You may already have a career you love, yet you still seek a challenge or an opportunity to develop new skills. We can provide this opportunity if you can offer some spare time. If you can commit 16 hours a month and stay calm under pressure, we want to hear from you.
As volunteer police officers, special constables have full police powers, uniform and equipment, and work alongside full-time police officers and CSOs to keep Gwent safe.
Our next recruitment window | Autumn 2021
We are committed to achieving a workforce that is representative of the communities we serve. In doing so, we encourage individuals from our BAME, disabled and LGBT communities to consider future opportunities. For more information, please contact our positive action team.
Working for Gwent Police
Volunteers for the Special Constabulary come from a diverse range of backgrounds and communities. You may be at home, caring for family, or driving a career in a very different industry. The variety of experience held across the Special Constabulary supports the police service and aims to represent the communities they serve.
As a special constable, you will deal with a range of incidents. There will be times when you will experience confrontation; you will arrest suspects and attend distressing events. You will be there for people in need and make a valuable difference to the community of Gwent. You will receive a comprehensive training package that will give you a broad range of knowledge and skills.
Specials spend around four hours a week, or more, supporting the police to tackle crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour and to build relationships with communities. They must complete at least 16 hours of service per month, which are arranged flexibly, according to personal and work commitments.
Specials are supported by dedicated teams within each force, who will encourage volunteers to put in enough hours to ensure their confidence, skills and experience grows.
We welcome applications from people from all different backgrounds, cultures, religions, ages, gender and sexual orientation. However, there are some eligibility conditions that all applicants will need to meet, so you need to check that you meet our requirements before submitting an application:
- Be aged 18 years or over (on the day you submit your application).
- Applicants should be British Citizens, or passport holders from a full EU Member State. You can also apply if you're a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is resident in the UK with indefinite leave to remain.
- You must have lived in the UK for three continuous years, immediately prior to application.
- Not be a member of the British National Party (BNP) or other organisations like Combat 18 or The National Front.
- If you have a criminal record, this doesn't mean you're automatically ineligible; it depends on the nature of your conviction. Please declare any caution or conviction on your application form. Failure to do so will result in you failing the vetting procedure due to integrity issues.
- If you are struggling with debt, you may still be able to apply. You just need to supply us with evidence of your ability to manage your debts successfully. However, if you have any outstanding County Court Judgements or you are an un-discharged bankrupt, then you are automatically ineligible.
- Tattoos which are offensive, garish, prominent or numerous are not acceptable. Please supply photos and measurements of any tattoos along with your application.
Special constables do not get paid as they work on a voluntary basis. You will, however, be able to claim back out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, you will receive:
- Support and advice from our staff associations and support networks including - Female Police Association, LGBT Network, Black Police Association, Christian Police Association, Ability Support Network, Police Federation, Unison, GMB.
- Wellbeing – We have an internal Occupational Health Unit, which can assist with some injuries on duty. In addition there is access to CARE first, the employee assist programme.
- Access to subsidised gyms throughout force area.
If you are successful in the recruitment process you will be asked to attend a modular training programme. This will start with training to learn the basics. Once you have passed the first exam you will be sworn in as a special constable. You will then leave training for a few weeks to perform duties alongside a mentor, completing a personal development plan as you go. This process is then repeated until you have passed all of the necessary elements required to become a special constable.
The application process
- The first step will be an online application process including some eligibility ‘killer questions’. If you pass this stage you will be required to complete several online tests and an application form. These tests will include an online situational judgement test and behavioural style questionnaire.
- If you do not have a Level 3 qualification or above you must also successfully pass a psychometric test (verbal reasoning and calculation test). This will test your academic ability to Level 3.
- All test results are provided instantly online.
- This will allow the panel to gain a better understanding of your experience and skills, as well as for you to gain a further understanding of the role. Force values and the National Competency Values Framework could be tested at this stage.
- Our values are be compassionate, be courageous, be proud, be positive, and keep learning.
Further to your assessment centre, there are various in-force stages you will also be required to successfully complete:
- You will be required to meet the national standards for police officers. This involves a shuttle run to level 5/4 (bleep test).
- If you don’t meet the standard first time around, you can take the test again (up to a maximum of three times). You will also be required to attend a pre-appointment fitness test approximately six weeks prior to the anticipated appointment date and you must pass this to progress your application.
Drugs and biometric testing
- The drugs test will involve undergoing a questionnaire on any medication you are taking, or have been taking, and a hair sample.
- Biometric testing will involve taking fingerprints and a DNA (mouth) swab, which will be checked against a national database.
Vetting and references
- References are required to cover a minimum of 3 years of continuous employment history. If you have not been in employment for 3 years we will look to obtain education and personal references.
Health check questionnaire, and appointment
- This will include various tests, including hearing, vision, audio, spirometry, reflexes and BMI. The Home Office sets BMI standards for police officers. The current Home Office circular 59/2004 outlines this as between 18 and 30.
These pre-appointment checks can sometimes take between three and six months. Please be aware that you must attend any appointments in your own time, including your uniform fitting appointment.
Once you have completed all pre-employment checks, you will move to the next stage of the process.
For uniformed roles, you'll be allocated a place on the next available intake and allocated a uniform fitting appointment.
For staff roles, you will receive information about a start date, be provided with an offer letter, the terms and conditions applicable to the role and receive contact from your line manager.
Our equality and diversity objectives are enforced through an established Equality and Diversity Board. This demonstrates our commitment to ensuring we consistently treat our colleagues and public with fairness, dignity and respect.
Our employee assistance programme is provided by CareFirst, is free to all and available 24 hours a day all year round, providing confidential support for problems that can affect performance, health, and mental and emotional wellbeing.
We offer an Occupational Health and Welfare Unit to help maintain both your physical and psychological health while at work. The service is confidential and includes a counselling service.
The Occupational Health team aims to support attendance and effectiveness by working proactively to minimise health risks and to promote individual responsibility for health, fitness and wellbeing. You are also eligible for a free eye test.
There are many sports teams for you to join from running, hockey, fishing and football. There are also free gym facilities at a number of our sites.
There are a range of associations, networks and groups supporting our workforce and Gwent Police has a range of initiatives and schemes to help colleagues develop.
Our staff networks offer support and friendship to our officers, staff and the local community alike. They work to support and advise colleagues nationally and we are proud of the active part they play in influencing policing across the UK.
The networks and associations include:
- The Disability Support Network
- The Women in Policing Network (GWiP)
- The Gwent Police Ethnic Minority Association (GEMA)
- The LGBT+ Network
- The Christian Police Association
- The Mental Health Support Network
- Police Sport Gwent
- Police Superintendents Association
- Welsh Speakers and Learners Network
- Unison and
- The Police Federation.
Only Police Officers can join the Police Federation, if you opt to join the Police Federation, you can choose to join a life insurance scheme with awards payable to your spouse or partner, and to any dependents. In addition to accessing crucial illness and sickness cover, you can take out insurance, at a preferential rate, to cover any legal expenses connected to your job, and also benefit from the best rehabilitation facilities.