3. Who are we looking for?

The Met is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in the Met. We believe the Met should be representative of the people we serve in order to better respond to Londoners’ needs. Which is why we're looking for people from all backgrounds to join our supportive and exciting team.

We’re looking for candidates who share our values and competencies. Someone who wants to help make London safer. Someone with the commitment and resilience to prevent and reduce crime, and the empathy to get the best outcomes for victims. Someone like you?

The two-year Detective Constable pathway is open to degree holders; and you will work towards achieving a graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice.

Entry requirements are detailed below, alongside the standard officer eligibility criteria:

To be eligible for the Detective Constable pathway, you must hold a level 2 qualification in English Language at a GCSE grade C or above, or grades 4-9. If you do not have this qualification, we will also consider a higher-level academic attainment (level 3 or above) in a UK qualification or an English Language equivalent National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) confirmed overseas qualification.

You must also have achieved a degree (level 6) qualification or above, in any subject area, from a UK higher education institute or be in the final year of study for your level 6 qualification at the point of application. We also welcome applications from applicants with a National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) confirmed overseas qualifications equivalent to a UK level 6 degree.

You must be 17 or older when applying to be a Detective Constable. Applicants who are 17 will progress through the recruitment process but will not be able to take up appointment until reaching the age of 18.

The upper age limit is typically 57 allowing for completion of the probationary period before the compulsory retirement age of 60.

You must declare any other employment or business interests you intend to maintain, if offered a detective constable position. We will need to check that these are not in conflict with employment in the Met in any way.

Ideally, you shouldn't have a criminal conviction or cautions record. If you do have one, eligibility will depend on the age and nature of the offence. We're unable to confirm whether your convictions record will affect your application before you apply, but will determine this from the full and confidential information provided during the recruitment and selection process.

If you don't tell us about any cautions, investigations or criminal convictions that may be linked to you at an early stage, your application could be refused simply because you weren't open and up front, whereas it might have been accepted if you were. If in any doubt, disclose the information.

You must meet the police eyesight standards agreed by the College of Policing.

Find out what those standards are on the gov.uk website

It's important that you're not under pressure from un-discharged debts or liabilities and that you can manage loans and debts sensibly.

Whilst our health and fitness requirements are not nearly as demanding as is often assumed, you will need to be able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the job. Certain medical conditions may prevent this.

To find out more, please download our Fit for the Job guide.

If you undertake some form of regular exercise, there should be no issue with meeting the physical requirements in the fitness test. This means achieving level 5.4 on the 'bleep test', start preparing now by watching our YouTube videos for tips.

Membership of groups and/or organisations that contradict our competencies, values or ethics and our responsibility to promote race equality, are prohibited.

The Met won't accept applications from anyone who is, or has been, a member or groups and/or organisations including, but not limited to, the British National Party (BNP), National Front, Combat-18 or similar.

If you're from outside the EEA, it's essential that you have indefinite leave to enter or to remain in the UK.

Whilst you are able to apply to more than one police service at a time, you will only be able to sit an assessment centre with one service.

For candidates applying to join the Met as a uniform police constable on our Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) or Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) entry routes, you should have lived or studied in London for a minimum of three out of the last six years at the point of application. This covers the MPS policing boundaries.

Exemptions to the above London residency criteria are in place for: Met Police Staff, Met Special Constables, Met Volunteer Police Cadets, Met Volunteers, and Officers transferring from other Police Services. In addition, current and ex-military personnel are exempt from residency criteria in-line with our commitment and support of the military covenant.

You must also have resided in the UK for three consecutive years immediately prior to application (If you’ve lived abroad due to serving in the British armed forces or on UK Government Service, you’re considered to have been resident in the UK).

For all other entry routes into the MPS, including our Detective Constable Degree holder Entry Programme (D.DHEP), and special constables there is no requirement for you to meet the London residency criteria however you also should have resided in the UK for three consecutive years immediately prior to application (If you’ve lived abroad due to serving in the British armed forces or on UK Government Service, you’re considered to have been resident in the UK).

This contradicts everything the role stands for. If you are currently using any illegal drugs, this will rule you out of the recruitment process automatically. You will be required to undertake a substance misuse test as a part of the pre-employment checks in the recruitment process.

If you have any previous drugs related cautions or convictions, please look at the Cautions, convictions and vetting section on this page.

This tattoo policy is new from October 2018, and significantly different to our previous policy. If you weren't eligible to work with us in the past because of your tattoos, you may now be able to work for the Met and consider applying for roles.

Some tattoos will stop you working for the Met. You can't work for the Met if you have tattoos on:

  • the sides and front of your neck above the collar line
  • your face

You will be allowed to work for the Met if you have tattoos:

  • on your hands
  • on the back of your neck
  • below your collar line
  • on your ears
  • behind your ears

Sometimes we'll require you to cover up these tattoos for policing events such as state funerals or ceremonial events.

Even if you have tattoos in the allowed places, we can't allow you to join the Met if any of the tattoos could be considered:

  • discriminatory
  • offensive
  • violent
  • rude
  • lewd
  • crude
  • racist
  • sexist
  • sectarian
  • homophobic
  • intimidating
  • political in nature

Tattoos like this aren't compatible with the values of the Met.

If you have larger visible tattoos on your hands or back of the neck which cannot be easily covered, or are not discreet, then this could still be disqualified during the recruitment process. Decisions regarding appropriateness of tattoos are made at the sole discretion of the Met.

If you apply for a role with us, we'll ask you to declare information about your tattoos. When we meet we'll check that you comply with our tattoo policy.

This won't be an intrusive check, but we will need to see your tattoos and talk to you about them as part of the recruitment process.