Become a Police Officer in Scotland

Becoming a police officer in Scotland is an exciting opportunity for those who are passionate about law enforcement. The country has two different types of police forces, including Police Scotland and the British Transport Police. This article will outline how to become a police officer in Scotland and what you’ll need to do it!

Become a police officer For Police Scotland

The first step to become a police officer in Scotland is to identify which type of force you’d like to work for. Police Scotland recruits civilians and has the primary responsibility for policing the whole country. The British Transport Police (BTP) also recruits civilians, but primarily focuses on policing railways, roads, and public spaces near railway lines. Next, applicants must complete the most basic selection stage which includes passing an aptitude test and physical fitness assessment. Following this, successful candidates will complete an assessment centre lasting 3-4 hours. Finally, successful candidates have their background checked through vetting along with a medical. Learn more in our Police Scotland recruitment guide.


3-In-1 Recruitment Guide


Includes Practice exam papers, Fitness Guide and Recruitment Guide. Everything you need for the Police Scotland recruitment process.

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  • Practice papers made alongside the Police
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Requirements for being a police officer

The requirements for becoming a police officer in Scotland are that you must be over 18, have no criminal record, and have no convictions of dishonesty. You also need to be physically fit and pass the aptitude test.

How much do Police Officers in Scotland earn?

The salary of Police Officers in Scotland, on average, is over £34,000. Constables with 10 years service or more earn around £40,878 per year. The starting salary for a constable is £26,037. With each rank the higher the salary with the Chief constable earning £220,683 per year.

Police scotland logo on uniform

What are the benefits of becoming a Police Officer in Scotland 

  • You’ll do something you love every day.
  • You’ll be part of a community that will support you in times of need.
  • Bring justice to the victims of crime.
  • Make a difference to your community and country.
  • Earn a competitive salary and benefits package.
  • Gain valuable experience and training for your future career development.

How long do you need to work as a Police Officer in Scotland?

There is no time period on how long you must work as a Police officer. But the minimum amount of time that it takes to become a fully qualified police Constable is 24 months; this includes training at the Scottish Police College and a probationary period with an experienced officer.

How long is the Police Training in Scotland?

All new Police Scotland recruits undertake an initial 11-week training course at the Scottish Police College. The new recruits are then allocated a tutor within their divisional teams and complete a 2-year probation period where they often undergo exams and further training.

What skills do I need to become a Police Officer?

In order to become a Police Officer in Scotland, you’ll need the following skills:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good judgment and decision making
  • Good IT skills as this is a high-tech industry
  • Teamwork and problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility and the ability to cope under pressure
  • Self-motivation, drive, determination and commitment.

You must be physically fit as this is a high demand job where you will need stamina for long shifts and regular exercise such as running or cycling. You’ll also benefit from having previous experience in customer service or dealing with the public.

Lastly, you must be a British citizen and speak English at an advanced level (this is one of the requirements in order to become a Police Officer in Scotland).


You’d investigate criminal acts, make arrests, offer evidence in court, and work on projects to combat crime. The job is quite crucial in allowing your community’s residents to feel safe and secure.

You’ll start as a uniformed officer, either in a response or community-based position, patrolling your jurisdiction (or ‘beat’) on foot or in a police car. There will also be paperwork to handle and other tasks to complete at the station. 

Depending on your role, you would:

  • Respond to calls for help from the public
  • Investigate crimes and make arrests
  • Interview witnesses and suspects, prepare crime reports and take statements
  • Search for missing people
  • Give evidence in court
  • Go out to accidents and fires
  • Carry out administrative tasks around custody
  • Work at the station reception desk dealing with the public
  • Contact officers on the beat from the communications room
  • Police large public events, concerts and demonstrations
  • Visit schools to give talks

If you want to make a difference for your community and country, the role of a police officer may be perfect for you. You’ll have opportunities to work in uniformed patrol positions or at the station. There are also other tasks that come with this job such as responding to calls from citizens, investigating crimes, interviewing witnesses and suspects, giving evidence in court.  The salary is competitive while benefits include valuable experience that can help your future career development! This might just be what you’re looking for if you are interested in making an impact on society through law enforcement.

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