The probationary period lasts two years during which time there is intensive training and progress is constantly monitored. Initially training will be delivered from the Scottish Police College in Tulliallan, and at various Police Scotland Training and Recruitment Centres as well as within Divisions.

As with all other area, candidates should be familiar with the pay scales and grading structure of the job. A word of caution: successful candidates must demonstrate good financial management in their private lives. Any potential area where a police officer could bring the force into disrepute is an area of scrutiny, so aim to minimise any debt burdens prior to application and make sure finances are in order. Once through probationary training, police officers are encouraged to rise through the various police ranks and to carve out a career in specialist areas of police work.

Police officers of all ranks are represented by the Scottish Police Federation with regard to salary, conditions of service and other related matters. Interestingly, Police officers do not have the right to take industrial action (ie strike) or to join a trade union.

The future direction of policing in Scotland is laid out in a document entitled the Scottish Police Authority Strategic Police Plan. Essential reading, it outlines the changes involved in the largest restructuring of Scottish policing in a generation and identifies Police Scotland’s strategic priorities and performance measures. Applicants should have a thorough knowledge of this document as this contains the police vision for the future.