2. Who are we looking for?

Being a police officer isn't for everyone. It can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding but it is also very rewarding. Because of this you need to ensure that you are right for this role and we will assess your potential throughout the recruitment process.

We’re looking for a very particular type of person and specific values and competencies. Someone who wants to help make London safer. Someone with the commitment and resilience to preventing and reducing crime, and the empathy to get the best for victims. Someone like you.

See how you measure up against the criteria below:

Depending on which PC pathway you choose to join the Met on, the academic requirements will differ. Visit the PC pathways to find out more about the entry requirements for each route.


You must be 18 or over when you apply to be a Police Constable.

The upper age limit is typically 57. There is a compulsory retirement age of 60 for police officers, so this allows for the two year probationary period and the expectation of a minimum of one year of service following completion of the probationary period.

You must declare any other employment or business interests you intend to maintain, if offered a Police Constable position. We will need to check that these are not in conflict with employment in the Met in any way. 

Ideally, you shouldn't have a criminal conviction or cautions record. If you do have one, eligibility will depend on the age and nature of the offence. We're unable to confirm whether your convictions record will affect your application before you apply, but will determine this from the full and confidential information provided during the recruitment and selection process.

If you don't tell us about any cautions, investigations or criminal convictions that may be linked to you at an early stage, your application could be refused simply because you weren't open and up front, whereas it might have been accepted if you were. If in any doubt, disclose the information.

You must meet the police eyesight standards agreed by the College of Policing. Find out what those standards are.

It's important that you're not under pressure from un-discharged debts or liabilities and that you can manage loans and debts sensibly.

Whilst our health and fitness requirements are not nearly as demanding as is often assumed, you will need to be able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the job. Certain medical conditions may prevent this. 

To find out more, please download our Fit for the Job guide.

If you undertake some form of regular exercise, there should be no issue with meeting the physical requirements in the fitness test. This means achieving level 5.4 on the 'bleep test', start preparing now by watching our YouTube videos for tips

Membership of groups and/or organisations that contradict our competencies, values or ethics and our responsibility to promote race equality, are prohibited. The Met won't accept applications from anyone who is, or has been, a member or groups and/or organisations including, but not limited to, the British National Party (BNP), National Front, Combat 18 or similar.

If you're from outside the EEA, it's essential that you have indefinite leave to enter or to remain in the UK.

Whilst you are able to apply to more than one police service at a time, you will only be able to sit an assessment centre with one service.

You should have resided in the UK for three consecutive years immediately prior to application (If you’ve lived abroad due to serving in the British armed forces or on UK Government Service, you’re considered to have been resident in the UK).

This contradicts everything the role of a police officer stands for. If you are currently using any illegal drugs, this will rule you out of the recruitment process automatically. You will be required to undertake a substance misuse test as a part of the pre-employment checks in the recruitment process.

If you have any previous drugs related cautions or convictions, please look at the Cautions, Convictions and Vetting section on this page.

This tattoo policy is new from October 2018, and significantly different to our previous policy. If you weren't eligible to work with us in the past because of your tattoos, you may now be able to work for the Met and consider applying for roles.

Some tattoos will stop you working for the Met. You can't work for the Met if you have tattoos on:

  • the sides and front of your neck above the collar line
  • your face

You will be allowed to work for the Met if you have tattoos:

  • on your hands
  • on the back of your neck
  • below your collar line
  • on your ears
  • behind your ears

Sometimes we'll require you to cover up these tattoos for policing events such as state funerals or ceremonial events.

Even if you have tattoos in the allowed places, we can't allow you to join the Met if any of the tattoos could be considered:

  • discriminatory
  • offensive
  • violent
  • rude
  • lewd
  • crude
  • racist
  • sexist
  • sectarian
  • homophobic
  • intimidating
  • political in nature

Tattoos like this aren't compatible with the values of the Met.

If you have larger visible tattoos on your hands or back of the neck which cannot be easily covered, or are not discreet, then this could still be disqualified during the recruitment process. Decisions regarding appropriateness of tattoos are made at the sole discretion of the Met.

If you apply for a role with us, we'll ask you to declare information about your tattoos. When we meet we'll check that you comply with our tattoo policy.

This won't be an intrusive check, but we will need to see your tattoos and talk to you about them as part of the recruitment process.