Police community support officer apprenticeships - where to start
You can get into this job through
an apprenticeshipapplying directly
You can get into this role through a higher apprenticeship as a police community support officer.
To do this apprenticeship, you'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A-Levels, or equivalent.
You'll need good communication skills, and experience of working with the public in community settings will be useful.
It may be helpful if you have experience of community work or you've volunteered as a special constable.
You can apply to become a police community support officer and often don't need formal qualifications. Employers will be more interested in your personal qualities and character.
You'll need a good level of spoken and written English, so some police forces may ask for English GCSE at grade 4 (C).
Each police force has its own selection process. This will usually involve:
an interactive test to see how you work with other people. Great value is placed on personal qualities and character, especially:
the ability to remain calm under pressure, tolerance and empathy, combined with firmness.
Police community support officer apprenticeships - what it takes
Skills and knowledge
- excellent verbal communication skills
- active listening skills
- knowledge of public safety and security
- customer service skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- leadership skills
- negotiation skills
- legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to:
- be over 18 years of age
- pass a fitness test
- pass a medical check
- pass enhanced background checks
You will also need the right to live and work in the UK without restrictions.
Police community support officer apprenticeships - what you'll do
You will do a variety of work in which you could:
- go on highly-visible foot and cycle patrols
- offer advice on crime prevention
- deal with anti-social behaviour alongside neighbourhood wardens and community action teams
- talk with young people and visit schools
- build links with businesses and community leaders
- guard crime scenes and detain suspects until a police officer arrives
- make house visits to reassure people and gather intelligence
- issue fixed penalty notices
- use social media channels, online forums and force websites to develop links with local communities
- provide support at large public gatherings, such as sports events and public demonstrations
You could work in the community or on a patrol.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors in all weathers.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression - Police community support officer apprenticeships
There is no formal route from PCSO to police officer, but the training and experience you gain could help you if you want to move into this role.
Many people do make being a PCSO their long-term career.
You could also use your experience to mentor and train new PCSOs.