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Police Scotland Vetting Guide 2024

Everyone who applies to be a police officer must show that they can uphold the standards of behaviour expected of every police officer. To do this, you’ll go through vetting before you start your training. This helps you show what kind of person you are and that you’re fit for the job. It allows the Police to check your and your families background.


3-In-1 Recruitment Guide


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

  • All 3 of our best-selling Police Scotland guides
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Police Scotland Practice Exam Papers

  • 4 exam practice papers
  • Identical to the real exam
  • Made alongside the Police
  • Instant Download
  • Current for 2024
Fitness Test

Police Scotland Fitness Test Guide

  • Updated for 2023
  • Created by leading UK PT
  • Complete training plan for fitness test

What Do Police Scotland Check During Vetting?

Financial background

They will run a credit check to ensure you are not in a large amount of debt or have a poor credit score, as this can make you more susceptible to bribery.

Criminal Convictions and cautions

They will check all Police systems to see if you have any previous convictions, dealings with the Police or have been subject to an investigation before. It doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to join the Police if something comes up, as each case is looked at an individual basis.

Motoring offences

Motoring offences will be checked by the Police, again this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to join. However serious motoring offences, such as death by dangerous driving, drink driving etc, do often result in rejection.

HM Forces offences

Any convictions received whilst serving in HM forces.

Outstanding charges

Any outstanding charges or pending summons to court could postpone your application until the outcome.

Family and Friends

Close Friends and family will be checked for previous offences, cautions or investigations they may have been subject to. Again this doesn’t automatically stop you from being a Police Officer and each case is taken on its own merit. The Police want to know your associates to ensure there is no chance of any corruption or influence, which could negatively affect the Police and their reputation.

Social media

The Police will check open-source platforms such as social media to ensure your integrity.

How long does Police Scotland vetting take?

On average Police Scotland vetting can take anywhere from 12-16 weeks, but if there are any complications it can take longer.

Why would you fail police vetting?

You will be rejected by the Police if you have committed an offence which resulted in a prison sentence, or any offence including fraud, dishonesty, corruption, serious drug offences, offences against a child or serious violence.

Do police vetting check social media?

The Police will check open-source social media accounts but they cannot view your profile if it is set to private. We recommend cleaning up your profile and changing the settings to private before applying to the Police to be on the safe side.

Police Scotland Tips

Here are our top tips when completing the vetting forms.

  • Be honest and upfront
  • Declare everything – the Police will eventually find out!
  • Include any criminal associates
  • Write rationale if you cannot remember dates or information
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