Police Community Support Officers
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If you are looking for a varied role that allows you to make a real difference to local communities and definitely isn’t a regular 9-5 job, then this is the role for you.
Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are a key part of our policing teams, working closely with the local community and helping to tackle the issues affecting them. With the PCSO apprenticeship you can obtain a fully funded Level 4 Diploma in Community Policing Practice whilst you work.
Policing has changed dramatically in recent years - there is far more complexity, a greater need for problem solving and it is broader than it ever used to be. PCSOs have a vital and unique role within Surrey's communities, they are our frontline, providing a visible uniformed presence every day.
PCSOs help to tackle crime such as anti-social behaviour, providing reassurance to the public as well as working to understand their local issues. PCSOs have a variety of policing powers to enable them to bring to justice those who seek to disrupt or bring harm to all that live, work or travel through our county.
No two days are ever the same - your shift could involve:
- Carrying out highly visible foot patrols
- Attending public events
- Working with young people and local schools
- Speaking with community, religious and business leaders
- Providing crime prevention and safety advice.
- Collecting CCTV evidence
- Making house visits to gather intelligence
- Protecting crime scenes until Police Officers arrive
We also offer a great starting salary, excellent training and career development opportunities.
If you have any questions about the role or the recruitment process, please read our helpful guide.
Police Community Support Officers are out on our streets seven days a week and form the bridge between us and our communities. Building relationships with those in your neighbourhoods will be essential so you will need to be a great communicator and be calm and confident no matter the situation.
We need caring and compassionate people who want to help us to better understand our communities and the issues that are of most importance to them. You will need to be a good listener and a creative problem solver, working in partnership with local communities and external agencies to find a solution.
You will need to be a great team worker, supporting your colleagues and working with community leaders to prevent crime and reassure the public. Being a PCSO is both challenging and rewarding, but overall you have the chance to make a real difference in Surrey’s diverse and varied communities.
Wherever you decide to take your career, we will support you and help you develop to be the best you can be. Your development starts from day one and our Police Community Support Officer Apprenticeship will give you all the skills and knowledge you need to be an effective PCSO.
Our PCSOs work a rotating shift pattern, consisting of early and late shifts and including weekends.
Surrey Police is smaller than most other forces so it's easier to network and to be supported in being the best you can be. It also gives us a real family feel - here you are a name not simply a number.
We can offer you:
- A starting salary of at least £24,229 (£22,954 plus £1,275 unsocial hours allowance).
- A fully-funded Level 4 Diploma in Community Policing Practice.
- 25 days per year annual leave, rising to 29 days a year after 5 years of service.
- A generous Local Government Pension
- Flexible working arrangements
- Career development opportunities.
- Enhanced maternity and paternity pay.
This is just a selection of our benefits, now find out more.
To be eligible you must:
- be aged 18 years or older.
- have a full UK manual driving licence.
- have a GCSE A*-C (4-9) or Level 2 Functional Skills qualification in English and Maths. Read our guide to attaining Level 2 English and Maths or equivalent.
- be a British citizen, a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is resident in the UK and free from restrictions.
- have been resident in the UK for the past three years.
- not have six penalty points or more.
- not have tattoos which could cause offence.
- not be registered bankrupt (or have bankruptcy debts that have been discharged within the past three years).
- be able to pass a job-related fitness test.
- be able to pass a medical screening and meet the minimum eyesight standards.
- not be a current or previous member of a proscribed terrorist organisation or group.
By successfully completing the recruitment process you will join as a PCSO under the national apprenticeship programme where you will follow a 12 month course working towards a Level 4 Diploma in Community Policing Practice. The apprenticeship is a mixture of academic learning and practical ‘on the job’ training that will equip you to meet the demands of modern policing.
The course will consist of two learning phases:
Phase 1 – The initial learning phase of the course is held at our Headquarters in Guildford for 8 weeks where you will develop your core operational skills through a mixture of classroom learning and role plays. You will then have a week’s annual leave after which you will have a two week shadowing period in the community partnered with an experienced PCSO to put your learning in to practice.
