We understand that you might have some questions when considering applying for a police staff role within the Police Service of Northern Ireland. From being eligible to submitting an application to what happens at each stage, you should be able to find the answer to your questions within the content below. Click on each of the headings to read some common questions and answers regarding the police staff recruitment process. If there are other questions that are not answered below then please email PoliceStaffRecruitment@psni.police.uk with your query and the Recruitment Team will do their best to help.
We would ask that you email all queries (with the exception of Equality Monitoring Form queries) via PoliceStaffRecruitment@psni.police.uk stating your name, details of the job you are applying for and Application ID if in process and UID if your application has been submitted. You should also note that we will only communicate with you about your application. (We cannot communicate with any third party, e.g. parent, guardian, relative or friend, about your application unless we have your written permission to do so). Please also let us know of any changes in personal details by email, including change of email address, contact number and addresses. This will ensure that we can contact you as required.
If we receive an email we will reply to you within 10 working days. If we cannot deal with your email within 10 working days of receiving it, we will tell you why, and let you know if there is anything further you need to do.
If you have any queries or concerns regarding providing any of the information within the Equality Monitoring Form, please contact email@example.com.
Please remember that it is your personal responsibility to check your email folders for communication from us. This includes ‘junk’ folders, as some email providers filter emails from us. Once an email has been sent, it is your responsibility to ensure that you read it, and take appropriate action.
Please check your email folders frequently, bearing in mind that we may contact you at short notice.
Of particular note, you should be aware that if you have a concern or complaint, you must raise the matter immediately and by email.
So that we have a detailed documentary record of transactions between candidates and the PSNI Police Staff Recruitment Team, and for security reasons, all communication must be handled via email.
So that we have a detailed documentary record of transactions between candidates and the PSNI Equality team, and for security reasons, all communication must be handled via email using the Equality@psni.police.uk email address.
You may be interested in a police officer role within the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Recruitment to the Police Service of Northern Ireland as a police officer is at constable rank. Police constables play an important role in a democratic society, upholding the law and protecting the rights of its citizens.
No two days will be the same when you are a constable – your days will vary with a wide range of responsibilities and activities. You will be supported by a committed team who will guide you through your early days of training as a student officer.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland would welcome you to apply when the constable recruitment process is launched. Please continue to visit www.joinpsni.co.uk/police-officer regularly for updates regarding the next recruitment campaign.
Please also continue to check www.joinpsni.co.uk/police-staff/apply for other Police Staff jobs.
The educational requirements for each role vary however all roles have a minimum educational criteria of 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at A* - C grade. Please refer to the job description/person specification for the role you wish to apply for. Please see the Education Eligibility Criteria section of our website for details on the education criteria.
We appreciate that many people wanting to apply to the Police Service of Northern Ireland will have a variety of qualifications either obtained in the UK or abroad. Often, qualifications can be deemed equivalent.
As a starting point we would ask you to refer to these Education FAQs as you may find your particular query on education equivalency answered. If, having considered the guidance supplied online you are still confused in any way, please feel free to email the PSNI Police Staff Recruitment Team via PoliceStaffRecruitment@psni.police.uk and we will do our best to guide you.
Provided that you meet our eligibility criteria for the role you are applying you will be able to apply. However, Provisional Statement of Results, school reports or ‘results-day’ information slips will not be accepted as formal evidence of your education qualifications.
We will require you to provide us with a copy of your Original Certificates or a Final Certifying Statement of Results (if required), for all qualifications that you are presenting. Please contact your examination board now, in order to request either replacement certificates or a final certifying statement of results if you need. Some examination boards take a significant time to process these requests, and you may therefore miss the relevant deadlines set by Police Staff Recruitment which will in turn exclude you from the recruitment process. Do not wait until you are instructed to present your evidence to request any replacement documentation.
If you do not know which examination board certified your GCSEs, the following examination boards are among the most common and should be able to assist you: CCEA, OCN NI, AQA, City & Guilds, Pearson Edexcel, OCR, WJEC, SQA.
An example of an original GCSE certificate (left) and two final certifying statement of results (centre and right) are given below. All of these certificates are acceptable.
(Click on the image below to view a larger version of all 3 certificates)
An example of a provisional statement of results is given below. Possessing this will allow you to apply, but you will need to provide your original certificates or a certified statement of results for all qualifications that you are presenting when required.
