If you enjoy facing challenges, solving problems and would like to contribute to keeping your community safe whilst developing a wider range of skills, then policing could be for you.There are many different ways you can contribute to the police. The sections below provide an overview of the different entry routes into policing. To take your next step you could:
As part of the recent announcement by the Prime Minister of 20,000 new recruits over the next three years, forces have updated their websites to make it easier for you to see how to apply or express an interest in a position. As referred to above, recruitment is carried out directly by local forces so if you are keen to apply now, visit their websites for more information. If, however, you would like to understand the different routes into the service before you apply, we have included an overview below. Any questions or queries will need to be sent directly to the force(s) to which you would like to apply.
There are currently four main routes into the service if you wish to join as a new PC (wider routes for other roles are also outlined in the table following this section). Forces will offer the different routes at different times so it is worth checking with your chosen force as to which entry route(s) they have available.
If you have an interest in contributing to the work of your local Force but aren't able to or interested in taking a full time or paid post.
There are a number of volunteer roles available for those intetested in working within the Police Service in thier spare time. Forces have different needs, or contact your local force for details of volunteering opportunities in your area or check the Citizens in Policing site.
Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC)
Police cadets is a volunteer programme for youngpeople (aged between 13-18) where they will be taught basic knowledge in a variety of policing activity. This might include insight into how to deal with a variety of situations and the procedures used by the police. Cadets may also learn about the history of the police and will develop knowledge of modern day policing.
There are lots of Police cadet schemes around the UK.
Further information can be found here.
Special constables are volunteer police officers. You will work alongside regular police officers and bring the skills and experiences from your day job to protect and support your local community
Information about becoming a special constable can be found here:Special
You can also look through volunteer
Police Officer Entry Level
If you're looking to become a Police Officer and work your way up the ranks or join a scheme to build specific skills.
Police Constable (PC)
PCs are front line officers who maintain law and order, protect members of the public and their property and prevent, detect and investigate crime.
Further information on becoming a police constable can be found here:
Police Now (and other graduate programmes)
Through a graduate programme you will learn key skills related to the police as well as wider leadership and life skills. The structure and focus of the programme will vary depending upon which you apply to.
Middle – Senior Level
If you've already gained a number of years of work experience outside of policing and believe your skills could be valuable within a policing context.
Direct Entry Inspector
A police inspector is at middle management level and responsible for supervising the ranks of constable and sergeant. Responsibilities of a police inspector include controlling, planning, organising and authorising the work of police officers and Police staff
Direct Entry Inspector programme opens up the Police Service to people who can bring new perspectives and diverse backgrounds to support the continuous development of policing.
See also the
Lead Beyond website
Direct Entry Superintendent
A police superintendent is at senior management level and responsible for the setting of strategy, standards and everyday operational policy across the Force. Key tasks might include managing and developing people, driving organisational performance and ensuring finance and other resources are used efficiently and effectively.
Direct Entry Superintendent programme is aimed at proven successful senior leaders from outside of policing.
See also the
Lead Beyond website
There are no end of opportunities for people to join policing in a host of roles at all levels that support policing
Opportunities will vary from force to force. Please visit your local force website for further detail and to see what is available.List of
Police Force websites in the UK
College of Policing and Skills for Justice websites provide a good overview of the roles on offer across policing:Additionally, you can visit individual force websites for information and for further details of roles available within your preferred area. List of
Police Force websites in the UK.
If your application to become a Police Constable is successful you will then be put forward to attend the
Police SEARCH Recruit Assessment Centre. If you are applying to one of the Direct Entry programmes, we recommend you take a good look through the
website. You can also attend an event or open day to find out more about how to prepare for application and assessment – details of which can be found on the
Take a look through our
professional development pages to find out more.