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Frequently Asked Questions about Special Constables

How long will the recruitment process take?

Every application is different dependent on the amount of references and checks that need to be carried out but it should normally take around 6 months. The recruitment process can be delayed by not providing complete and accurate information on your application form.

What references will be taken up?

It is GMP’s current recruitment policy to obtain both current and previous employment and education references for the last three years. If you have limited employment references we will also take up personal references. All references state you are applying to be a Special Constable.

Do I need specific qualifications to apply to become a Special Constable?

No, you will need to pass the national assessment process but no formal qualifications are required. As a Special Constable you will be required to produce a high standard of written work for reports and statements etc. Your spelling, grammar and legibility should be of an adequate standard to ensure effective written communication.

Is there any physical assessment?

Yes, you will be required to pass a job related fitness test as part of the recruitment process. The purpose of the test is to ensure you are fit to undertake the officer safety training and role of a Special Constable.

What if I can’t attend all training dates? Is there any flexibility?

There is some flexibility with the training but this may delay you performing operational duties. If there is a specific training date you are unable to attend, alternative arrangements will be made.

During the training are there any assessments/tests/exams?

There is only one written exam, which forms part of the self-defence training. There are no other formal exams, however you will be required to complete knowledge check papers on every course. These are not pass or fail papers but are used to see if there are any developmental areas where additional training may be required. During your training some homework will be given and you will be expected to do some reading in your spare time. Student notes are also given out after every training session for you to keep.

Can I choose which division I will serve on?

You will be asked for your divisional preference at application stage however, we cannot guarantee you will be offered your first choice as postings are made in line with operational demand and divisional requirements.

If I live outside the GMP area where will I be posted?

You will be posted to the division that is closet to your home address. However, before applying you should firstly consider how far you would have to travel to reach the GMP boundary, as travel expenses will not be paid for outside of the force area. If you consider this to be too far perhaps you should consider applying to your local Special Constabulary.

Am I a Special Constable 24 hours per day, 7 days a week?

You only have the powers of a Constable when you are on duty as a Special Constable. However, if you are not on duty and you find yourself in a situation where you need to use your powers of a Constable, then you can put yourself on duty at that time. You will learn more about these procedures during your training. GMP advises that if you encounter a crime when off duty you should contact the Police directly and act as a professional witness.

Where would I store my uniform?

You would be expected to take your uniform home in a kit bag, which is provided by GMP. It is policy that you do not travel to and from the police station in full or part uniform. You are required to change into and out of your uniform at the Police Station.

Can I work more than four hours per week?

Yes, you can work as many hours as reasonably possible allowing for work and home commitments. Consideration should also be given to the Working Time Directive to ensure Health and Safety compliance. Most divisions will request your availability two weeks in advance. You will probably find, that you will establish a regular working pattern. You can choose to perform duties during the week, at the weekend or both. You can also choose to work during the day, afternoon or evening.

Will I be involved in any operations?

Yes, as a Special Constable you are an important resource and therefore will be utilised in many ways, which may include your involvement in local operations and force initiatives.

Will I have to go to court?

Should you make an arrest as a Special Constable and the case is later taken to court you may have to attend court to either give evidence or to be a witness. You will be entitled to any loss of earnings you may incur due to a court appearance.

Will I receive any allowances?

Yes, travel to and from your posted police station will be paid for as well as any other travel expenses made by yourself whilst on duty. If you live outside the force boundary travel costs can only be claimed from the point of entry to the force area. Your uniform is provided and you will receive a boot allowance for appropriate footwear. A refreshment allowance is also paid, this is dependent on the number of hours in any given tour of duty.

Would I be insured if I was injured on duty?

Yes, you would be covered by GMP’s insurance if you were injured whilst on duty as a Special Constable.

© Greater Manchester Police 2019