(Click on the image below to view a larger version)
Please consult the Ofqual framework at http://ofqual.gov.uk/help-and-advice/comparing-qualifications/ and follow the links to 'Other Countries' > 'Outside the UK' > 'compare European qualifications' > 'Compare national qualifications frameworks' > then select the UK and Republic of Ireland to compare.
The most common equivalent qualifications studied in the Republic of Ireland are Leaving Certificates.
We are aware that the grading system for the Leaving Certificate underwent an update in 2017, therefore the specific grading / level of the Leaving Certificate required is currently under review.
We would encourage you to submit an application and when you reach the education review stage of the recruitment process, your Leaving Certificate qualifications will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
In the meantime, if you have any queries regarding your Leaving Certificate qualifications please contact PoliceStaffRecruitment@psni.police.uk and the Recruitment Team will endeavour to give you guidance.
If you have lost your Leaving Certificate and require replacement documentation, the State Examinations Commission of Ireland may be able to assist.
Please consult the Ofqual framework here. The most common equivalent qualifications studied in Scotland are Standards.
If your certificates are in a name other than that which you applied in, you will need to provide us with documentary evidence (i.e. either your Marriage Certificate, Civil Partnership Certificate or Change of Name Deed Poll Certificate) to verify that your certificates relate to you. When asked to provide evidence of your education you must also supply documentary evidence to support the matter of your name change. We have provided an example below.
Example: "My certificate is in the name of Janine Smith, but since I did my exams I have married and am now known as Janine Bloggs. I applied as Janine Bloggs, but want to present my certificate in the name of Janine Smith."
In order to demonstrate you meet the Eligibility Criteria (in this example), you will need to provide your original (for review) and copy of your marriage certificate to accompany your certificate. This will help us to verify your certificate.
You will be required to present evidence of your qualifications during the recruitment process. We advise applicants to request replacement certificates or a final certifying statement of results from the relevant Exam Board now, noting that certain Exam Boards take a long time to process such requests. We must stress how important it is for you to provide evidence of your qualifications so it is in your interest to secure the appropriate proof of your qualifications. Please do not wait to start this process.
Unfortunately, we are unable to give any specific details as each person will be assessed as an individual. Please note it is not possible to comment on individual medical conditions at application stage. Each case will be assessed individually, but this is only practical to manage at health assessment stage.
Yes, as well as completing the Medical Health Questionnaire, you are required to provide additional information in relation to any medical conditions you may have had in the past or are currently ongoing, e.g. reports from a specialist.
The timeline for each police staff recruitment process from application to appointment varies dependent on numbers involved and the processes involved at various stages. Pre-employment checks may also affect the timelines as these are on an individual basis and some checks may take longer due to individual circumstances.
Please refer to the following pods and Police Staff Guidance for Applicants document to advise you further regarding what the police staff recruitment process involves.
Applicants with dyslexia or a Specific Learning Difficulty who seek an adjustment in respect of assessment will be required to declare this intention at application stage. It is essential that you declare any requests for adjustments during application stage and it is important to use the space provided in the reasonable adjustments section of the online application form to make your declaration. You will be required to submit your most recent diagnostic report, addressing assessment adjustment needs, from a qualified Educational Psychologist or other suitably qualified professional (e.g. certain chartered psychologists or in circumstances specialist teachers with a current Practicing Certificate in SpLD Assessment).
Applicants with needs relating to disabilities or other conditions (including hidden disabilities or conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder) who seek an adjustment in respect of assessment will be required to declare this intention at application stage and use the space provided in the reasonable adjustments section of the online application form to make your declaration. You will be required to submit your most recent evidence relating to your disability or condition (including hidden disabilities or conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder), detailing the needs required, prepared by your doctor or other appropriate professional.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland will set a strict deadline by which evidence must be supplied i.e. no later than 10 days after closing date, so it is in your interest to collate all appropriate evidence now so that it is readily available when it is asked for.
If you would like to request a reasonable adjustment during the assessment stage of the recruitment process please refer to the following guidance, which outlines all relevant instructions.
Police Staff Recruitment - Guidance on Requesting Reasonable Adjustment Needs
You will be asked to provide copies of your certificates and other required documentation at assessment stage. Please make sure that you prepare now and have your paperwork in order that you can supply this documentation when required.
Detailed FAQs on education qualifications can be found under the Can I Join FAQs in the section above.
