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Special Constable eligibility criteria


You must be aged at least 18 when submitting an application.


To be eligible for appointment you must be a British citizen or a member of the EC or other states in the EEA (Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein). Commonwealth citizens and foreign nationals are also eligible but only if they are resident in the UK free of restrictions.


In accordance with the Home Office policy and our security vetting procedures, applicants must have been resident in the United Kingdom for 3 years or more prior to submitting an application, to allow sufficient background enquiries to be carried out.

However if you have resided outside the UK for a time but can provide sufficient information to enable meaningful checks to be conducted in relation to that period, we will consider your application alongside the information you provide.

Health and fitness

Applicants must be in good health, of sound constitution and able to both physically and mentally perform the duties of a Special Constable once appointed. Prior to appointment applicants are required to complete a medical history questionnaire and undertake a medical examination. All applicants will have their eyesight examined at the medical examination stage. Failure to meet the standards means you cannot be appointed. Further information can be found on www.policecouldyou.co.uk .

Eyesight Requirements

The standard you will need to meet either with or without spectacles or contact lenses is:

  • Distance vision – 6/12 or better with either your right or left eye.
  • 6/6 - with both eyes together.

If you wear spectacles or contact lenses you also need to reach 6/36 without your spectacles or lenses.

  • Near vision - N6 with both eyes together (aided).
  • Colour vision – The use of colour correcting lenses is not acceptable.

Severe colour vision deficiencies (monochromats) are not acceptable. Mild anomalous trichromats are acceptable. Severe anomalous dichromats or trichromats are also acceptable but you will need to be aware of the deficiency and make appropriate adjustments.

Eye surgery - Radial Keratotomy, Arcuate Keratotomy or corneal grafts are not acceptable.

Other forms of refractive surgery such as LASIK, LASEK, PRK, ICRS, epiflap are all acceptable provided that six weeks have elapsed since surgery, there are no residual side effects and the other eyesight standards are met.

Convictions and Cautions

Convictions or cautions will not necessarily preclude you from appointment. It will depend on their nature and the circumstances of the offence. Failure to disclose convictions or cautions will, however, result in your application being terminated.


Tattoos are not a bar to appointment. However some tattoos could potentially offend members of the public or colleagues or could discredit the police service. It depends on their size, nature and location, and sometimes on the extent. Candidates applying for the Special Constaubulary should note that GMP:

  • Will not accept candidates with tattoos, which are visible on the hands, face or neck.
  • Will not accept candidates with tattoos considered offensive by GMP i.e. rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic or violent, whether the tattoos are visible or not.
  • Will consider candidates with tattoos that are non-visible and considered to be non-offensive by GMP provided that they can be covered by uniform or clothing whilst on duty (for example, a tattoo on the forearm should be covered by long sleeves).

Financial Position

Special Constables are in a privileged position with regard to access to information and could be considered potentially vulnerable to corruption. Applicants should not therefore be under pressure from undischarged debts or liabilities and should be able to manage loans and debts sensibly.

For further information regarding eligibility please contact us by emailing recruitmentservices@gmp.police.uk

© Greater Manchester Police 2019