I Want to Work In … the Emergency Services
- Job roles in the Police
- Police Officer
- Civilian roles
- Getting into the police and getting experience
- Further information
- Fire and Rescue Service
- Ambulance Service (Paramedic)
- Coastguard and RNLI
- Search and Rescue
- Emergency Response Volunteering
The cooks are French,
The cooks are English,
As well as Police Officers, police forces employ civilian staff in a wide range of roles, including:
- Police Community Support Officer
- Scenes of Crime Investigators
- Fingerprint Officer
- Civilian Investigation Officers (CIOs)
- Police Intelligence
- Crime Analysts
- Computer Forensics Investigator
- Communications Officers
- Command and Dispatch Roles
- Detention Officer
- Human Resources
A salesman, tired of his job, gave it up to become a policeman.
Several months later, a friend asked him how he liked his new role.
"Well," he replied, "the pay is good and the hours aren't bad, but what I like best is that the customer is always wrong."
As a police officer your job will be to reduce crime and the fear of crime, and promote confidence among local people that the police understand and are prepared to deal with the issues that matter most to them. www.policecouldyou.co.uk
Police officers work on the frontline and everyone who wants to become a police officer has to complete a two-year probationary period as a constable working on the beat. Once you have completed your initial training you may choose to move into a specialist area such as CID, counter-terrorism, drugs, fraud or dog handling.
- Job profile of a police officer from the Prospects website
- Job profile of a police officer from the TARGET Jobs website
- Police Officer job information from the National Careers Service
Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
PCSOs work with police officers and share some, but not all of their powers (for example, they cannot make an arrest themselves). They provide a visible and reassuring presence on the streets and help to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour. This is a paid, usually full-time position that can lead to a long career with the police. http://recruit.college.police.uk/pcso/Pages/default.aspx
Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO)
SOCOs work with police in the investigation of serious crime. They are among the first to arrive at a crime scene and their job is to retrieve, examine and investigate physical evidence that may help to trace and convict criminals. They determine from the crime scene whether assistance from specialists, such as a forensic scientist, is needed. For further information, see www.kent.ac.uk/careers/forensicsci.htm
Criminal Intelligence Analyst
Criminal intelligence analysts collect and evaluate information which they use to analyse patterns of crime, build up a picture of criminal suspects and their activities to help solve crimes and prevent future crimes being committed.
- Career overview of a Criminal Intelligence Analyst
- Job profile of a Criminal Intelligence Analyst on the National Careers Service website
All new police officers in England and Wales could require a degree in future, under plans proposed by the College of Policing.
Currently there is no service-wide minimum qualification for new police officers, but the college says the job is now of "degree-level complexity".
It is consulting on the plans, which if approved could run as a pilot in 2017 and be fully adopted by 2019. www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34805856
Typically, when recruiting police officers, forces look for life experience that has involved communication, team working and working with people from a broad range of backgrounds. If you have experience of dealing with people in difficult situations, addressing anti-social behaviour and similar issues, this will strengthen your application.
Increasingly, forces will require a Certificate in Knowledge of Policing and/or experience in a relevant policing or policing related role, such as Special Constable or PCSO. Check with individual forces to find out their specific requirements. Some forces (including the Metropolitan Police) prefer people who are resident in their area, as they can relate well to the local community and their local knowledge is also likely to be helpful.
Police forces have used Special Constables for many years to support the work of full-time police officers. Special Constables are volunteers but have the same powers as police officers. This experience will be particularly helpful when applying for a police officer role and, with some forces, may even be compulsory.
- See individual forces’ web pages for information about Special Constable recruitment
- Kent Police Specials www.kent.police.uk/specials
- Police Specials www.policespecials.com/forum/General information, questions about recruitment and training etc
Other volunteer roles As a result of budget cuts to police forces over the past few years, volunteers are also used in other roles, as this Guardian article shows. These may include working on front desks in Police stations, supporting investigating officers, acting as a mystery shopper or CCTV monitoring. www.kent.police.uk/join_us/volunteering/vol.html
Certificate in Knowledge of Policing
This Certificate is a national qualification introduced by the College of Policing in 2012. Many forces, including the Metropolitan Police, now require applicants to have achieved a CKP within the last three years prior to application and it may give an advantage when applying to other forces
- Kent Police www.kent.police.uk
- Metropolitan Police www.metpolicecareers.co.uk As well as holding the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing, applicants also need to have lived in London for at least three of the last six years to be eligible to apply for Police Officer roles. A second language (in addition to English) is desirable but not essential.
- Police www.police.uk/contact/force-websites Links to individual police forces web pages including the Ministry of Defence, British Transport Police and Port of Dover Police.
Other sites carrying police vacancies
As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher.
Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store.
The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from.
- All Police Jobs www.allpolicejobs.co.uk policing and a wide range of civilian support roles.
