Information for new recruit applicants

The current starting pay for Constables is £23,541 (with effect from 01/09/20). There is potential to move up the pay scale on an annual basis based on a number of criteria including performance / fitness / attendance.

The MDP is a national force with stations located across England and Scotland. Whilst the Force will endeavour to meet your location preferences, ultimately vacancies are filled on business need. The less flexible you are in accepting available postings, the longer it may take before you are offered a position. For further information see the list of MDP Station Locations.

You must have a level 2 qualification in English Language and Mathematics. This includes:

  • GCSE grade C/level 4 or above
  • Functional Skills Level 2 in Numeracy/Literacy
  • Scottish Qualifications accepted: SCQF Level 5, Intermediate 2 at level 5 or Standard Grade (credit level).

You must be able to evidence you hold the correct qualification through production of certificates when you apply. No other subjects are accepted irrespective of the level of qualification held.

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

You must be aged 18 or over to apply to join the MDP. There is currently no upper age limit.

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 6-12 months. Further information is provided here regarding the recruitment process timeline for New Recruit applicants: New Recruits Application Process

Those who have been unsuccessful in their application to join another Police Force can apply to join the MDP when a campaign is live, irrespective of when they were unsuccessful. You may also apply to the MDP even if you have an active application with another Force, but please ensure you keep the recruitment team updated should you decide that you do not wish to continue with the MDP process.


Whilst the MDP does not currently use the College of Policing Online Assessment model, we are willing to honour a pass from their assessment process, if undertaken within 12 months preceding your application and you are able to provide written evidence. You will still be required to undertake and pass a suitability interview once you have passed the sift, however, there will be no need for you to further undertake a competency interview and you will progress to the medical/fit test and vetting stages.

Assessments undertaken by Forces who do not use the College of Policing process will not be honoured. You should be aware that we are currently reviewing our assessment process, and this policy may change in future.

Serving Specials / PCSOs should apply through the normal new recruit process and will be treated the same as all other new recruit applicants. There are no additional payments for previous Special / PCSO experience.

Following successful completion of training, all new recruits are required to complete the remainder of a 2 year probationary period. MDP tenure policy requires officers to complete a minimum of 3 years in a post. Moves thereafter are generally at the discretion of the officer.

No, the only route for entry in to the MDP is either as a serving regular officer from another UK Civilian Police Force (e.g. Home Office Force, Ports Police, CNC, Police Scotland, BTP or PSNI), or as a new entrant.

Members of the armed forces can still apply when in service. You would not be expected to resign or give notice until we were ready to offer you employment. Most applicants from the armed forces get their notice period waived when joining us, so you are advised to speak to your personnel department to see if this could apply to you also. We would take any notice period into account when planning start dates.

Information for NEOFS (New entrants from other forces)

The starting salary of all officers who join the MDP from other police forces will be determined by the length of service the officer has completed with their previous force. For example, a Constable who has completed 5 years’ police service will join the MDP on Pay Point 5 of the MDP Constables’ pay scale. Officers will retain their original pay increment date. Annual leave entitlement will be honoured in the same way, with officers receiving the entitlement commensurate with their length of service. MDP no longer pays Housing Allowance or CRTP to officers joining from other forces.  For further information visit our Pay & Benefits page

The MDP is a national Force with stations located across England and Scotland. Whilst the Force will endeavour to meet your location preferences, ultimately vacancies are filled on business need. The less flexible you are in accepting available postings, the longer it may take before you are offered a position. For further information see the list of MDP Station Locations.

You will be required to complete a 12 month probationary period. However the usual MDP UPP standards and Conduct Regulations will apply. You will also be required to undertake an induction course and firearms training in order to achieve Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO) status.

The majority of vacancies that the MDP open up to serving officers from other forces are for Police Constable Rank only. However, vacancies for other ranks do sometimes become available; these vacancies will be clearly listed on the NEOF Apply Now page on the Recruitment Website.

All applications are considered on their individual merits. If you have previously served in a UK police force (within the last five years) but did not complete your probationary period, you must submit a full account of your reasons for this with your application. The same applies for any probationary officer currently serving in another force. You must demonstrate 'exceptional and compelling reasons' for your application to be allowed to proceed via the New Recruit process.

MDP welcomes applications from all eligible officers regardless of firearms experience. However applications are particularly welcome from current AFOs and those with firearms instructional experience. We accept applications from all Home Office, BTP, Police Scotland, PSNI, CNC and Ports Police officers.

