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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 by the start of the training course. This is because some of the legal powers you will be given can only be  allocated to people who are aged 18 or above.  

2. Is there an upper age limit?

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, but there is no fitness test. However, bear in mind that you need to be fit enough to spend all day every day on your feet, out and about in your area.

4. Do I need any qualifications?

Part of the essential criteria is Level 2 English (which is a GCSE 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.

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?

The designated hours for a full-time PCSO 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 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, and a full day must be worked each day.

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.

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. If you do want to move on from the role of PCSO then there are many other opportunities available in the force.

13. What equipment will I have?

You will be provided with a uniform and items such body armour, radio, torch and a pocket book holder. You will not be provided with any of the 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 £17,721 to £21,837. Successful applicants would normally be appointed on the bottom of the salary grade (exceptions may apply) and will progress through the salary scale via annual increases. Weekend working and shift enhancements are available, depending on the hours worked.

 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.

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, other PCSOs, Special Constables and Police Support Volunteers.

 

 

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