Maintaining peace and order in your community has always been your dream? Police officers are sought-after figures in a society, a job that comes with great responsibility as well as great prestige. Whether you’re still a student or plan a career switch, there are multiple ways for joining the Police in 2021. Here are the routes you can take to fulfil your dream.
Apprenticeship and Traditional Entry Programmes
People often believe that joining the Police requires at least an undergraduate degree. However, you don’t need any form of higher education to join. The traditional apprenticeship route is still a possibility as long as you are at least 18 years old.
Joining the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship
This entry programme is preferred by those who don’t have a degree. It allows you to learn on the job whilst also earning a monthly wage, and you’ll end up with a Professional Policing Practice degree at the end of the programme.
To join this programme, you can check who’s recruiting right now and submit an application form on the Joining the Police website.
Another way to joining the Police if you don’t have a degree is via the traditional entry route, which is the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP). The programme includes a two-year probation period, after which you’ll be able to join the forces permanently.
Degree Holder Entry Programmes
If you already have a degree in any subject, there are various ways to join the Police.
One of the easiest routes to join the Police if you already have a degree is by joining a two-year, work-based training programme. The programme is supported by off-the-work learning and allows you to specialise in a determined area. Options include Intelligence, Community, Roads, Investigation, and Response policing.
Once you’ve completed the probation period, you’ll be able to earn a level-6 post-graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice.
Detective Degree-Holder Entry Programme
Another route to joining the police forces if you have a degree is by joining the detective entry programme. Like the work-based training, this programme takes two years to complete and sees you achieving a level-6 post-graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice.
As you’d expect from a detective programme, the learning is focused on investigation and requires you to complete the National Investigators Examination and meet the Professional Investigation Programme 2 assessment criteria before you can become an accredited detective.
In addition to this traditional route, some forces offer fast-track and direct entry detective pathways where you either have to spend a period of time in another police role or start with an entry investigation role before moving on to completing the level-6 diploma and other required assessments.
National Leadership Development and National Detective Programmes
Another way to join the police forces if you already have a degree is through one of the national development programmes specifically designed for graduates.
The National Leadership Development Programme is the best choice for those who want to become a community police officer. You can apply if you:
- Are over 17 years old
- Have an undergraduate degree of at least 2:2 or hold a level 3 qualification or equivalent
- Are a British citizen or a citizen of another country and have an indefinite leave to remain in the UK
- Have been a resident of the UK for the past three years
The programme takes two years to complete and is salaried. It includes a pre-academy week, six weeks of academy learning and training, in-force training week as well as a 4-week immersion period before you’ll work in-force alongside other police officers.
The National Detective Programme follows a similar timeline, with an initial 12-week academic training before an 8-week stint in uniform with your chosen police force. Then, you’ll move of placements. During this time, you’ll work alongside other detectives and will be supervised by a force line manager.
Rejoiner Entry Route
If you are a former officer and want to return to practice, you may be able to re-join the forces via the rejoiner entry route. This route allows you to return to work at your previous rank or higher, depending on your experience.
Not all police forces offer this option, so you should check before applying to see if the forces you want to re-join allow it.
If the option is not available, you might want to check out the College of Policing programmes that are aimed at staff that left investigative or detective roles for caregiving purposes.
Special Constable or Volunteer Entry Programmes
If you’re already working in the Police in a staff role or as a volunteer, you may be able to join the forces as an officer via a route designed specifically for people like you. Simply check with your police force if they offer a route via Special Constable or volunteer and apply if they do.
Why Should You Join the Police? Benefits of Becoming an Officer
Perhaps you’re not yet convinced you want to join or simply wonder what the advantages of sporting a uniform day after day are. Here are some of the reasons joining the Police could be a brilliant idea.
One of the main reasons people decide to join the forces (personal motivation aside) is the competitive salary. Apprenticeship salaries start at £18,450, but you could earn more depending on where you live and work. Once you’ve passed the probation period, you’ll also receive an annual raise.
Alongside a competitive salary comes a generous pension and the possibility to retire at 60 years old.
Generous annual leave
New police officers get 22 days of paid annual leave in addition to bank holidays. Experienced staff can get up to 30 days of paid annual leave. As the salary, the number of holidays you get raises based on your time in service and experience.
Paid maternity and paternity leave
If you become a parent, you will get a generous maternity or paternity leave when your baby is born or when you adopt a baby.
Discounted private healthcare
The Police Mutual discretionary healthcare scheme gives you the possibility to access first-class private healthcare at discounted prices.
Police discount offers
Whether you want to buy something or eat out, many retailers and restaurants offer a wide range of discounts developed specifically for police officers. Furthermore, you can get discounts at the gym or hotels, and much more.