Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF)

New apprenticeships for Police Constable and Police Community Support Officer, see below for details....

The Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) introduces a national approach to recognising and raising educational standards in policing and supports the development of policing as a profession. What is it and what are we doing?

The College of Policing has a strategic aim to support the development of individual members of the profession. We set educational requirements to assure the public of the quality and consistency of policing skills and we facilitate academic accreditation and recognition of our members' expertise.

The PEQF offers a standardised national framework that sets minimum qualification levels by rank or level of practice. 

In 2016, we published a response to the public consultation on our initial proposals for our framework. These proposals were further refined and we are continuing to develop the framework which forms a complex programme of work being conducted over a number of years. Current activity includes:

Recognising prior learning (RPL)

Police officers and staff across England and Wales now have the opportunity to achieve recognition for their experience and prior learning (RPL) and secure academic credits towards education qualifications which acknowledge the skills and professionalism required to do their job.

Further information and guidance is available for individuals, forces and higher education institutions (HEIs) via the Professional Development Platform

The College is accepting applications from registered qualifications providers to have their courses listed in an RPL directory.  This provides potential students from the police service the opportunity to undertake higher education courses. Further information is available on the Professional Development Platform If you have any queries regarding the RPL Directory please email PolicingEQF@college.pnn.police.uk.

Police Constable entry routes

We have been working with forces and higher education partners to develop the new entry routes into policing and early adopters will be offering places from September 2018.  All applications to join the police service need to be made through a Police Force, the College of Policing are the professional body for the police service and do not deliver any of these programmes.

  • Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)
    This is a professional degree-level apprenticeship, enabling new recruits to join the police service as an apprentice police constable and earn while they learn. During the three-year programme the apprentice will complete a degree in professional policing practice  and will be assessed against national assessment criteria as an integral part of their degree apprenticeship
  • Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)
    Aimed at degree-holders whose degree is in any subject area. This will be a two-year (minimum) practice-based programme enabling candidates to perform the role of a police constable.  Successful completion, results in the achievement of a graduate diploma in professional policing practice
  • A Pre-join Degree in Policing
    This entry route involves completion of a three-year knowledge-based degree in professional policing prior to joining the police service. Becoming a special constable may be included as part of this programme. Candidates who are subsequently recruited will undertake practice-based training to develop specific skills and will be assessed against national assessment criteria in order to demonstrate operational competence.

The police recruitment and police officer pages provide further information for those wishing to apply to become a police constable with Local force webpages providing further information on their recruitment.

Police Community Support Officer Apprenticeship (PCSOA) 

A new level 4 PCSO apprenticeship programme has been developed and will be available in some early adopter forces from late spring/early summer 2018. 


An Equality Impact Analysis (EIA) has been carried out and currently focuses on the three new entry routes and the associated changes to Police Regulations. The EIA looks at the potential impacts on protected groups and includes a mitigation plan, outlining how the College of Policing will build on the opportunities presented by the PEQF, as well as recommended actions to mitigate against any negative impacts.  The EIA will continue to be a living document, regularly updated alongside PEQF deliverables 

PEQF supporting resources are now available, intended to ensure that forces and training providers collaborate in a standardised way.

We will continue to update this page with our progress. If you have any further questions not answered in the frequently asked questions (see links on the right of the page), please contact us by emailing PolicingEQF@college.pnn.police.uk.

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