Ministry of Defence Police Recruitment


New Entrants

Unlike some Forces, there are no requirements for you to privately fund and attain a Certificate in Knowledge of Policing. The MDP will fully train you to the nationally recognised Diploma in Policing qualification (Certificate in Policing for officers in Scotland) during your probationary period.

About Us

Please note we are not currently recruiting, please refer to FAQ/Updates or our Facebook page for updates

MDP are a national force with stations all over the country, however most officers begin their probationary service at one of the MOD's nuclear sites, such as AWE Aldermaston or a Naval Base in the Clyde area.

Beyond the nuclear environment, the diverse range of sites and specialist roles available throughout the UK offers MDP officers a unique opportunity for a rewarding and varied police career.

Joining the MDP

With around 2,650 officers spread over many locations, and performing a range of different jobs, our organisation is so diverse that we need a wide range of people to join us.

The people we recruit come from all walks of life and bring with them a range of skills and abilities. We are looking for people who are capable of making clear judgements under pressure, people who can handle long periods of inactivity and still remain vigilant, and people who can react quickly and, just as important, reasonably.

The full list of our eligibility requirements are:

  • You must be 18 years of age or over at the time of applying.
  • You must hold a full UK manual car driving licence with no more than six penalty points.
  • All applications will be subject to robust medical/security/vetting processes and candidates are advised that at some locations/establishments an enhanced level of vetting is required which may result in applications being sifted out if they do not meet the required British Nationality/Residency status. To this end, you must have resided continuously in the UK for a minimum five year period immediately prior to your application to join as a new Police Constable with MDP (with any absence from the UK being no more than six months during this time). The qualifying UK residency period may be extended to 10 Yrs for certain sensitive postings. If you have resided abroad due to serving in the British Armed Forces or on UK Government service, you are considered to have been resident in the UK.
  • You should not have a criminal record. If you have a conviction as an adult or juvenile it is unlikely that you will be suitable but some minor offences and cautions may not exclude you.
  • The MDP applies a tattoo policy. All tattoos are assessed individually.  You should not have tattoos which could cause offence. Tattoos on the hands, above the neckline or those which are particularly prominent, or likely to undermine the dignity and authority of the office of constable are not permitted.  You will be required to provide photograph(s) of tattoos with a visible measure for scale. A verifiable translation must accompany any tattoos containing non-English words, characters or representation. Tattoos on the arms that are excessive in size or visual impact may not be accepted; a rough guide would be significant tattooing on one arm and a small tattoo on the other arm. Tattoos anywhere on the body which appear to be discriminatory, offensive or provocative will not be accepted.
  • You must not be registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, have outstanding County Court Judgments against you, or be subject to a current Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) in England and Wales. The same criteria applies for equivalencies in Scotland.
  • You will need to be physically fit and you will need to pass the job-related fitness test (currently comprising a bleep test to level 5.7). If you receive a conditional offer of employment or are placed into a pool of successful candidates to whom it is intended a conditional offer will be made when a position arises, you will undergo a medical screening. You will also need to meet the minimum eyesight standards for corrected (glasses or contact lenses) and uncorrected vision.

There is currently no requirement for new entrants to have previously attained the Certificate of Policing Knowledge.

Our Selection Process

Candidates who pass the application stage will be called to a two-day Police SEARCH® Recruitment Assessment Centre at our training centre in Wethersfield, Essex. The assessment comprises a number of exercises, which simulate real life situations/problems and a job-related fitness assessment.

You may only apply to one Police Force at a time if those Forces require candidates to undertake the SEARCH®. If you have previously applied to any force in England and Wales that use SEARCH® and have been unsuccessful at any stage up to and including the Assessment Centre then you must wait 6 months before you can apply from the date you were unsuccessful.

Generic guidance on what the Assessment Centre stage of the process entails is available via the below link:

College of Policing

If you are successful at the assessment centre you will later be required to undergo a medical examination to confirm your suitability for the role.

Our selection processes involve obtaining references and security checks, based on the forms you fill in when you first apply.

Once all relevant documents have been cleared and processed, you will be considered for employment as a constable with the MDP.