Providing you have fully completed your application and submitted it online correctly by the deadline you will receive an on-screen confirmation message (we would encourage you to print/save and take a screen-grab of this on-screen message for your records as proof of submission and also to have a record of your UID number). You will not receive an automatic or instantaneous email confirming receipt, however we will email you in due course to confirm receipt of your application. Please be aware that Police Staff Recruitment do not have access to any application forms until the competition has closed.
Please email PoliceStaffRecruitment@psni.police.uk stating details of the job you are applying for and Application ID if in process and UID if submitted, together with full details of problems encountered and we will investigate. It will help if you supply details of the device / browser you were using to complete the application and details of any error messages on-screen. After contacting us to check it might help if you retry the application on another device or clear the cache on your web browser. There may also be an issue with leaving certain pages idle for a considerable period of time. Please be aware that your application session will timeout after 120 minutes, any information not saved will be lost. We therefore recommend that your regularly save your application. So as to avoid the risk of missing the application deadline due to such unforeseen circumstance we would encourage all potential applicants to attempt their application early so that any such problems can be overcome.
Please email PoliceStaffRecruitment@psni.police.uk for assistance, stating details of the job you are applying for and Application ID if in process and UID if submitted, together with full details of problems encountered.
Please note that CVs will not be accepted.
Only the relevant details provided by you on your application form required for shortlisting will be provided to the panel for the purpose of determining your eligibility for the job you have applied for.
Please note that responses to each criterion are standalone and will not be cross referenced to other sections of the application form. The shortlisting panel will not make assumptions or take account of information presented in another part of the application form, such as Education/Qualifications, Current Employment and Employment History, when they are scoring your response to a specific criterion. It is therefore essential to provide all relevant detail, using examples and relevant timelines in the responses section to each question in the Skills/Experience section, to demonstrate to what extent you meet each criteria identified in the Person Specification of the advertised role. It is not sufficient to simply list your duties and responsibilities. The shortlisting panel will not make assumptions from the title of the applicants post or the nature of the organisation as to the skills an experience gained - you must explain clearly.
Any appeal against the decision made by the shortlisting panel will be reviewed by Head of External Recruitment and their decision is final.
Please note that CVs will not be accepted.
If your application is successful and you are invited to assessment stage, but the date is not suitable, we will try as far as possible to offer an alternative date or time for your assessment. However, this is not always feasible.
Any requests for alternative appointments must be made as soon as possible by email to PoliceStaffRecruitment@psni.police.uk and must include a reason for the reschedule request along with your name, UID number and the job you have applied for. You may be required to provide evidence in support of your request to reschedule. On receipt of your request, we will consider whether any alternative dates or times are available, however this is not always feasible.
You are required to be vetted as part of the recruitment process. This level of vetting is required for all police staff and will permit unsupervised access to police premises. You will be required to complete the questionnaires within two weeks of receiving. Dependent on the role you are applying for, additional enhanced vetting may be required. As part of the recruitment process you will be informed if you require an enhanced level of vetting
For further information regarding Policy and Service Procedures on vetting please refer to:
There are two distinct types of vetting Police Vetting and National Security Vetting (NSV). Police Vetting and National Security Vetting are separate processes both of which can take time to complete dependent on your personal circumstances. We are unable to specify how long someone’s vetting will take but endeavour to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays. You can help by ensuring that you complete the vetting forms in full and answer all the questions in full.
Vetting is a complex process and involves various checks to be completed. This includes everyone declared on your vetting applications as well as your wider extended family and other close associates. All applications are considered on their own individual merits. Dependent on your personal circumstances your vetting may take longer than others.
Please do not contact Service Vetting Unit regarding an update of your vetting. If there is further information required to progress vetting you will be contacted using the details you have provided.
Service Vetting Unit will not routinely contact applicants during the vetting process, applicants will only be contacted if information has been omitted from your vetting application or if anything arises during the vetting process which require the applicant to clarify. Any queries in relation to vetting status should be referred to Police Staff Recruitment.
Yes, as part of the vetting process there is a requirement for the Police Service of Northern Ireland to carry out checks with other Police Forces and agencies. We are dependent on these organisations responding on a timely basis. If you have spent any time in the last three years outside the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland you may have to provide a copy of your criminal record from the country / countries you have resided in. The process for checking varies from country to country. Where it is not possible to carry out necessary checks your application may not be processed further.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you notify, as appropriate, any change of circumstances.
