Committee Reports::Report No. 07 - Recruitment and Training in the Garda Síochána::29 May, 1985::Appendix


Police Recruitment in England

(Extract from Fifth Report on a Visit to Scotland Yard)


1.The Career Information and Selection Centre, Padding Green Police Station deals with recruitment for the police, the police cadet scheme and the graduate entry scheme.

Police Recruitment

2.Every applicant for a position as a police officer is required to complete an application form. There are at present (September 1984) about 200 applications every week though the average has varied from 100 to 600 over the past number of years. About 40%-50% of these applications are rejected as not meeting the minimum entry requirements, for example, age and height. Regard may also be had to information available to the police about an applicant’s criminal record. Applicants are not informed of the reason for rejection.

3.Applicants then undergo an initial recruitment test. This involves:-

(a)a short test of ability to work under pressure,

(b)production of school or college reports,

(c)a visit by a police officer to the applicant’s home.

4.About 25%-30% of those who attend for this test are called for the final selection process. This includes a number of different facets and, since June 1983, takes place over two days. The test involves attending at the Police Training College and includes physical exercises, practical instruction on the nature of police work and is followed by an interview with a Chief Superintendent and a Superintendent. This interview lasts for 30/35 minutes and determines whether the applicant is offered a place on the training course, is rejected, or is advised to try again at a later date, and, perhaps, in the meantime to join the special constabulary.

Police Cadets

5.A new scheme for police cadets was introduced in January 1984, and about 30 applicants start a 46 week course each month for ten months of the year. It is expected that they will then proceed to the police training course proper.

6.Applicants must be between 17½ and 18½ years and meet certain height and medical requirements. Applicants go through 2½ days of rigorous tests including, for example, physical tests, searching interviews, an outdoor initiative test, group discussions and a short talk by the applicant. Candidates must meet all requirements for the police force generally as, on completion of this course, they will pass to the Police Training School subject only to a pre-entry medical examination. The course syllabus covers three main areas - classroom work where interpersonal skills are of prime importance, adventure training and community service. The aim of the course is to develop all participants as persons.

7.During the course, cadets are paid about £50-£60 per week gross and have £40-£50 per week net.

Graduate Entry Scheme

8.In addition to meeting the physical requirements, to be eligible for the Graduate Entry Scheme candidates must be under 30 and either have a degree or be in the final year of a degree course at a university or polytechnic. Applications, which must be made to the Police Graduate Liaison Officer at the Home Office, will be forwarded to the relevant force. Providing the application is satisfactory, the Chief Officer of that force will invite the applicant to attend for a medical examination and interview. The Chief Officer then decides whether he is acceptable for appointment in his force, and if so, whether to recommend that he should be considered for attendance at the Extended Interview Selection Board.

9.The recommendations are then examined centrally and candidates are informed whether or not they have been selected to attend three days of interviews and tests run by senior police officers and outside experts, who will be looking for the qualities required in future leaders of the service. The standard is high and only those who display the potential to rise above the rank of Inspector early in their career will be accepted. If an applicant is not selected under the Scheme, but offered an appointment to a force through the standard method of entry, then there will be a further opportunity for him to be considered for the Special Course should he pass the promotion examination for Sergeant. This can be taken after two years as a constable, but to be eligible for the Special Course he must still be under 30 years of age.

10.While 1,400 recruits joined the force last year only five entered under the graduate entry scheme. A further 200 graduates entered in the normal course. Applicants who enter under this scheme are destined for rapid promotion to Inspector rank after five years. Provision is also made for other officers who join in the normal way to advance rapidly by competing for a place on the special course held at the Police Staff College at Bramshill. There are only 80 places open each year for all of the U.K. police forces. Standards in the selection process are very high and competition is extremely keen.