Fast Track programme for serving constables - FAQs

When can I apply?

The application window will be open between 20 October and 23 November mid-day 2015. Forces must complete any internal assessment processes by 4 February 2016 and will set their individual application closing dates accordingly. Please check with you own force for specific dates

Is there a maximum number of times that I can apply for the programme?

​No, you can apply for the programme as many times as you want, but if you attend the National Assessment Centre and are unsuccessful on two occasions you will not be eligible to attend for a third time.

Do I need any formal qualifications (e.g. a degree) to be able to apply?

​No. All serving constables will need is the ability to meet the intellectual and academic demands of the programme.

Why are police sergeants not eligible to apply for the Fast Track programme?

​This programme is a fast track from constable to inspector, with defined promotion dates to sergeant and integrated development at this rank. Consequently it is not suited to a candidate already serving as a sergeant. Existing sergeants should look to alternative force development programmes, which vary across forces, or traditional promotion opportunities.

What is the application process?

​Constables will complete an online application form. This application will then be assessed by the candidates own force who will decide which applicants to support for National Assessment Centre.

What is the selection process?

​Forces will decide which candidates to put forward to the National Assessment Centre. Results will be communicated back to forces, which may (depending on workforce requirements and numbers of successful candidates) choose to run a further selection process. Forces will be responsible for deciding which of their candidates will be offered a place on the programme, as places are limited.

When will the National Assessment Centre take place?

​The assessment centre for serving constables will be between 7 April to 20 April 2016.

Is there anything that I can do to help prepare for the National Assessment Centre?

You should refer to the superintendent level of the competency framework and make an honest assessment of your strengths and areas for development. By focusing on developing these you will be able you to provide the best evidence of your suitability for the programme.

Can adjustments be made if I have a learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia)?

​All candidates attending the National Assessment Centre will be able to apply for reasonable adjustment if they have a recognised disability, in line with the Equality Act 2010. If you would like further information, please review the Reasonable Adjustment and Accommodation policy which will be made available through the National Assessment Centre website.

When will I know whether I have passed the National Assessment Centre?

​Forces will be informed in May 2016 they will make the final selection and inform applicants.

When will the development programme begin?

​Successful candidates will start the Fast Track programme on 26 September, 2016.

What will the Fast Track programme involve?

​The programme starts with officers taking the National Policing Performance Framework (NPPF) step 2 at Inspector level in October 2016. Officers will be expected to pass at 65% on the first attempt to remain on the programme. There are eight modules delivered by the College of Policing, plus a 20-day attachment to the Prince's Trust, work-based assessments, attachments to custody and other departments in force.

Will flexible working be allowed while I am on the programme?

​This will require the approval of your force and will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What happens if I am subsequently deemed unsuitable during the ongoing assessment part of the programme, or if I decide the programme is not suitable for me?

Officers who do not pass the step 2 NPPF examination or the step 4 NPPF Work Based Assessment part of the programme will revert back to a "standard track" career path, exiting the programme at the rank they have achieved at that point.

It is essential that Fast Track officers continually demonstrate appropriate levels of performance and behaviour throughout the programme and the ongoing potential to reach at least superintendent rank.

Will I be able to defer my participation in the programme or spend longer than two years at sergeant level?

​No, candidates cannot pause the programme unless there are exceptional circumstances such as illness or maternity leave.

Is this the same Fast Track programme that exists for graduates and police staff coming into the service?

​Yes. Candidates from outside policing start in September 2015 and will complete the first year before being joined at year two by serving constables in September 2016.

I am on the High Potential Development Scheme (HPDS), can I apply?

​Police officers who are member of the current HPDS are not eligible to apply for the Fast Track programme.

Will I be able to undertake a Detective pathway on the Fast Track programme?

The College of Policing recognises the need for senior officers in a Detective role. As part of the commitment to continually develop officers within a Detective pathway applications are encouraged from existing Detective Constables and those who aspire to a Detective career pathway. This will be dependent on the organisational needs of the force.