Transferring SEARCH Results

Applicants who have previously scored more than 50% and achieved a full pass at SEARCH® can transfer their scores (only if achieved in the last 24 months) regardless if they were sifted out at a later stage of the process. Applicants should still complete the MDP application form, and send it in together with a copy of their results evidencing their pass. You are not required to complete the Competency Based Questions (CBQ) on the form.

Security Clearance

Everyone working in the MDP is required to undergo a robust Force vetting/security process and obtain at least Security Check (SC) Clearance. This is the lower security clearance required by the Government and involves a credit check plus checks against such things as UK criminal and security records and, if appropriate, those of overseas countries.

Any new entrant that serves at an Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), will also be required to obtain an enhanced level of vetting which is referred to as Developed Vetting (DV) clearance. DV checks are carried out only to the extent required to safeguard national security but will include:

  • The completion of security questionnaires.
  • A financial check, including a check with a Credit Reference Agency.
  • Interviews with your character referees either by telephone or in person.
  • A detailed interview with the person requiring the clearance, conducted by a Vetting Officer.

The aim is to ensure that your character, personal circumstances and integrity are such that you can be trusted with access to sensitive information or assets and that you will not be vulnerable to blackmail.

It is important that you are completely open and honest with us during the recruitment process, since omitting or concealing information will be taken as evidence of unreliability and/or dishonesty.

If you are not initially stationed at AWE, and therefore do not require DV clearance, you will still be required to obtain DV clearance if at some point in your career if you are posted to an atomic weapons establishment, or any other establishment requiring higher-level security clearance.

Common Access Card

As an MDP officer you may at some point in your career work at a United States Visiting Forces (USVF) Base, most of which are located in the East of England (mainly East Anglia). Since November 2006, access to US networked IT systems worldwide has only been available via the use of a Common Access Card (CAC) and the majority of posts at USVF Bases require officers to hold a CAC. In order to obtain a CAC, you will need to provide certain personal information and data that the USVF authorities will safeguard and retain whilst you remain employed on a USVF unit.

Please be assured that all candidates undergoing security clearance are treated impartially and consistently irrespective of their age, disability status, gender, gender identity, marital status, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.


With many sites throughout the UK, opportunities in the MDP are on a national scale. Currently though, are main focus is AWE Aldermaston and Clyde/Coulport in Scotland. The two-year probationary period will be served at the station you are posted to. However, the standard posting length for all officers is three years.

Upon joining the MDP, you will be liable for your own relocation costs if you need to move house to take up your first post. Thereafter a move to another station will usually be financially supported by the MOD if it is on public interest terms.

Serving Police Officers

If you are a serving Constable in a Home Department Police Force/Police Scotland and you have completed an approved probationer training programme, the MDP can provide new options for developing your career.

The main focus will be on MDP employing new recruits. However, there is also a limited opportunity, if you're a qualified Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO) from another Force, or would like to train as an armed officer to apply.

You will be required to undertake an induction course, achieve AFO status and you will be subject to a 12 month probationary period.

If there is no break in service as a serving Constable with a Home Department Police Force (HDPF), you will be allowed to count your previous service for annual leave entitlement purposes and retain your previous service in respect of your salary scale (less the adjustment to reflect MDP pay scales).

If your application is sifted in you will be required to attend an interview assessment. If you are successful you will be required to complete a physical fitness test (currently the bleep test to level 5.7); to undergo a medical examination and will be subject to the Force vetting/Security process that applies to all new entrants.

Diversity & Equality

The MDP has a high commitment to diversity and equality. We recognise that our ability to provide an effective service depends on the skills and abilities of our people and the more diverse our people are, the wider the range of skills, abilities and experiences available to us will be.

We have worked hard to develop an inclusive approach that values the diversity of our people and which seeks to understand and address the issues facing particular groups. We aim to enable every officer to realise their potential and contribute fully to developing the performance of the MDP as a whole. We are assisted in this by our Diversity and Equality working group comprising of officers and staff who represent and support each protected characteristic.

The MDP welcomes applications from suitably qualified individuals from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability status, gender, gender identity, marital status, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

We are committed to building an organisation which is representative of the community we serve and so particularly encourage applications from people from minority or under-represented groups.

The MOD is an accredited user of the Disability Two Ticks Symbol and we will seek to make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled people to participate in the recruitment process. However, given the strict medical and fitness standards required for entry to the Police Service, it may mean that people with some disabilities are unlikely to qualify for recruitment.

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