3. Who are we looking for?

London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, the mix of cultures and communities is what brings this city to life. That's why we welcome officers from all backgrounds who are committed to making a difference.

We are looking for someone who is compassionate, resilient and above all dedicated to making this city a safer place. The role of an officer is not all about catching criminals, but talking to people. Taking the time to understand someone, earn their trust, respect and build positive relationships – those are the skills you need to become a successful officer.

The job can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding, but you will be able to make a real difference to those who need it most.  That is why throughout the recruitment process we will be assessing your potential to ensure you are right for the role.

In addition to the qualities and skills mentioned above, you will need to meet our standard eligibility criteria:

The academic requirements to join us depend on which PC pathway entry route you choose to join on. Visit PC entry routes to find out more about the entry requirements for each route.

You must be 17 or older when applying to be a Police 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.

In your application, form you must declare any other employment or business interests you intend to maintain, if offered a Police Constable position. We will need to check that these are not in conflict with employment in the Met in any way. 

If you do have any criminal convictions or cautions on record you can still apply, 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 your application could be refused simply because you weren't open and up front, but 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.

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 exercise regularly, 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 values, standards and behaviours and our commitment to race equality, are prohibited. The Met won't accept applications from anyone who is, or has been, a member of 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 UK, it’s essential that you have indefinite leave to enter or to remain in the UK.  Due to changes in legislation, members of the European Economic Area (EAA) are now required to have ILR or EU settled status by the 30th June 2021.

You can to apply to more than one police service/force at once, but you can only sit an assessment centre with one police service/force.

From 13 November 2020, 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, must meet the London Residency Criteria. That means you must 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 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. Current and ex-military personnel are exempt from residency criteria in-line with our commitment and support of the military covenant. Applicants to our Detective Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme are exempt from the London residency criteria. 

You must also have lived 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).

Police officers must uphold the highest of values, standards and behaviours.  Anyone who is using illegal drugs will be ruled out of our recruitment process.  To maintain our high standards we do carry out substance misuse tests as part of our pre-employment checks. 

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.

Some tattoos will stop you working for the Met, these include 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

If you have larger visible tattoos on your hands or back of the neck which cannot be easily covered then these may mean you unable to join us. 

Once you have joined we will sometimes require you to cover up your tattoos for policing events such as ceremonial events. 

Tattoos that are considered to be against the Met’s standards and values will mean you are unable to join us.  That would include tattoos that are:

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