have the qualities it takes to become a Special Constable but we
wouldn’t expect you to start patrolling without any training, so
we’ve developed an in-depth programme to help get you prepared.
Training is split into two parts – initial foundation
(Foundation) and futher training (Post Foundation).
Initial foundation training consists of 20 sessions each
lasting a day. These take place at Essex Police College over a
number of weekends, are non-residential and must be attended before
you’re eligible to patrol on your division.
The sessions can run across ten complete alternate
weekends, 20 Sundays or Monday to Friday weekday courses. You
can find out what subjects you’ll cover by viewing our training schedule.
Special officer you get to know yourself a bit better. Every time
you go out on duty you never know what is around the next corner.
Special Sergeant Jo Van Zanten
After your training you’ll be sworn in as a Special Constable
and receive your warrant card. You’ll then be posted to a division
for your first taste of life as a volunteer police officer on
You are not permitted to wear your uniform or go out on patrol
until you have completed training and been sworn in. It is a
criminal offence for a person to wear police uniform when they are
not a police constable. Until you are sworn in you have no police
Post Foundation training
Foundation training is supplemented by further training on your
division. This is compulsory and designed to enhance your knowledge
and skills. Failure to attend this training may result in your
offer of voluntary services being declined.
When you arrive on
division you will be introduced to a tutor who will accompany and
supervise you on patrol at all times. This is when your
Professional Development Portfolio (PDP) begins.
Initially there will be a high level of supervision when performing
tasks but as you become more experienced your tutor will expect you
to perform tasks with the minimum amount of intervention.
Eventually you will be able to patrol independently but you must
have completed your PDP and had it signed off by a supervisor
first. This is normally achieved within 12 months of starting the
In addition to the practical ‘on the job’ training, you’ll also be
expected to attend local divisional training. This is usually held
on a weekday evening once a fortnight in one of the stations in
your local area and is a chance to refresh your knowledge and
receive training on new subjects.
There is an 18 month probationary period following foundation
training. All criteria must be met for this to be successfully