The recruitment and vetting process

Applying for the role

When you apply to North Wales Police as a Detective Constable, you’ll complete a number of stages. These stages are listed below to help you understand the process you’re about to embark on. All candidates are required to successfully pass every stage of the process to be recruited as a Detective Constable.

We’re an equal opportunities employer and are committed to attracting, supporting and developing a workforce representative of the communities that we police and serve. We strive to ensure that all personnel practices, including recruitment, are applied consistently and fairly and as such we expect all staff involved in the recruitment process to share this commitment. 

This means that throughout the recruitment process, the members of staff and assessors involved are trained to the highest standard, ensuring that the principles of the Equality Act are adhered to. This is supported through our Standards of Practice and Unconscious Bias training that is delivered to all of our assessors.

At the end of each stage of the recruitment process, you’ll be notified whether or not you’ve been successful and eligible to proceed to the next stage. 

We want you to do well and be able to effectively prepare for each stage of the recruitment and selection process, so we’ve provided the dates that each activity will be held: 

Activity Dates
College of Policing online Assessment Centre – candidates have one week to complete the assessments Friday, 19th March to Thursday, 25th March
Interviews held Mon, 24th May to Fri, 28th May
Complete vetting, medical and reference forms Mon, 14th June
Conduct the North Wales Police Level 2 Welsh Assessment Weeks commencing 13th and 20th June
Attend Biometrics (Drugs and DNA) Friday, 18th June or Friday, 2 July
Attend a medical Thursdays, 1st, 8th and 15th July
We’ll apply for your current employer reference (previous references will have been obtained prior to this date) From Friday, 2 July
Issue your offer of employment Monday, 2nd August 
Start date Monday, 13th September

Please note, we’ll keep you informed if these dates are subject to change.

Reasonable adjustments and accommodations

It’s important that you consider whether you would like to request arrangements that will assist you in completing the selection process. For example, in relation to disability, dyslexia, learning difficulties, pregnancy, menopause, religion or belief, injury etc.

Any requests for reasonable adjustments will be considered and arranged where possible. This information will be treated in confidence. If you need reasonable adjustments, please contact the recruitment team on [email protected]

You may be eligible for Positive Action, which can provide support throughout the application and selection process. Find out more on the Positive Action Team page.

The College of Policing assessment process is an online process for the recruitment of police and detective constables. It’s a series of stages containing exercises that test the key competencies and values that are important for the role of detective constable.

The assessment process for North Wales Police consists of three activities:

  • Stage 1 – Competency-based video interview
  • Stage 2 – Written exercise
  • Stage 3 – Briefing exercise

You’ll receive an information pack around two weeks before your assessment. This will contain information you need to prepare yourself for the assessment centre process. 

Please email [email protected] if you need reasonable adjustments as part of the online assessment centre, for us to consider and arrange where possible.

You can find further information about reasonable adjustments on the College of Policing website, as well as frequently asked questions about the online assessment process.

We’ll write to you when we receive the online assessment 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.

Closer to the interview date, we’ll let you know if these will be held online or face to face. This will be a panel interview 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), which provides a consistent set of behaviours expected of everyone working in policing and when we undertake recruitment, assessment and development. 

The interview questions will be based on the CVF, and consists of a mixture of competency and values based questions. The interview may include motivational, scenario, situational questions or forward-facing questioning.

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.

The Detectives Role Based Scenario will be discussed and presented to you on the day.

If you’re successful at the interview stage, we’ll provide you with a Conditional Offer and you’ll progress to the next stages of the process.

Please note: Because we have a limited number of detective roles to offer, this means not all candidates who pass the interview and scenario stage will receive a conditional offer.

Your details will be sent to our Vetting unit to start carrying out background checks. Our Recruitment Team will obtain references from your former employers and/or academic institutions.

We’ll only contact your current employer with your consent – it will be one of the last stages of the process.

North Wales Police is a bilingual organisation and we actively encourage all our staff and officers to use Welsh at work. Therefore we ask all new police officer recruits to demonstrate an attainment of level 2 Welsh language skills.

The assessment for Welsh language is conducted over the phone and takes about ten minutes. We offer support and guidance to help you achieve the required level and you can also find out more by visiting our online learning resources page, that may assist you with your learning.

If you’re a fluent Welsh language speaker, or attended an all Welsh speaking school then you won’t need to complete the assessment and this will be verified with you during the selection process.

You’ll be invited to meet our team at Colwyn Bay headquarters to attend a drugs screening test and to provide a fingerprint and DNA sample, which will be stored on the Police Elimination Database.

Policing has never been an easy job. You will 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 also need to be fit to handle police equipment safely and to work shifts.

The fitness test is a way for us to ensure you are fit enough to cope with the demands of the job.

Learn more about what the test involves (PDF)

You’ll have been given a medical history questionnaire and an optician’s form. These must be completed by your doctor and optician – please note that they may charge you for doing this, and it can take up to four weeks to return the forms to you.

Once your medical papers have been viewed by our Occupational Health Unit, you will be invited to attend a medical assessment with our nurse and if required, we may refer you to the force doctor.

Here’s some information about the eyesight and medical standards needed in policing:

Eyesight Standards (

Recommended Medical Standards (PDF)

Once the process is complete and information gathered, we’ll write to you confirming your appointment and join date.

Logos of staff support networks
North Wales Police embraces diversity. We welcome applications from everyone.