6. Training and benefits

Before you can be there for London, we’ll be there for you.

We'll train you for one of the most varied and fascinating volunteer roles around. You'll gain an incredible wealth of skills, confidence and experience.

View one of our videos to hear more from our specials.

Conducting a stop and search - Knife
Conducting a stop and search - Drug
Conducting an arrest
Use of verbal communication

During your training you will be coached on how to risk assess situations which you may encounter as a special constable. These videos show just a few of the potential situations. Whilst factually accurate, they have been edited for creative purposes.

The Metropolitan Special Constabulary (MSC) foundation course

This will teach you about the various aspects of police work, including basic law, police procedures, officer safety, people skills and emergency life saving techniques.

Your initial training course runs for 20 days across 12 weekends, or can be completed as an intensive Monday to Friday course over 4 weeks. Throughout your training, you will develop a number of core skills including:

  • decision-making
  • self-motivation
  • communication
  • professional standards
  • integrity

In preparation for the classroom input you will be required to study course material outside of your training schedule and the input is structured with this expectation in mind.

To ensure the high standards of the Met are maintained, the course is pass or fail. In addition to your standards of behaviour and appearance, you will be formally assessed on your practical ability, written assignments and your knowledge of law.

Training structure

If you are successful in your application, we will offer you a selection of training course options. You must only choose a course if you can attend every day. However, if there is a genuine emergency or if you are ill during the course, then please speak to the people training you.

There are three main options:

  • Saturday course: 12 weeks of training, with 8 weeks taking place on both Saturdays and Sundays, and 4 weeks taking place on Saturdays only
  • Sunday course: 12 weeks of training, with 8 weeks taking place on both Saturdays and Sundays, and 4 weeks taking place on Sundays only
  • Intensive course: 20 consecutive weekdays. You will be required to attend early and late shifts.

All courses are 20 days long and non-residential. They start and finish a little earlier than normal working hours - exact timings will be given to you before you start. If you are successful in your application we will offer you a selection of training course options. The options will include details of start and finish dates plus when the breaks are (if applicable).

Please note that the course types and structure can change, so the above should be taken as a guide.

There are a number of locations across London where your training will take place. Wherever you train, in most cases the first day will take place at the Hendon police training centre, which is also one of our training locations.

Knowledge examinations

During your initial training course you will complete two multiple choice papers in exam conditions, with a further exam in your continuation training.

Practical assessments

During the training course you will also be tested on your practical ability. After the relevant training you will be observed throughout an exercise where you stop and search a subject and also complete a lawful arrest.

Written assessments

These involve writing an evidence and action book, and completing a stop and search form and a witness statement. Don’t panic if you don’t initially reach the required standard – there’s an opportunity to retake the exams and assessments or to re-submit the written assignment.

Ongoing opportunity

Once you pass the initial training course, you will be attested as a constable and be given your warrant card. Your first 60 hours on duty are known as 'coached patrols', where you’ll be supported by your special sergeant or a substantive regular police officer.

In addition to the above and whilst undertaking your duties as a constable there are two further weekends of continuation training where you will have the opportunity to learn more law and procedure to further equip you for your important role in keeping London safe.

Special constables who have completed 200 hours of operational service and have gained their Independent Patrol Status can apply to become a new police constable through internal application processes. All special constables must successfully pass the recruitment and selection process for new police constables and will be subject to reference and vetting checks before they are offered the role of new police constable. Due to their policing experience Specials are not required to have the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing and do not need to meet the London residency criteria.

Benefits

Special constables are volunteer police officers. Although you won't be paid, your training and duties will give you unique experiences, new and valuable skills, plus a tremendous sense of achievement of doing something worthwhile for your community. We pay expenses so you will not be out of pocket for giving your time to us.

As a special constable, you’ll grow in confidence, working as part of a close-knit team, forming lasting friendships and learning more about human nature than most people will ever see.

You'll also:

  • develop core skills that will improve your future career prospects, such as problem-solving, decision-making, leadership, team-working and communication
  • receive free travel on London transport, including buses, underground, Croydon Tramlink, DLR and London Overground routes, excluding National Rail
  • have access to a range of Met staff discounts on goods and services
  • be eligible to join the Metfriendly Society, offering a range of financial services such as savings, investments and protection products

Special constables who have completed 200 hours of operational service and have gained their Independent Patrol Status (IPS) can apply to become a new police constable. Due to their policing experience, specials are not required to have the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP).

Specials who live within one of the London Boroughs or the City of London can receive a 50% rebate to the Greater London Authority (GLA) element of their Council Tax payment. This only applies to serving specials who have completed 200 hours of operational service within 12 months at the required standard and aren't subject to any kind of disciplinary process.