Police Recruitment FAQ

​For further information not covered by the FAQ below please refer to the Police force you are looking to join.

How can I join the College and become a police officer?

​The College of Policing is not a college in the traditional sense; we do not run courses for the general public to enable them to become a police officer. We run courses for police forces, at their request, for the recruitment of new officers and for the promotion and training of existing officers.

What does the College do in relation to recruiting police officers?

​The College of Policing designs and maintains the curriculum for both the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) and the Initial Police Learning Development Programme (IPLDP). We are not directly involved in force recruitment or training decisions.

Please see further details about what the College offers to different groups including the general public.

Read more Information about the IPLDP.

The College of Policing also works with police forces and police and crime commissioners to provide details of vacancies across all policing roles, ranks and grades and those for police transferees. 

See our links to force recruitment pages and details of any current vacancies.

How do I become a UK police officer?

As each police force has their own recruitment criteria, processes and policies, you are advised to contact the force(s) that you are interested in applying to. Each force can advise you about their available roles and any specific recruitment criteria (such as the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing – CKP) which they may require.

list of UK police forces.

You may also wish to have a look at the following websites which may provide you with further information:

  • Routes into policing
  • Recruitment information
  • Pre-application questionnaire – Please note that this is a self-assessment tool to help you to explore your suitability for the role of police constable. It will assist you to make a reasonably informed decision about whether or not to undertake the CKP or submit an application for the role of a police constable. The results are not recorded by us and this is not an application to become an officer. Visit the NCALT page to complete the questionnaire.

Also see the overview of the roles available in the police service and further information.

What is the Certificate of Knowledge in Policing (CKP) and do I have to do it?

Some UK forces require new officers to complete this course prior to joining. Further information is available on the College of Policing website.

The College of Policing only design and license the learning material for the CKP; we do not deliver the course nor are we involved in student administration or enrolment.

Details of the course, such as the schedule, costs and funding, vary between each provider and some providers offer distance learning. You need to research each provider and make the necessary enquiries with them to identify which of them best suits your requirements and budget.

Recommended training providers:

The College of Policing is unable to recommend individual courses or providers. We do, however, strongly advise that you only choose a provider from our list of approved providers.

I have lots of relevant experience, do I have to start as a constable?

Leadership Programmes are available and offers direct entry and fast track opportunities. Details of each can be found on the Recruitment website.

I have a degree, will this make a difference?

​There is currently no requirement to have a degree to become a police officer. The College has, however, recently commenced a programme of work to design a Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF). PEQF is intended to support the development of policing as a profession through the provision of a coherent national approach to recognising and raising educational standards in policing.

What about the Policing Education Qualifications Framework?

The Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) programme is entering its initial design and consultation phase and the College expects discussion and debate throughout the development of the proposals.

Please see the following links for further information about the PEQF.

  • Answers to frequently asked questions, the PEQF consultation document and a link to the feedback survey are now available. These documents offer more detail around the context and drivers for the initial proposals and readers will be offered the opportunity to contribute views for consideration. You may wish to contribute and we would encourage you to respond to the survey (if you haven't already done so).

If you have further questions, or if you would like to be involved in the development of the PEQF, please email PolicingEQF@college.pnn.police.uk.

Is there any other way I can become a police officer without doing the CKP?

Details of recognised routes to becoming a regular police constable in the police service of England and Wales are now available.

Can I work for the College of Policing?

See links to the College's current vacancies along with information about how to apply, staff benefits, etc.

I wish to make a complaint. How do I do so?

Contact details and who to contact for complaints about a College of Policing recruitment process or examination are available from the College's complaints procedure page.

I want to join the Police in a specialist role such as Firearms, Animal Control, Police Driving etc

​All specialists are required to complete their initial 2 years' Probation period before specializing.

I don’t currently live in the UK, can I join a UK Police Force?

​You can use the pre-Application questionnaire to help you decide whether you're eligible to join the UK Police. Part 2 covers the eligibility criteria for becoming a Police Constable.

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