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We are looking for exceptional individuals who want to make a difference by serving the communities of County Durham and Darlington.

Should you wish to make an application you can expect to go through the following stages:

Stage 1 – Application Form

Stage 2 – Assessment Process

Stage 3 – Pre-appointment Checks

Stage 1 – Application Form

The application form will be made available online (during the recruitment period only) and must be completed in full.

Eligibility questions

We want to make sure that any candidate who invests the time in making an application meets the minimum requirement; therefore, to make sure that we do this, you will be asked some eligibility questions.

These include details of your educational history, relevant qualifications, work experience and details of a referee as well as if you have any criminal convictions.

Before making your submission please also consider if you meet the requirements for this role, for example, the Recruitment Profile, detailing the specific skills and experience required.

Also, having read the vacancy advertisement, please consider, can you commit working the PCSO shifts pattern we operate? Are you able to undertake the training programme for this role? We want to reassure you that any question asked at this stage is essential for the role, therefore if you do not meet the minimum requirement unfortunately, we will not be able to progress your application further.

Personal Statement

As part of the application form you will be asked to complete a Personal Statement. You must relate your comments to the criteria in the person specification and job description.  Any such comments must be supported by appropriate evidence and examples. Where they are relevant to the post remember to include skills and achievements gained at home and elsewhere, as well as work experience.  This may include details of holiday/weekend jobs or voluntary/unpaid work you have undertaken.

With regards to your personal statement we are really looking to understand your past experience, skills and abilities both in employment, education and the community. We would therefore advise that you read the recruitment documents provided (which you will find attached to the vacancy) to make sure that you understand the role requirements and how your experience matches this.

It is the Constabulary’s policy to ask applicants who are called to interview for posts to declare any criminal convictions you may have and to ask your permission to undertake a police vetting check. 

You will be asked as part of the application form to give details of any convictions you may have.

The disclosure of any conviction(s) will not necessarily disqualify you from consideration.  After considering the nature and circumstances of any conviction(s), a decision will be made on the relevance to the post and Durham Constabulary.

The information will be used for assessing your suitability for the post.

Applications will not be acknowledged, and if you do not hear from us within six weeks you can assume that you have been unsuccessful. Should this be the case we would like to thank you for your interest in this post.

Stage 2 - Assessment process

If you are successful at the application form stage, you'll be invited to attend an assessment along with other successful candidates, where you will be asked to undertake a series of assessment exercises followed by an individual interview. These will be held at Durham Police Headquarters, Aykley Heads, Durham.

What will be assessed?

Our aim during the assessment process is to measure each candidate's skills and abilities against set criteria that we have identified for a PCSO.

The key competencies have been outlined in the person specification and job description so it's important that you've read through and understood the information provided. These competencies might include:

Effective Communication (written and verbal)

Team working

Demonstrating Respect & Compassion

Problem Solving

Service Delivery

What happens on the day?

During the assessment you may be asked to complete a variety of tasks and/or exercises that are designed to test your skills and abilities. These will include individual skills test, a group exercise and presentations.

The assessment process will also include a competency-based interview, where interviewers will ask you questions relating to the essential and desirable criteria of the PCSO role, which again, will have been outlined in the advert and job description.

During the interview, the interviewer(s) will be looking for you to give specific examples of how you have behaved previously or would react in a specific set of circumstances.

The assessment process is designed to provide us with a better understanding of your abilities and potential to be successful in the role. It is designed to be challenging but should provide you with a realistic view of the kind of tasks you might be expected to undertake should you be successful.

Your invitation to the assessment event will give you all the information you need in terms of location and timings.

What can I do to prepare?

Here are a few points on what you can do to prepare for the assessment.

Read through the advertisement, job description and any information provided about the role on the website. This should give you a good understanding of the skills you will be asked to demonstrate during the process.

You may also want to think about some examples of how you have behaved in different situations – especially in relation to the key skill areas.

On the day, remember to be yourself! And remember that the assessors can only give credit for what you say and do.

Make sure you read any instructions carefully and if you're not sure of anything, ask the facilitator before the exercise begins.

What happens after the assessment centre?

We are likely to be running assessment centres over several days or weeks, so we may not be able to get back to you immediately with the result.

We will however, contact you when the assessment centres are complete to let you know whether you have been successful or not and to make you a provisional offer of employment, which will be subject to further checks being carried out.

Stage 3 – Pre-appointment Checks

If you have been successful at the assessment, we will commence the vetting process (including Bio Metric Vetting for the PCSO role) and conduct reference checks.

Medical assessment

Successful candidates will be invited to attend a medical and provide a DNA sample and fingerprints. For PCSO’s for example, we need to check that you are fit to carry out your duties and your Body Mass Index is not above 30.

Driving Assessment

You will be asked to attend our Durham Constabulary Public Safety Unit at Meadowfield, where you will be required to undertake a driver assessment.

The assessment includes an eye-sight test and you will be required to undertake a Highway Code Theory Test in addition to the Practical Driving Assessment. The overall Driving Assessment appointment lasts approximately 2.5 hours.


Durham Constabulary will seek references from your current/past employer(s), along with the character references provided on your application. We will notify you before we approach your employment referees.

Once all stages of the recruitment process have been completed, a review of your application process will be undertaken and if appointable you will be formally offered the position.

Stage 4 - Offer and contract issued

You will be contacted by Durham HR who will formally offer you the post. You will be advised of the Terms and Conditions of employment, including starting salary and place of work. You will also be told of the proposed start date and training course details.

A formal written contract of employment will be sent to you as confirmation of the offer.

Click here to view full job description.