Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are the face of the police within local communities. You will play an integral part in delivering effective neighbourhood policing, providing a highly visible policing presence. Your communication, relationship building and problem-solving skills will ensure you become a well-known and respected figure across your patch.

Meet our PCSOs

Read more PCSO stories.

What’s involved?

As a PCSO, you will police our neighbourhoods, primarily through visible patrol, reassuring the public. The role is diverse; from attending community events to helping tackle street-based problems including drugs related crime and anti-social behaviour.

Through building strong relationships with communities and partner agencies, you will reduce crime and disorder, tackling community safety at a local level.

Your initial learning will take the form of the PCSO Apprenticeship (PCSOA) combining on-the-job practical and academic learning. This will take approximately 15 months, resulting in the award of a formal level 4 qualification: Diploma in Community Policing Practice.

Programme Outline

  • Operational Learning (10 weeks)
    • structured learning modules
    • PCSO role and responsibilities, knowledge and skills
  • Annual Leave (1 week)
  • Coached Patrol (10 weeks)
    • tutoring in an operational environment
    • achievement of Independent Patrol Status (IPS)
    • evidenced in operational competence portfolio
  • Operational Deployment (31 weeks)
    • coaching, support and assessment during routine operational deployment
    • achievement of L4 Diploma in Community Policing Practice
    • evidenced in operational competence portfolio
  • End-point Assessment (12 weeks)
    • professional discussion around operational competence portfolio
    • presentation of community based problem assignment
  • Achievement of Police Community Support Officer Apprenticeship


  • Age 17 at date of application, must be 18 upon appointment – no upper age limit
  • English Language or Literature and Mathematics at GCSE grade 9-4 or equivalent (e.g. Grade A-C or Level 2)
  • be a British, EC/EEA or Commonwealth citizen or a foreign national with indefinite leave to remain
  • good health and physical fitness with a BMI between 18-32
  • Full Driving Licence (you can still apply if you are currently learning to drive and plan to take your test in the next 3-6 months however you won’t be able to join an intake until you have passed your test)

Application process

Typically, the process from initial application through to start date can take six months and includes:

  1. application (including proof of eligibility)
  2. interview
  3. provisional offer
  4. pre-employment checks
  5. start date

If you have any queries please contact our Recruitment Department via RecruitmentPCSO@thamesvalley.police.uk