The majority of candidates fail at the application stage. Don’t be one of them!

On this page we’ll walk you through some of the frequently asked questions about being a Detective Constable with North Wales Police. We recommend you take some time to read these before you apply.

If your question isn’t here, contact the recruitment team at [email protected]

Before you apply – About Degrees

Yes, but the degree will need to be equivalent to a UK Level 6 qualification. Level 6 qualifications are at a level equivalent to bachelor's degrees with honours, graduate certificates and graduate diplomas.  You can find out more on the National Qualifications Framework

An Open University degree has the same status as one from any top UK university, and degrees awarded are comparable with those awarded by other UK universities.

You’ll undergo an intense two year training programme and achieve a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice in conjunction with Bangor University.

Yes, however it must be a full Masters i.e. a full level 7 qualification and not a post graduate certificate or diploma.

Applying to other forces and / or other policing positions

You’ll need to choose which route is most appealing to you. If you’ve applied to be a Police Constable with us, you must first withdraw your application for this role before you can apply to be a Detective Constable.

You can apply directly to more than one police force at a time for the position of detective constable. You can only sit one assessment centre within a three-month period, but this should not prevent you from entering applications with more than one force should you wish.

Yes, we would only advise to listen to any feedback given during the last recruitment process as there will be similarities in the format of the Detective process for instance.

Application Form

The more common reasons for failures including delays are completing all parts of the application form accurately, including uploading requested documents such as degree certificates, right to work documents and photographs of tattoos.

Our commitment to diversity to ensure our police force reflects the diversity that we know is present in our communities and our ability to best serve the public relies on the different and unique experiences, skills and approaches that a diverse workforce brings. We’re committed to supporting applicants from underrepresented groups in their journey to becoming a detective constable. If you’re a member of one of these groups, you may be eligible for Positive Action. This is an opportunity to ask any questions and address any concerns you may have in addition to accessing support.

Equal opportunity - The police service is proud to be an equal opportunities employer. We are keen to support people with disabilities (as per the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010) and wider conditions, including neurodiversity.

Please let us know whether there are any reasonable adjustments that you feel need to be considered to assist you with the application or recruitment process by contacting [email protected].


Here you’ll find the College of Policing eligibility criteria which provides detailed explanation of the eligibility considerations which apply to applicants for the role of police constable and detective constable.

We recommend you read this document before you apply in order to fully understand the requirements.

The guidance conforms to the Equality Act 2010 and the college of Policing APP Vetting guidance 2019 covering all areas of recruitment and selection such as:

  • Age
  • Previous applications
  • Financial checks
  • Criminal history
  • References
  • Membership of the British National Party (BNP) and other similar organisations
  • Vetting of candidates who have been living or are resident abroad
  • Nationality
  • Identity verification and right to work
  • Tattoos and body piercing

You don’t need to hold a full driving licence when you put in your application, however you must pass your test and get a full licence before we can offer you a position.

You’re unable to apply if you’re currently or have previously been a serving police officer or have been attested and started training. There are promotion and transfer routes for serving officers to move into detective roles. 

You’re eligible to apply if you’re currently - or have previously been - a police cadet, special constable, PCSO or member of police staff for any force.

Yes, we welcome applications from people with disabilities. Adjustments will be made to the selection processes and / or working environment, providing it is reasonable in all circumstances to do so.

If you consider yourself to have a disability, please contact us to let us know the type of reasonable adjustments you might need to assist you in participating in the recruitment and selection process.

The Equality Act 2010 applies to all appointments in the Police Service and we welcome applications from individuals with disabilities. Adjustments will be made to selection processes and/or the working environment, provided it is reasonable in all circumstances to do so.

If you have questions about your specific application or adjustments, please email us at [email protected].

Find out if you’re eligible for Positive Action support.

Candidates with a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia for example, can request reasonable adjustments during the application and assessment process upon submission of documentary evidence.

The report or assessment should have been written since your 16th birthday. Information on how to get an assessment for dyslexia or a report evidencing that you have a specific learning difficulty is on the British Dyslexia Association website.