During the recruitment process you should update the Police Staff Recruitment Team of any updates to personal contact details or change in circumstances via PoliceStaffRecruitment@psni.police.uk. You will be provided with appropriate instructions from the Police Staff Recruitment team regarding these procedures. Please note that non-disclosure of information can have an adverse impact on your application.
As part of your vetting application you are asked to provide your personal email addresses as well as details of all social media accounts. This information will form part of the vetting process. Any information found as a result of these checks which is believed to raise concerns regarding your suitability will be considered.
Yes, all convictions whether considered spent or not must be declared. The vetting application specifically asks for you to confirm that you understand that you must declare all spent convictions. Non-disclosure of certain offences/convictions could lead to the rejection of your vetting application.
No, the term ‘Partner’ includes an individual with whom you consider yourself to be in a relationship regardless of length of time or if you are residing together. Non-disclosure of this information may cause a delay in your vetting and lead to a potential rejection of your application.
If during the vetting process there is information that gives cause for concern with regard to an individual’s suitability, the matter will be referred to the Recruitment Vetting Panel for a decision. If the Panel is of the opinion that the candidate is unsuitable the candidate will be informed of this by letter and told that they may seek, in writing, to have the decision reviewed by the Independent Assessor. On receipt of a report from the Independent Assessor, the Chief Constable’s Representative is the final arbiter on the case.
A Medical History Questionnaire will be issued to you which should be completed and returned to Occupational Health and Wellbeing by the date specified in your letter.
Completion of this form will enable the Occupational Health Nursing Adviser to make a general assessment as to whether you comply with the medical standards required for the job for which you have applied. If appropriate, you may also be seen by an Occupational Health Medical Adviser, who may in some circumstances carry out a physical examination.
You should provide as much detail to your answers as possible. Also, provision of additional medical information as outlined in the accompanying cover letter, will ensure that all relevant medical evidence has been considered and reduce the likelihood of any delays to your application.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland is an Equal Opportunities employer and recruits on the basis of ability not perceived disability. The information you give about your medical history or any disability will assist Occupational Health and Wellbeing to assess where "adjustments" to working practice and/or working environment may be needed.
All medical information provided by you remains entirely confidential to Occupational Health and Wellbeing and shall form part of your Occupational Health record, if appointed.
The pre-employment Substance Misuse Test is normally conducted on successful completion of vetting.
As an employer, the Police Service of Northern Ireland is required to provide a safe working environment and safe systems of working for both employees and those who are not in their employment but with whom they come into contact. This includes ensuring that police staff are fit to carry out their duties safely and effectively.
Given the growing problem with substance misuse within our society, we recognise that this is a culture that has the potential to impact upon the Police Service of Northern Ireland as an organisation. Misuse of any substance impairs judgement, slows reactions and increases the potential for risk of injury to staff and others. In addition, the use of illicit substances provides increased opportunity for compromise through either coercion or inducement, leaving police staff and the organisation vulnerable and bringing into question the integrity of individuals.
As part of the recruitment process there is therefore a requirement for candidates to have a pre-employment Substance Misuse Test. For further information please refer to the following link:
This is the industry standard and in line with European Workplace Drug Testing Society legally defensible workplace drug testing guidance.
Yes, Police Staff Recruitment will inform you of the outcome of the Substance Misuse Test stage.
Pre-employment substance misuse testing will usually be undertaken by collection of a hair sample. The substance misuse test will be undertaken by an approved, qualified, external contractor of the Police Service using appropriate sample collection kits and observing industry and evidential standard chain of custody procedures. This test will be undertaken by the collection of 2 samples of hair of 3cm in length and containing at least 50 - 100 strands of hair per sample. This will primarily be taken from the head, however, on occasion (such as cases of inability to grow head hair) armpit, chest, back, leg or arm hair may be used.
If you have concerns regarding provision of three centimetres of hair, or have medical or religious reasons that would prevent you from completing the test you should inform the Substance Misuse Manager at least one month prior to your substances misuse testing appointment (via email to firstname.lastname@example.org) outlining the reasons why you are unable to provide an appropriate sample. (N.B. Cosmetic reasons for having short hair is not an acceptable reason). Deliberately attempting to obstruct the process will be treated as failing the test, and no re-test will be provided in these circumstances.
If you have a positive test result you will not be offered an appointment with the Police Service of Northern Ireland. You will have the opportunity to appeal a positive test and have your B sample tested, at your own expense, by an accredited laboratory. Further details will be provided if your substance misuse test is positive. If your B sample is also positive you will have no further right of appeal and any offer of appointment will be rescinded.