Phase 2 – For phase 2 you will come back into Headquarters for four weeks to consolidate your shadowing experience through further learning modules and assessment.
After this you will continue your learning on the job with a dedicated tutor. Independent Patrol Status will then be achieved, enabling you to respond to incidents by yourself - but don’t worry as you will be continually supported throughout!
With the support of your colleagues and our Learning and Development team you will continue to build up your portfolio of evidence required to complete your qualification and apprenticeship.
Please note, whilst the PCSO apprenticeship is a 12 month learning program, you are tenured to the role for 24 months. You may apply to other roles within this timeframe but will not be offered a position until you have reached 2 years’ service.
'Overall it’s been a positive experience to have the opportunity to gain a qualification whilst working on a job that I really enjoying doing, but you have to be willing to work hard throughout the apprenticeship in order to get everything done.
It’s important to be able to manage your time well to ensure that you complete the necessary assessments and workbooks. By making use of the self-directed study time during the initial training period at Headquarters, I was able to make a start planning my answers for the workbooks and regular protected learning days allowed me to focus on completing them on time. The apprenticeship allows you time within your working day to complete assessments. The right home and work life balance is achievable, but you have to be motivated to use your time wisely.
Throughout the level 4 qualification and Independent Patrol Status phase there is plenty of support available from your Sergeant, assessor and work colleagues but you have to take responsibility for your own learning, be willing to ask lots of questions and ask for help when needed. There will be times, especially first going into the tutoring phase or when you first go out independently, when things can feel overwhelming but that’s the time to recognise the support that is available.'
PCSO Kerry Guy
The application process consists of several stages and it’s important to note that because of this, the average time from application to appointment is between 6-8 months.
Surrey Police has introduced a new online assessment process during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our national recruitment standards are maintained, and in the coming months this will continually be reviewed. During the current climate the following stages apply:
Stage One: Application form
You will complete an online application form including your personal details and employment history. Your personal details will be checked and that all eligibility criteria has been met. You will also complete competency based questions and if successful at Stage Two (online verbal reasoning test) your answers will be shortlisted in line with the Competency and Values Framework (CVF).
Stage Two: Online verbal reasoning test
An online test which checks your ability to understand and logically work through concepts and challenges.
Stage Three: Online force interview
Virtual interview conducted by a panel of Surrey Police representatives. This interview will be based upon the competency and values framework.
Stage Four: Pre-employment checks
This is when we begin our pre-employment checks which consist of a medical, vetting, biometric vetting and a fitness test.
- Fitness Test – you will need to obtain level 5.4 in a 15 metre shuttle run. Whilst we do not expect candidates to be seasoned marathon runners, you will be required to have a reasonable level of fitness and be able to run at a steady pace for around 4 minutes.
- Medical – you will be required to complete a questionnaire with your medical history.
- Biometric Vetting – we will take your fingerprints, DNA, and check them against the appropriate database. We will also collect a sample of hair to test for the presence of inappropriate substances.
- Vetting - this will assess you and your families’ criminal record, financial status and business interests.
- Skills assessment – you will need to achieve minimum of level 1 in the initial literacy and numeracy assessment.
If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please read our helpful guide.
Our ability to build trust, understand problems and support our communities across a range of policing matters, relies on us having a workforce that is reflective of our communities and all the unique individuals that exist within them. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity within our workforce and to eliminating discrimination.
We are very keen to encourage applications from those that have never considered policing as a career. Representation within our workforce from black and minority ethnic communities is currently much lower than we want it to be; by improving this we will be better able to serve our local communities and our work place will benefit from all the differences in thinking, points of view, and approaches that diversity brings.
We are actively working on a range of activities to improve this and one of the proactive ways we are seeking to increase representation is via a bespoke mentoring scheme which is aimed at guiding applicants from diverse communities through the recruitment process.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion page for more details about our organisational culture and our commitment to creating an inclusive workforce.