We will honour the following recognised promotion examination qualifications:

  • OSPRE Part One examination pass
  • Police Scotland (or legacy Scottish Force) promotion examination pass

  • Other police promotion examination qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Accepted qualifications will be valid for one promotion process only, either Constable to Sergeant or Sergeant to Inspector, and will allow an officer to enter our respective processes at the suitability and competency-based selection stage. Promotion examination qualifications are valid for three years from the date upon which they were acquired; this is the date stipulated on the qualification certificate supplied by the awarding body, irrespective of previous guarantees from other Forces (e.g. examination qualifications with no expiry date). Recognised qualifications acquired prior to 1 April 2016 will be treated as though the officer acquired the qualification on 1 April 2016 and will cease to be valid on 31 March 2019. There is no limit upon how many times an officer may enter for promotion until the validity of their qualification lapses.

If you have left the police service no more than three years ago you are eligible to apply to join the MDP as a NEOF (New Entrant from Other Forces) and, as with all NEOF applicants, upon taking up post, you will be required to complete a twelve-month probationary period.

If you have left the police service more than three years ago, you can only be considered for employment as a New Recruit (including initial entry pay and conditions). This applies to all officers regardless of service.

General information for everyone

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 is ten years for certain sensitive postings (for example at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)).  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. This criterion is not flexible and is strictly applied.

As a police officer you will be required to handle a variety of situations often involving physically challenging tasks. You will therefore be required to pass a job-related physical fitness test (JRFT) on recruitment, prior to attending the Initial Firearms Course (IFC), and during your Initial Learning and Development Programme (ILDP) or NEOF course and thereafter annually. The fitness standard for all new entrants joining the MDP is level 7.6 on the 15 metre version of the Multi Stage Fitness Test - commonly known as the Bleep Test. Further details can be found in our Job Related Fitness Test guidance.

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

The following information relates to Convictions, Cautions, Penalty Notices and Court Orders etc. Having a previous conviction or caution is not an automatic bar to joining the MDP. We will judge each case on its merits. However, you must disclose all adult and juvenile convictions and cautions, regardless of their level of seriousness or how long ago they occurred. You must also disclose any criminal offences dealt with ‘out of court’ (including Penalty Notices etc). Harassment Warnings, Court Orders of a similar nature or Anti-Social Behaviour Orders must be disclosed. A failure to disclose any relevant police matter will lead to rejection in most cases. The following lists provide an indication of whether you may meet our criteria in relation to criminal offences:

TYPE A) Involvement in a very serious offence will always result in rejection:

  • Offences involving death or serious Injury
  • Treason, espionage, kidnapping/abduction/torture
  • Very serious sexual offences
  • Firearms or explosives offences
  • Hate crime (offences involving discrimination)

TYPE B) Involvement in the following offences will almost certainly lead to rejection

  • Any offence (adult or juvenile) resulting in a prison sentence (served or suspended).
  • Serious assaults/offences involving unsolicited violence
  • Most sexual offences
  • Offences involving vulnerable persons
  • Most public order offences
  • Offences involving dishonesty, fraud or burglary etc
  • Serious or repeated lower level drugs offences
  • Reckless/Dangerous driving (last 10 years)
  • Motoring offences involving drink or drugs (driving or ‘in charge’ of a motor vehicle)
  • Other serious motoring offences (e.g. failure to stop/disqualified driving/no insurance) and repeated minor traffic offences
  • Most convictions or cautions (for other than very minor offences) within the last 5 years
  • Recent or repeated drunkenness offences. If you are unsure whether you meet our criteria, please contact the MDP Resourcing Team for advice on mdp-recruitmentenquiries@mod.uk

MDP officers can be considered for alternative working arrangements, such as part-time working, where this can be accommodated by the Force, but only after successful completion of the 2 year probationary period.

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 firearms training course.

Initial training is held at MDP HQ Wethersfield in Essex and it is a residential course, comprising 18 weeks for a new recruit, and 9 weeks for a NEOF/serving officer. Accommodation and food will be provided for candidates whilst undertaking their initial training. However, accommodation will not be provided on commencement of initial posting to station; candidates who live outside of reasonable travelling distance to the station will therefore be required to relocate at their own cost. Reasonable travelling distance is classed as up to 1 hour or up to a 50 mile drive. Upon commencement of training candidates are employed and are therefore paid their starting salary from day one of the training programme.

Under MOD rules, all staff are required to obtain security clearance, but for those working at AWE, you will require security clearance to the higher level, called DV (Developed Vetting). If you are posted to a site which requires the use of a respirator, you will be made 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.

Officers are currently contracted to do 40 hrs per week, but shift patterns vary from station to station. A typical shift pattern would comprise four 12 hr shifts, followed by 4 days off. However, the shift pattern is currently subject to review throughout the Force.

The medical standard for the Ministry of Defence Police is based upon existing Home Office standards and also includes those relevant to the Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO) role. Applicants must be willing to undergo drug and alcohol tests as part of the application process. Thereafter, they may also be subject to these tests within their normal working environment. Further information is available in the New Recruit Medical Standards Guidance which can be viewed here.

