compassion, resilience, respect, courage and teamwork. These are the qualities we are looking for, and if you think you might have the skills to serve why not sign up for our job alerts.
Since the introduction of PCSOs, the role has become an established part of our neighbourhood policing providing that vital connection to the communities we serve. You will be a valuable and engaged presence in our communities, identifying and solving local priorities, and supporting your communities to tackle anti-social behaviour and disorder.
PCSOs are at their best, when focusing on the community support aspect of the role as opposed to punitive enforcement activities. While enforcement is an important tool, the application of discretion alongside calm dialogue, guidance and support can be a far better instrument to bring about change in behaviour and communities. This supportive, preventative approach not only differentiates PCSOs from their police officer colleagues, but will in itself foster and promote community cohesion through the building and development of key partnerships with individuals and community groups to resolve the problems, issues and concerns they face. A key feature of successful neighbourhood policing is empowering communities to engage in, and own, the initiatives that benefit them. As a PCSO you are fundamental to this success
You will need to be at least 18 years old and have no criminal record; some minor offences may not exclude you, but you should check with us if you are concerned. You’ll also need a full UK manual driving licence.
You also need to have lived in the UK for the last three years, and have the right to live and work in the country indefinitely. There are some exceptions for those serving in the armed forces, members of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and those who have taken a career break or gap year to travel or work abroad for up to 12 months.
If you receive a conditional offer of employment or you are placed into a pool of successful candidates to whom we intend to make a conditional offer when the position arises, you must agree to undergo recruitment screening which may consist of vetting (including biometrics), medical, references and a job-related fitness test. The criteria include:
The minimum requirements for entry to the PCSO role are:
Full Manual Driving Licence required at time of application.
Educated to QCF Level 2 (GCSE at grade A*-C or 4-9 ) passes in English and Mathematics.
Competence in basic office IT
This role is subject to satisfactory vetting clearance (including biometrics), medical, references and a job-related fitness test.
You must meet our eligibility criteria and the assessment process and the role is both mentally and physically challenging. As well as a medical examination (you must be deemed fit for duty and this will include BMI measurement, please note anyone over BMI 30 will be referred to our fitness team for guidance to reduce BMI, this will have an impact on your start date. There is a fitness test you must pass at bleep level 5.4 (and repeat annually
Having 6/36 uncorrected vision or 6/12 corrected in either eye AND 6/6 in both eyes. Laser correction is fine after six weeks, but severe colour vision deficiencies (monochromat) will prevent you from joining.
Having a body mass index (BMI) between 20 and 29.
Being able to reach level 5.4 on a 15-metre shuttle run.
Full eligibility criteria is posted when we advertise for the role, but if you have any doubts as to whether you would pass, please contact us for advice before you apply.
The PCSO Apprenticeship combines on-the-job practical and academic learning. This will take approximately 15 months, resulting in the award of a formal level 4 qualification: Diploma in Community Policing Practice. The Diploma will be completed within 12 months of joining the Constabulary with the completion of the apprenticeship by the 15th month.
Initial training phases:
The training starts at our Headquarters in Netley Southampton where new PCSO Apprentices complete a period of 12 weeks Initial Training.
Training at Netley consists of classroom based sessions, online blended learning and opportunities to learn and practice skills. During weeks 10 and 11 you complete some observation shifts with Neighbourhood Policing Teams before returning to Netley to complete your last four weeks of Initial Training.
On completion of Initial training, PCSO apprentices commence the operational ‘on the job’ Tutor phase. You will be based at your allocated posting station within a Neighbourhood Policing Team and follow a Shift Pattern (see details below). You will be assigned an experienced PCSO Tutor who will mentor you for 10 weeks. During this time you will work towards the goal of Independent Patrol Status, meaning you can work without support from a tutor.
Independent Patrol Stage: The next six months you enter the final phase of development as a fully competent PCSO. You are still learning while doing the job and finishing the Diploma qualification. When you have achieved a year in post and have completed the qualification, you are no longer on probation and become a substantive PCSO.
Completing the Apprenticeship:
The last stage of your apprenticeship consists of an end point assessment by an Independent assessor. This includes doing a presentation and having a discussion about work that you have completed during your training. This will take place when you and your Line manager decide you are ready, but is usually 15 months after your start date.
The PCSO Recruitment Process
Applications for the PCSO Apprenticeship programme must be made online via our Hampshire Constabulary careers site. Please take the time to complete this fully and carefully. To assist you in the completion there is help on the advert page titled Candidate’s guidance for Completing Application Forms.
Please be aware that after the advert closing date, it can take up to two weeks for applications to be eligibility checked and shortlisted.
If your application is successful you will be invited to attend an interview. The format of the interview will be Competency based questions. This mirrors the application form where you are asked to provide examples focused on the Competency Value Framework, as detailed within the advert. Guidance will be sent to you pre interview.
The interviews are conducted by two people and may either be via video call or in person. The interview will last around 45 minutes and you will be notified of the result by email. Please be aware that due to the volume of applications it can take up to two weeks for candidates to be notified of the result.
If your interview was successful, you will receive a Conditional Offer of employment letter.There are a number of checks that you are required to complete pre-employment and your letter will contain links and instructions to initiate these. These checks include:
Reference form, detailing 3 years of employment references
Eyesight form (completed by your Opticians)
Job related fitness test
Posting Preference form
Some of the checks we complete can be lengthy, especially in relation to the Police Vetting process, please be patient. We will be working hard to get you processed as soon as possible. As soon as you have cleared all the above checks, you will be enrolled on the next available Apprenticeship training programme.
As well as a highly rewarding career, you will join us on Scale 4 (£23,100 to £25,353 per annum). In addition, after your initial 15 weeks training, you will receive a shift allowance and weekend enhancement of approximately £400 per month (depending on shift pattern), meaning your potential salary would be in the region of £27,900.
Hampshire Constabulary benefits are extensive and include:
Flexible working opportunities
An attractive contributory pension scheme
Childcare Voucher and Cycle to Work schemes
Access to Hampshire Police Leisure and Sport (providing a range of family and sporting activities)
Hampshire Constabulary are committed to being diverse and inclusive and we value difference. We strive to be reflective of the diverse communities we serve. We welcome and encourage applications from people from all backgrounds. To ensure every potential candidate has an equal opportunity of fairness, we offer support and guidance from the start. Whether you are just thinking about a role within Hampshire Constabulary or have already applied, the Positive Action Team are here to assist you.
We have a dedicated Equality and Inclusion Team who are here to provide support and guidance on our internal networks, Positive Action, reasonable adjustments and Equality Impact Assessments. We are part of Inclusive Employers which provide us with Equality training and consultancy.
Within the organisation there are a number of support networks for staff and officers to join or go to for advice and support. These include, but not exclusively: Inspire for women, BEAM (Black, Ethnic & Minority) Support Network, Gypsy Roma and Traveller network, Enable, disability and carers network, Police Chaplaincy and Hampshire LGBT network.
Anyone can join any network; it is about sharing skills and experience to learn, develop and challenge.
The Disability Confident campaign aims to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that people have opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. We will accommodate requests for reasonable adjustments where possible throughout our recruitment and promotions processes, whilst continuously looking at ways to improve how we recruit, retain and develop disabled people.