Frequently Asked Questions

1.        What qualifications do I need to join?

No formal qualifications are required to join the MDP.  However, as part of our selection process you will be required to undertake tests which will examine both your literacy and numeracy.

2.        How old do I need to be to join?

You must be aged 18 or over to apply to join the MDP.

3.        How fit do I need to be to join?

As a Police Officer, you will be required to handle a variety of situations, often involving physically challenging tasks. Because of this, you will be required to pass a job-related, Fitness Test.  (pdf 182kb)

4.        How long is the application process?

Our selection process involves several stages, designed to ensure you have what it takes to undergo the challenges of training and, ultimately, policing.  From your initial enquiry to the time of your appointment usually takes around 6-8 months.

5.        What if I have a criminal conviction/caution?

Having a previous conviction or caution, is not an automatic bar to joining the MDP; however, you must disclose all convictions/cautions when completing the application form. We will judge each case on its merits.

6.        How long will I spend as a ‘Probationer’?

Following successful completion of the Initial Learning and Development Programme (ILDP) at the Agency Training College in Essex, all new recruits are required to complete the remainder of a two year probationary period (most likely at the MOD Atomic Weapons site at Aldermaston or Burghfield in Reading, Berkshire).

7.        Can I work flexibly?

MDP Officers can be considered for alternative working arrangements such as part-time working, where this can be accommodated by the Force and only after successful completion of the two year probationary period, unless authorised at a senior level.

8.        Do I have to carry a firearm?

Yes.  All MDP officers must be prepared to carry a firearm when required.  As part of your training you must undertake and pass the MDP's firearms training course accredited by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA). See the section on Firearms Training  for more details.

9.        Are there any particular working conditions of note for new entrants posted to AWE (Aldermaston and Burghfield - Nuclear establishments)?

Most new recruits who complete initial learning and development programme (ILDP) are posted to AWE for a minimum of three years, of which the first two are spent as a probationer. Under MOD rules, all staff working at AWE require security clearance to the highest level (DV- Developed Vetting ).

Applicants posted to AWE should be aware that there are restrictions on facial hair for officers stationed there. This is due to the potential need to use a respirator whilst working in hazardous environments; the effectiveness of the respirator is diminished by beards and moustaches, representing a significant risk to the wearer.

10.       What are the medical standards for recruitment to the Ministry of Defence Police?

The entry standard for the Ministry of Defence Police is based upon existing Home Office standards and also includes those relevant to Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO).  Within the application pack is a document entitled 'Medical Conditions', which you are advised to read carefully.  The minimum physical standard and body mass index for recruitment to this Force is 30 or less.  However discretion may be applied for those who exceed this, but perform to the required standard in the Fitness Test (pdf 182kb)

11.       What are the eyesight standards?

The MDP accepts candidates who wear spectacles or contact lenses provided the standard of unaided vision is not less than 6/18 in each eye and is correctable to the standard of distant vision: Binocularly 6/6. Your near vision should be N6 at 40cm with both eyes, with or without glasses.

12.        What about colour vision?

You must be able to distinguish the principal colours. The use of corrective lenses is not acceptable. Severe colour vision deficiencies (e.g. monochromats) are not acceptable. Other colour deficiencies may be accepted with conditions.

13.        What are the impacts of eye surgery?

Radial/Arcuate Keratotomy and corneal grafts are not acceptable. Other forms of refractive (LASER) surgery are acceptable provided that; six months have elapsed since surgery; there are no residual side effects and the other eyesight standards are met.

14.        Will I be tested for drug and alcohol misuse?

Applicants must be willing to undergo drug and alcohol tests as part of the application process.  They may also be subject to these tests within their normal working environment.

15.        Do I need a Driving Licence?

There is currently no requirement to hold a driving licence prior to employment; however failure to hold a current valid driving licence may restrict an officer’s ability to carry out their role where driving duties are part of the normal tasking.

16.         Do I have to be able to swim?

There is currently no requirement for an individual to be able to swim to join the MDP, however, officers wishing to transfer in to the Marine Unit are required to undertake a swimming test as part of the selection process.

17.         Will being a member of the Territorial Army (TA) or Volunteer Reserved Forces (VRF) affect my application or career with the MDP?

Individuals who have reserve responsibilities are not prevented from applying to join the MDP, however once a serving officer, there are a number of posts where it has not been deemed appropriate to have reserve responsibilities due to the nature of the role i.e. Special Escort Group, Operational Support Unit, Tactical Support Group and Nuclear Guard Force. Officers who have reserve responsibilities are not eligible to apply for posts within these specialisms.