The full Initial Curriculum is made up of four programmes comprising the initial learning for police constables, police community support officers, special constables and those undertaking a College of Policing approved Pre-Join programme of learning.
The National Curriculum for each programme is presented through learning outcomes contained in module specifications/descriptors. Wherever appropriate the same outcomes and modules are used across each programme.
All Initial Learning materials are available free of charge (under licence) to Home Office forces online via the College of Policing's Managed Learning Environment (MLE). Forces may choose to develop additional local material to support/compliment the national learning programme.
The Initial Learning curriculum introduces many aspects of other College of Policing learning programmes at initial/first responder level - these include the Code of Ethics, Evidence-Based Policing, Professionalising the Investigation Process (PIP) Forensics 21, Protecting Vulnerable People including Child Sexual Exploitation and Modern Slavery, Mental Ill Health, Equality and Human Rights, Search and many more. By embedding jointly developed materials from other programmes, we ensure that the Initial Learning suite of programmes remains current, contemporary and congruous with advancements across the service.
All Initial Learning materials are maintained and updated in response to feedback from forces, legislative changes, doctrine development, best practice, strategic directives and other environmental scanning.
Student officers will experience learning in the classroom and the workplace, as well as involving the people and communities they will be serving, through local community placement and engagement.
The learning experience is supported by a variety of learning interventions supported by both centrally and locally developed resources. Typically these might include:
To ensure that student officers are fully equipped to deal with the challenges of modern-day policing, support, advice and guidance through the initial programmes is provided locally through force trainers, operational tutors, operational line managers and supervisors.
From April 2016 the Diploma in Policing (PC) for IPLDP was introduced as the minimum national qualification. This 10-unit qualification is available under Ofqual's Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF) and is administered through the main national awarding organisations.
In addition to the Diploma in Policing qualification, forces must ensure that the mandatory outcomes detailed in the national IPLDP curriculum are fully achieved.
From April 2016 the non-mandatory Diploma in Policing (PCSO) qualification was introduced to accredit the national PCSO programme. This is a six-unit qualification, available under Ofqual's Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF), and is administered through the main national awarding bodies. The PCSO qualification has four QCF units which are common with the IPLDP qualification. This provides opportunities for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for those PCSOs wishing to become police constables.
Because special constables (SCs) are bestowed with the same powers as those of a regular police constable (PC), as may be expected, the national initial learning programme for special constables (IL4SC), in total is the same as that for PCs (IPLDP). Owing to the limited time SCs have for learning, assessment and operational deployment (on average working 2 days per week) the IL4SC has been broken down into 3 distinct phases:
Phase 1 - Learning and assessment which culminates in the SC being 'fit for accompanied patrol', in the company of a qualified SC or PC.
Phase 2 - Learning and assessment which culminates in the SC being 'fit for independent patrol'. This is assessed through the Police Action Checklist (PAC) during a period of 'coached' or 'tutored' patrol with a Tutor Constable.
Phase 3 - The remainder of the IPLDP (PC) learning and completion of the Diploma in Policing (PC).
The new Policing Education Qualification Framework (PEQF) entry requirements from 01st January 2020 for Police Constable Recruits will be one of the following:-
More information in relation to these entry routes can be found on our
Policing Education Qualification Framework page.
The pre-join to policing national curriculum is developed and managed by the College of Policing and delivered through a range of Pre-Join Approved Providers from across the educational and learning sector.
As such, approved programmes are delivered in a variety of ways, i.e. through evening, weekend classes or full-time study in Further Educational establishments, through wider degree level programmes in Higher Education and through bespoke courses provided by private sector training organisations.
All of these programmes either offer accreditation through achievement of the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing or a College approved Higher Educational equivalent.
Additional information is available on the
Police Recruitment pages, if you need further information about any of the above, contact