- Blue Line Jobs www.bluelinejobs.co.uk Site aimed at serving police officers
- Police Now www.policenow.org.uk Police graduate leadership development programme
- College of Policing www.college.police.uk – professional body for the police service
- Police Recruitment from the College of Policing http://recruit.college.police.uk/Pages/home.aspx
- Police Information www.police-information.co.uk information on how to join the police, police jobs, police news and police law.
- Police Oracle How to become a Police Officer www.policeoracle.com/careers/how_to_become_a_police_officer.html
- Police Professional www.policeprofessional.com policing journal covering police management, forensics, analysis, investigative practice, police technology, law, operational and strategic policing issues, plus a jobs board.
- Police Federation www.polfed.orgThe staff association for police constables, sergeants and inspectors.
- For other careers related to crime and criminal justice, see www.kent.ac.uk/ces/student/degree/criminology/index.html
- Civil nuclear police: Working to 65 'physically impossible'
As well as fighting fires, fire and rescue service workers keep the public safe from many other threats, including floods and road traffic incidents, and play a major role during serious incidents such as terrorist attacks. Equally importantly, they help to prevent fire and loss of life through public information and engagement campaigns.
- Job profile of a firefighter from the Prospects website
- Job profile of a firefighter from the TARGET Jobs website
- Firefighter job information from the National Careers Service
- Kent Fire & Rescue Service www.kent.fire-uk.org
- List of UK Fire and Rescue Services www.cfoa.org.uk/cfoa_public/default.asp?id=130
- Fire and Rescue Recruitment www.fireservice.co.uk/recruitment includes advice on tests and interviews
- Fire Brigades Union www.fbu.org.uk/firefighters-and-fire-service
- Firefighter news from the Guardian www.theguardian.com/uk/firefighters
Ambulance paramedics deal with a range of situations from medical emergencies and major incidents to non-emergency patient transport to and from hospital.
- Job profile of a paramedic from the Prospects website
- Job profile of a paramedic from the TARGET Jobs website
- Job profile of a paramedic from the National Careers Service
- Health Careers UK - Paramedic
Historically, entry into the paramedic profession was achieved by on-the-job work and training within an ambulance service. Today, there are a number of University courses leading to paramedic qualifications and this is now the recommended route to becoming a paramedic. Your course will need to be one approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the regulatory body for paramedics: search the register at
Funding may not be easy if you've already had funding for a first degree: talk to approved course providers about funding opportunities.
- Ambulance Service information on the web: links toindividual ambulance services, professional journals and organisations
- South-East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust www.secamb.nhs.uk covers Kent , Surrey, Sussex and North-East Hampshire
- Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust www.kssairambulance.org.uk
- NHS Jobs www.jobs.nhs.uk England-wide job vacancy website. More than 500 Trusts currently place vacancies on the site.
- Paramedic Careers http://paramediccareers.co.uk "site for Paramedics and those that want to be Paramedics"
- Paramedic Resource Centre www.paramedic-resource-centre.com
- St John Ambulance www.sja.org.uk
- Blood Bikes www.serv.org.uk volunteer emergency medical transport service
The role of the coastguard service is to coordinate search and rescue at sea, check that ships meet UK and international safety rules, and to prevent coastal pollution. Watch Assistants (CWA) and Watch Officers (CWO) operate a 24-hour emergency service, responding to emergencies and requests for assistance.
Other jobs in the service include administration and customer service roles, such as registration officers, who deal with registering vessels on the UK Ships Register, as well as specialised roles such as marine surveying.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a purely voluntary organisation providing a 24-hour service around the coast of the UK and Republic of Ireland. For information about volunteering as part of a lifeboat crew, see https://volunteering.rnli.org/join-the-crew-2051.html The RNLI also provides summer lifeguards
- Information about applying for jobs with and volunteering for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency
- Coastguard job information from the National Careers Service
- Coastguard Watch Assistant/Officer job profile from Input Youth
Mountain Rescue (MR) is a charity providing a 24 hour emergency service MR teams are made up of unpaid volunteers who normally have a hill walking or mountaineering background. There are 48 mountain rescue teams in England and Wales and 27 in Scotland.
- Mountain Rescue England & Wales www.mountain.rescue.org.uk
- Scottish Mountain Rescue www.scottishmountainrescue.org
- The British Cave Rescue Council www.caverescue.org.uk is the representative body for underground rescue in the UK and Ireland. As with mountain rescue, all rescue teams are made up of volunteers.
- Lowland Rescue www.lowlandrescue.orga charitable organisation dedicated to assisting the emergency services in the search for and rescue of vulnerable missing persons
- British Red Cross www.redcross.org.uk/Get-involved/Volunteer/Emergency-response-UK The Red Cross supports the emergency services in emergencies such as transport accidents, floods, fire, evacuations and industrial accidents
- Kent Resilience Forum Aims to ensure that agencies and organisations plan and work together to provide a co-ordinated response to emergencies in Kent.
Last fully updated July 2016