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Guidance notes

Please read these notes to help you complete the​ application form in full.

Can anyone volunteer to apply to become a PSV?

Yes, anyone can apply to become a PSV but you must be 18 years or over. PSV applications will be dealt with in line with our PSV Joining procedure.

You should live, work or study within the City of London/Square Mile (our local community); any exceptions to this will be reviewed on a case by case basis. You must also have at least three years continuous residency in the United Kingdom (UK) in order to qualify for the vetting/screening process. Please refer to the Vetting Frequently Asked Questions for further information on our vetting process.

Are there age restrictions?

Yes, you must be 18 years of age or older. There is no upper age limit for PSV’s.

Can I apply to be a PSV if I am from overseas?

There are no restrictions on volunteering in a PSV capacity with the City of London Police (COLP) if you are from the UK, the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

If you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), you are not allowed to take up work, paid or unpaid, which includes volunteering, without a valid work permit/visa or ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)’ and three years continuous residence history within the UK. Eligibility status will be indicated in the applicant’s passport or in a statement of status letter from the Home Office.

It is difficult to complete thorough checks on individuals who have not been resident in the United Kingdom for the previous three years. Therefore except in very exceptional circumstances, three-year residency is an essential requirement.

How do I become a PSV?

You can download an application form from the internet, please visit our volunteering page​.​ Alternatively application forms may be issued to applicants at PSV Joining events, networking events, etc.

If you have with a disability and need to provide your application in a different format to the standard application form then please contact the Recruitment Team on 0207 601 2076.

Once you have completed the application form you should submit this to us by email to Alternatively the form can be sent to us by post to: 

Recruitment Team (PSV Programme)
City of London Police 
5 Snow Hill, London

If you are from overseas and are working on a work permit/visa then you will need to submit to us photocopies of this documentation which must include the expiry date; this is found in your passport. Alternatively if you have any documentation from the Home Office regarding your eligibility to volunteer then you will need to submit photocopies to us with your application form.

If you are invited to attend an informal interview you will be asked to bring with you your original identification documentation and work permit/visa documentation where applicable together with documentation confirming your current residency such as a utility bill; this must not be more than three months old. If you have a driving license you will also need to bring this in with the photo page so a copy can be taken.

How do I complete the application form?

You will need to complete the application form in full. Application forms that are received and are incomplete will be returned resulting in delays. If you have any queries about completing the form please call the Recruitment Team direct on 0207 601 2076.

Where the application is returned electronically (with the photocopied documentation where applicable), it will be assumed that the applicant has read and agreed to the declaration at the end of the application. The emailed version will represent the signature.

The Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form is a voluntary form to be completed. If you do not wish to complete it or indeed choose only to complete some sections of the form, this will not affect your application.

What hours will I be expected to commit?

This will vary depending on the nature of the PSV tasks/activities. The hours you are able to gift to us will be discussed fully with you at the informal interview stage.

Mutually agreed hours will enable a mutually beneficial PSV relationship between both parties. Should you be unable to keep to agreed/committed hours then this should be discussed with your PSV Point of Contact in advance giving as much notice as possible.

PSV hours should not exceed 40 hours in a calendar month.

Am I able to apply to become a PSV if I am disabled/have an impairment/special needs?

You will be asked to sign a declaration in the application form confirming your fitness to volunteer. If you have a disability/impairment/special need(s) that will affect the PSV Joining process and require adjustments to be made then you need to declare this on the application form so that we can review what assistance can be provided.

Where applicable, should you be invited to attend an informal interview, the PSV Point of Contact will discuss the disability with you.

Whilst Volunteers are not covered under the Equality Act 2010 because they are not “in employment” as defined by the Act we may give consideration to assisting them in their PSV tasks/activities, however we are not under any obligation to do so.

Will I undergo police vetting/security checks?

Yes, PSV’s may be exposed to confidential and sensitive information. All PSV’s are subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 and Official Secrets Act 1911 - 1989, and it is therefore important that every reasonable precaution is taken to ensure the reliability and integrity of individuals joining as PSV’s. For this reason you, your family and others who live at your home address will be subject to a detailed vetting/background process.

The level of vetting/security checks will be determined by the PSV Point of Contact when devising the PSV tasks/activities description. The Professional Standards Department (PSD) will be contacted should the PSV Point of Contact have any queries/questions.

Following successful completion of the informal interview you will be sent the necessary vetting documentation to complete and return. Please note the vetting/security checks process can be timely. Therefore documentation should be completed and returned to us as soon as possible.

In the application form you will be asked to declare if you have been convicted or cautioned for committing a criminal offence (this includes spent cautions/convictions and current cautions/convictions). Depending on the nature of the conviction/caution it may mean we are not able to progress your application.

Is my personal data protected?

Yes. The information provided will be stored on a computer registered under the Data Protection Act 1998. This information will not be used for any purposes other than monitoring, which will be carried out by the Human Resources (HR) Department and Diversity Team.

If your application is successful and you become a PSV for the COLP, your details/information will be kept in a PSV Personal file.

Please explain about “Conflict of Interest”

Some occupations may be incompatible with the PSV Programme. Associations that may be considered reportable include, but are not limited to, members of the press and members of extremist groups/organisations.

Each application will be considered on its own merits to establish:

  • Suitability for a PSV opportunity; and
  • If there is any potential conflict of interest between their occupation and/or membership of a group and the PSV tasks/activities.

Will the COLP ask for references?

Yes, you will be required to provide us with the names and full addresses of two people (not relatives, a partner or close friends) who have known you for a minimum of two years and who are prepared to vouch for your character and/or provide a professional reference for you.

If applicable please include your current or most recent employer or volunteering organisation as a reference. We do not accept references that are sent with the application form. Please note references will not be requested without your permission.

What is the dress code?

Dress code needs to be smart, casual (but not jeans) and suitable for working in an office environment/engaging with internal stakeholders, our local community etc. Some PSV tasks/activities may require the PSV to wear special clothing for example working in our Stables. Dress code will be discussed during the informal interview stage/PSV Joining process where appropriate.

Please note that we may not accept applicants with visible tattoos where this could result in a conflict of interest with the PSV tasks/activities. For example tattoos containing images perceived to depict violent, sexist, racist or homophobic meaning will not be acceptable.

Where will I be located/situated?

This depends on the nature of the PSV tasks/activities that the applicant is selected to do and will be discussed with the applicant during the PSV joining process.