Please visit My Salary and Benefits to read more about your pay and other benefits that you might avail of when joining the Police Service of Northern Ireland. You will be advised of pay scale and benefits applicable to your role in the initial job description/person specification.
An Environmental Allowance is a Police Service of Northern Ireland specific allowance payable in recognition of the unique physical working environment in which police staff in the Police Service of Northern Ireland are working and also to recognise the high degree of security protection in Police Service of Northern Ireland establishments, which is markedly different to the rest of the Public Sector. The allowance is split into two with half being paid permanently with the second half being dependent on attendance. The maximum rate of the allowance is currently £580 per annum.
The normal conditioned hours are 42 hours gross per week. (37 hours net)
The Police Service of Northern Ireland employs over 2500 staff in various roles across the province. Normal office hours between Monday to Friday are 0900 to 1700hrs. During normal circumstances most offices work flexi-time.
Your normal working hours will be contained in the advertised role you applied for which may include evening/night, weekend and/or shift working. Should you be successful your hours will be confirmed in your letter of appointment, as will any special arrangements such as a shift system, on-call rota or overtime.
The normal annual leave allowance will be 25 days on entry plus 12 Public and Privilege holidays, rising to 30 days annual leave after 5 years’ reckonable service (Grade 5 (and above) appointments start on 30 days annual leave).
The annual leave year runs from 1st February each year. In the first year of employment, the number of days annual leave you are allocated will depend on which month your employment commences and will be allocated on a pro-rata basis accordingly.
With regards to consideration of reckonable service each case will be considered on a case by case basis, upon appointment, as per policy in the Police Staff Handbook.
Confirmation of your appointment will be dependent upon the satisfactory completion of a probationary period of 1 year. At the end of the probation period a formal review on performance, conduct and attendance will be completed to determine if the posting will be made permanent.
An occupational sick pay scheme is in operation should you be unable to carry out your duties because of illness or injury.
Provided that there is a reasonable prospect of recovery, you may be entitled to sick pay at full rate for up to 6 months in any 12 month period, plus up to 6 months half-pay provided the total absence does not exceed 12 months in any 4 years or less.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland complies with statutory legislation and guidance, for example:
It is the duty of all Police Service of Northern Ireland personnel, irrespective of rank, grade or position, to take reasonable care of themselves and of other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions.
All personnel have a duty to co-operate with the service in order to ensure compliance with the health and safety policy statement and its implementation. No-one should intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything that has been provided for health and safety reasons.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland operates a no-smoking policy in order to create a healthy and comfortable environment for all members of staff.
Please click on the following link to find out more:
Successful candidates may on occasions be required to travel locally and nationally and for this reason will require access to a form of transport which will permit them to meet the requirement of their post in full.
Paragraph 8 of Schedule 3 to the Police Act states a person is disqualified from being an independent member of a Policing and Community Safety Partnership if a police staff member.
Whilst police staff are expected to be primarily focused on their Police Service of Northern Ireland role, there may be some occasions where a police staff member may be permitted to hold a second job or business interest. This is subject to it not posing a conflict of interest, and not having a negative impact on a police staff member’s ability to perform their primary role to a high standard. Anyone seeking to hold a second job or business interest is required to apply for approval, and any approval will be subject to annual review.
All of these matters are contained in the ‘Off Duty Standards Service Instruction’ which can be found on the Police Service of Northern Ireland web-page here:
On appointment, all police staff are required to complete a number of online learning programmes as part of their induction training.
As most police staff roles within the Police Service of Northern Ireland will require the role holder to have access to specialist computer systems, police staff will be required to complete specific training on these systems. The vast majority of systems training is delivered in house. If this is not covered as part of any induction programme, your Line Manager will discuss these requirements with you at the start of your employment.
For further information regarding training please refer back to Training.
If you would like more information on the police staff recruitment process you should read the Police Staff Guidance for Applicants document, which is available for download here.
The Police Staff Guidance for Applicants booklet provides key details about the police staff recruitment process and beginning a career in the Police Service of Northern Ireland. It includes:
To help you with the application process, we’ve created various documents below which you might find useful. Click on each of the documents below for more information. (Where possible, the documents have been made available in both webpage format and PDF format. N.B. Both versions have identical content).