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FAQs About PCSOs

Questions

  1. Is there a minimum age limit?
  2. Is there an upper age limit?
  3. Do I have to do a fitness test?
  4. Do I need any qualifications?
  5. What shift patterns do I work?
  6. Will I get into the regular force easier?
  7. Do I have to be posted where I live?
  8. How many hours do I work?
  9. Can I work part time?
  10. What is the annual leave entitlement?
  11. Will I be working on my own/partnered?
  12. What are the development opportunities available to me?
  13. What equipment will I have?
  14. Do I wear a uniform?
  15. What do I get paid?
  16. What type of work will I be doing?
  17. Who do I report to?

Answers

1. Is there a minimum age limit?

You must be 18 years old to apply to become a PCSO within Derbyshire Constabulary. 

2. Is there an upper age limit?

Due to the new age regulations, there is no upper age limit for PCSOs.

3. Do I have to do a fitness test?

Currently, you will need to undergo a medical screening process with our internal Health Management Unit. A physical fitness test will also need to be undertaken to level 5:4.

4. Do I need any qualifications?

Part of the essential criteria is GCSE English grade C or equivalent, or to be able to demonstrate use of English Language to that standard. Individuals need to demonstrate examples of work and personal experience in order to meet the essential and desirable criteria.

5. What shift patterns do I work?

Shift work is required, between 8am and 12 midnight seven days a week on a rotating shift basis. Some hours either before 8am or after midnight may need to be undertaken to meet operational needs, with appropriate notice.

6. Will I get into the regular force easier?

As the role of PCSO is very different to the role of a regular force officer, there is no natural progression or easy entrance into the regular force. As it is a national process, you would have to apply in the standard way.

7. Do I have to be posted where I live?

Applicants need to be aware that they will be expected to serve within the county of Derbyshire. However every effort is made to take personal needs and circumstances into account where possible. It is worth noting that there will need to be a balance between personal and organisational needs.

8. How many hours do I work?

As the role currently comes under a support staff role, the designated hours are 37 per week.

9. Can I work part time?

You would need to make it clear during the recruitment process that you would like to work part time and include a list of the possible hours that could be worked and how many you would like to work in total. This will be considered by the particular division and although we will make every effort to meet your hours, it will depend upon the particular operational requirements of the division.

Whilst part time applications are accepted, the 5 week training course needs to be undertaken on a full time basis. The course runs Monday to Friday 08.45am to 17:00pm.

Upon completion of the course you will be assigned to a place of work on a normal shift pattern.

 10. What is the annual leave entitlement?

All new starters are entitled to 24 days per year.

11. Will I be working on my own/partnered?

A lot of the work of a PCSO is done alone, although there may be times when you are partnered or in a group however you will be expect to be work by yourself on a regular basis.

12. What are the development opportunities available to me?

Currently, there are no progression opportunities in terms of promotion opportunities. However, as the role is so varied, you will have the opportunity to attend many different situations and work on different areas within your beat team. There are also plenty of self developmental opportunities within the force, such as potential support for studying.

13. What equipment will I have?

You will be provided with a uniform that will include items such as sliders, a hat, shirt, trousers, body armour, radio, torch and a pocket book holder. You will not be provided with any specialist equipment that is assigned to regular force officers.

14. Do I wear a uniform?

Yes, there is a specialist PCSO uniform that will be supplied during the 5 week training period at headquarters.

15. What do I get paid?

PCSOs receive a basic salary of £17,544 to £21,618 (successful applicants would normally be appointed on the bottom of the salary grade). Exceptions may apply.

Weekend working and shift enhancements are available.

 16. What type of work will I be doing?

The primary role of a PCSO is to provide a highly visible reassuring presence within the neighbourhoods of Derbyshire, working as part of a Safer Neighbourhood team to support the problem solving initiatives developed by the team.  

Specific tasks of a PCSO include:

  • Engagement with the community
  • Problem solving and reassurance
  • Supporting regular officer at some types of Incidents. 

17. Who do I report to?

Your line manager will be the Safer Neighbourhood sergeant, however you will be working as part a Safer Neighbourhood team which includes police officers.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.