Online Assessment Centre Process

Once you’ve submitted your application for the detective constable role, the recruitment team will check your application has been completed correctly and that you pass the eligibility requirements. They’ll then contact you by email inviting you to the online assessment process.

The College of Policing have put together a frequently asked questions guide covering everything from what applying to more than one force, what the process entails; to the technology needed and what needs to be set up prior to taking the online assessment and what happens after you’ve completed this.


We’ll write to you once we receive the online assessment centre results and if you’re successful you’ll be invited to attend a detective focused selection process which will consist of a Competency Based Interview and a Detectives Role Based Scenario.

You can find the dates of when these will take place in the Recruitment & Vetting Selection Process however please note the dates may be subject to change. 

North Wales Police are in the process of exploring the best options and as soon as we know how these will be held, we’ll make sure to update our website information to keep you informed.

The interview is held by a panel consisting of two people; a detective and an independent force member. All panel members have received the North Wales Police training in Standards of Practice and Unconscious Bias to ensure fairness and legitimacy of the process.

The interview will be assessed against the Competency and Values Framework (CVF), aligned to the detective investigator role profile.

The CVF provides a consistent set of behaviours expected of everyone working in policing and when we undertake recruitment, assessment and development. The questions may also include motivational, scenario, situational questions for forward facing questions.

We’ve included the framework here for you to review and recommend you visit the investigative pages of the College of Policing website to understand more about the role and how this aligns to the values.

The interview panel will want to understand your research into North Wales Police, the role of a detective and your awareness of the standards required of a Detective Constable. These are laid out nationally in the Code of Ethics.

Conditional Offer

This is an offer for the role that is subject to pre-employment checks being conducted.

This stage of the process can sometimes take 3-4 months to complete and includes:

  • Employment references
  • Welsh Level 2 assessment
  • Medical screening
  • Fitness test
  • Biometric testing (Drugs and DNA)
  • Vetting checks


All successful candidates will need to provide a reference from their current employment or previous employment - if this is not applicable, their undergraduate university - and a personal reference. This also applies to anyone who has been employed by a Police Service or the Armed Forces.

We’ll contact your current employer when we’re near to completing the conditional offer pre-employment checks and only once we’ve sought your consent.


The role of a detective can be physically and mentally demanding therefore we must test your physical ability. Please have a look at this document for more details about the medical standards which will provide you with a clear insight into any medical considerations which would not be suitable for the role:

Recommended Medical Standards (PDF)

The medical requirements include height and weight to ascertain your BMI, hearing, blood pressure, eyesight, urine tests, lung capacity tests and your previous medical history is reviewed by the occupational health team.

You need to be able to manage day-to-day life without a problem and it’s expected you won’t be regularly having sick days off work, as we need our officers to be fit and healthy.

However, if you need regular medication to stay healthy, you may still be accepted, as long as you can provide evidence of being able to manage this yourself. Every candidate receives a detailed individual assessment and we can accept candidates with many common health conditions, as long as they’re under control. 

If after conducting a medical with you and reviewing all the relevant information to hand, it may be that we conclude you’re unable to carry out the role safely without putting your own health at risk, or you can’t meet some of the core requirements, This means you will not be found fit for the job.

The Equality Act 2010 covers all police forces and if you have a disability, adjustments will be made if it is reasonable to do so. If you have a health problem, or you’ve recently had a lot of time off, try to bring a copy of your medical records or a note from your doctor with you to your medical assessment.

The Home Office requires our medical team to review the medical form that you’ve completed and that’s been signed off by a General Practitioner who holds your medical notes. You can’t enter the Police Service unless this is done, so please make sure you’re registered with a GP. The occupational health nurse may need to liaise with your GP in regards to your medical history.

Countersigning the forms falls outside of the GP’s NHS Contract hence a small charge is made by them for this service, payable by you. To avoid delays, we recommend that you make an appointment with your GP at the earliest opportunity. You should ask the GP to sign off your health declaration on the basis of comparison with their records.

The doctor working for the Armed Force will be able to complete the form.

No. This is not advisable as the cold can affect some of the tests we do like the lung functions (spirometry) and hearing tests (audiometry). We would advise that you ring in and arrange a new appointment.

