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Uniformed Services

People working in the Uniformed Services help to protect both people and property. There are opportunities for both front-line personnel and support staff.

There is a diverse range of career choices available with:

  • the police and prison services - officers, instructors, crime scene investigators, and community support officers work closely together to prevent, detect and solve crimes, and in educating and rehabilitating offenders
  • the fire and rescue services, which include firefighters and coastguard incident response and rescue teams
  • private security - close protection officers, store detectives and security officers are on constant alert, protecting people and premises.


Common sense, confidence and communication skills are essential. Part of the recruitment processes for the police and uniformed services involve assessing physical fitness and leadership qualities. Employers look for people who think quickly, read situations accurately and work well within a team.

Entry and training requirements depend on the occupation and the level of entry. The minimum age for entry to the police and to security guarding and door supervision is 18. The Diploma in public services may be relevant for some jobs.

Police officers begin their careers at a police training centre and have to pass a two-year training probationary period. For some areas of work a professional qualification is needed. Many security jobs are now licensed. The armed forces offer structured and continuous training, including Apprenticeships in technical trades. The opportunity to take professional and vocational qualifications, including NVQs, may be available as part of the training.

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