Police Officers need a high level of visual acuity to take in every detail in a situation - even if they lose their glasses or their lenses. When handling a firearm, and making decisions under pressure, your sight is integral to your confidence and safety. Further information about the eyesight standards is provided in the New Recruit Medical Standards Guidance which can be viewed here.

You would be offered an alternative posting at a site appropriate to the clearance level that you achieved prior to appointment. There would be no entitlement to relocation expenses. You are therefore advised that you should not commit financially to a move of home, until it is confirmed that you have the required standard of clearance for your designated posting.

Yes, you must hold a full UK manual driving licence with no more than six penalty points at the point of application. You will need to provide your licence number. Those without a licence are ineligible to apply.

The paper counterpart to the photo card driving licence has not been valid since 8 June 2015, and is no longer issued by the DVLA, except for drivers in Northern Ireland. MDP therefore requires you to provide evidence of your driving record (entitlements and/or penalty points), you can do this online and free of charge at GOV.UK

You will be asked to enter the following information:

  • Driving Licence Number
  • NI Number
  • Postcode

You then need to:

  • Hit ‘View now’
  • Select ‘Get Your Check Code’
  • Select ‘Get a Code’
  • Select ‘Print or Save a driving summary’

Finally, save your downloaded summary page, and attach it with a copy of your photo card licence when you submit your application form.

Applicants from Northern Ireland please attach a copy of your paper counterpart licence with your application form.

Under normal circumstances no member of the Ministry of Defence Police is permitted to remain, or become, a member of any Trade Union or similar association or society other than an association formed within the Ministry of Defence Police, with rules approved by or on behalf of the Defence Council. The recognised body within the Ministry of Defence Police, that has collective bargaining rights, is the Defence Police Federation (DPF). Further details on membership can be obtained from the DPF website. However if you are already a member of a Trade Union or similar association or society you may exceptionally, with the consent of the Chief Constable, continue to be a member of that organisation in order to receive any benefits to which you are entitled.

Applicants must not have any tattoos which could cause offence to members of the public or colleagues, or be considered discriminatory, offensive or provocative. Tattoos on the face that are non-medical or not as a result of cosmetic surgery, will result in automatic rejection. All tattoos are assessed individually. Applicants are required to provide photographs of all non-intimate tattoos, with a visible measure for scale. A verifiable translation must accompany any tattoos containing non-English words, characters or representation and an explanation of the tattoos’ meaning or significance must also be provided. Facial piercings are not permitted because they are considered to undermine the dignity and authority of a police officer. There are also implications for an officer’s safety. Flesh tunnels or ear plugs that leave a hole greater than 4mm, once removed, provide a significant health and safety risk and would therefore result in automatic rejection. Applicants must seek advice from the MDP Resourcing Team if they believe that they may be unable to comply with our policy on tattoos and piercings. All applicants must also inform the Resourcing Team if at any stage during the recruitment process they acquire any further tattoos, piercings or any other body art, or are considering doing so, as this may affect their suitability.

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 including Special Escort Group, Operational Support Unit, Tactical Firearms Unit and Nuclear Guard Force. Officers who have reserve responsibilities are therefore not eligible to apply for posts within these specialisms.

Yes you can. However there are some locations such as AWE Group and Clyde Group where MDP are unable to appoint officers who have (or their immediate family have) dual nationality. This will mean therefore that the choice of locations for postings will be more limited. Moreover, a foreign/dual national could also impact on your ability to achieve full security clearance at sensitive locations where developed vetting (DV) is required.


You are required to achieve/maintain security clearance to the level needed for each post that you will occupy during your service. In some circumstances, certain security restrictions, known as "caveats" may be issued in relation to your clearance that will prevent you from working at specific locations which could include your initial posting. In such circumstances MDP will inform you of the caveats concerned and do all that it is possible to offer you an alternative posting. This process is designed to ensure that all postings are appropriate from a security perspective and fully meet the "customer" requirements. Where such caveats are issued it will also have an impact on the number of sites that you can work at in the future.

The police service has a policy of prohibiting any of their officers, or staff or volunteers from becoming members of the British National Party (BNP), Combat 18 or the National Front, whose aims, objectives or pronouncements may contradict the duty to promote race equality.

Applicants who have existing County Court Judgments (CCJ's) outstanding or, who have been registered as bankrupt and their bankruptcy debts have not been discharged or Scottish equivalents, are ineligible to apply.

Applicants who have discharged CCJ judgments may be considered. Those who have been registered bankrupt and their debts have been discharged will only be considered after three years from the discharge of the debt.

If you are subject to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), Debt Management Plan or equivalent etc you can still apply but should declare these. You will be asked to provide evidence that you are carefully managing your debts.

In this section

Joining the MDP Our Selection Process Vetting Pay & Benefits Serving Police Officers Diversity & Inclusion Eligibility Requirements

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