No. You’ll need to contact the NHS helpline and follow their advice as well as arranging a new appointment with us.

As long as you meet the vision standards for corrected vision, this is your vision with glasses or contact lenses, you should be good. We’ll assess this and in some cases for complex prescriptions and may contact your optician. 

Eyesight Standards (

Our BMI standard is based on the guidelines published by the College of Policing. High body weight and fat tissue percentage are linked to joint problems, diabetes, heart problems and cancer. Where BMI is found to be above 30 we also look at the percentage of your body that is made up of fat. If this is outside the standards we defer pending a review at a later date (usually 3 months).

Please bear in mind that as the join date for the detectives programme is 13th September 2021 with no further planned intake dates for this role, your deferral may mean you miss the opportunity to join by this date.

Losing weight (or rather fat tissue) and keeping this under your control with a healthy balanced low-carb diet and regular cardiovascular exercise is usually a goal that can be realistically achieved over the course of several months. It is up to you to make these lifestyle changes and demonstrate your commitment to your new job as a Detective Constable.

Our BMI standard is based on the guidelines published by the College of Policing. We recognise that BMI can be higher than normal in someone who does a lot of weight training and therefore has a higher muscle mass. We also look at the percentage of your body that is made up of fat. If this is outside the standards we defer pending a review at a later date (usually 3 months).

Please bear in mind that as the join date for the detectives programme is 13th September 2021 with no further planned intake dates for this role, your deferral may mean you miss the opportunity to join by this date.


Policing has never been an easy job. You’ll be required to handle a variety of situations involving physically challenging tasks. You will need strength, agility and stamina to deal effectively with situations as well as to defend yourself and others.

You will need to achieve level 5.4 to pass on a 15 metre shuttle run. This means you’ll need to be able to pass an endurance shuttle run (bleep test), which involves running 15-metre shuttles to a series of audible beeps. During the test, the beeps will become progressively faster and you need to reach the end of the shuttle before the next beep sounds.

If you don't pass the test at your first attempt you’ll be allowed to re-take it. However, if you fail the test after three attempts your application will be halted.

Please note that as the intake date for the detectives programme is September 2021 with no further planned intake dates, there may be insufficient time to retake the test and if this is the case you’re application won’t progress.

Try to train as much as possible and monitor your progress by recording times taken, distances covered and recovery times. You could also try setting personal targets that can be realistically achieved to help motivate you.


DNA samples are taken using a swab and are transferred and held on the Central Elimination Database for routine searching against outstanding crime scene DNA. Fingerprints are taken and are retained in BTP for comparison on cases where contamination may have occurred.

Yes, all applicants will be subjected to a substance misuse test during the course of the selection process which is typically held at the same time as biometrics testing.

Your consent will be sought to take either a hair, urine or saliva sample prior to the test. Failure to provide a sample will result in your application being terminated. Please note, any instances of substance misuse in the 12 months prior to applying may negatively impact upon your application.

Offer of Employment

Once all satisfactory pre-employment checks have been received you’ll be sent a formal offer of employment. We advise candidates not to hand in their notice until they’ve received their final offer of employment.

A number of factors can delay the offer being progressed such as:

  • The candidate being unable to comply with the timeline due to work commitments, or being abroad
  • Delays in candidates returning the forms
  • Additional medical information is required
  • Needing to complete a second fitness due to not meeting the required standard
  • Incorrectly completing their vetting or medical forms
  • Further investigation at the vetting or medical stage being required
  • Outstanding references

The starting salary for the Detective Constable role is £24,780, potentially rising to £41,130 within your first seven years.

The starting annual leave entitlement is 22 days per year rising to 30 days depending on your length of service. The leave period for North Wales police is May 1st to April 30th. You can also expect other forms of leave including maternity, paternity, parental and special leave.

We’ll do all we can to ensure you’re as close to home as possible, however the decision of where you’ll be deployed will depend on the operational requirements of North Wales Police and you may be deployed to any location across North Wales.

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North Wales Police embraces diversity. We welcome applications from everyone.