Advanced Practitioner

We design and support opportunities for professional development to ensure expertise and leadership are rewarded and recognised. We set criteria for advanced practitioners within policing as a whole, not just in 'traditional' specialist roles. While the criteria will apply equally to officers and staff, initially it will be for the police constable rank only. The role of advanced practitioner provides career opportunities for individuals, recognising and rewarding advanced skills and knowledge, and for those who play a substantial role in developing the evidence base of policing and who help to develop others in their roles. 

Advanced Practitioner definition

For the role, the advanced practitioner is defined as; aiming to provide a lateral career opportunity for constables that recognises professional expertise, independent of seniority. An advanced practitioner will:

  • Undertake the role as an integral part of their job
  • Take a leading role within a practice area, providing a higher level of front line skill and expertise to meet local policing needs
  • Improve policing practice in the force and beyond through building on an evidence base, research, collaboration, coaching, team building, networking and support
  • Ensure that policing practices are kept up date and at the forefront of current thinking, professionalising practices, raising standards, promoting a culture of continuous improvement and supporting the development of others. Supporting policing locally and nationally.



Join POLKA and share your knowledge and ideas, helping others to make better decisions in your role as a practitioner. (please note: you will need to have a pnn or gsi address to be able to access POLKA)

National Police Library Membership

Join the National Police Library for 24/7 free access for a wide range of resources to support you in your advanced practitioner role.


Who is the pilot aimed at?

In the first instance the role will be piloted with Constables. This provides a nationally consistent group, enabling coherence between different forces.

How many adavanced practitioners will there be in each force?

​For the pilot the precise number will be decided by each force. The College has proposed that there should be a minimum of 5 advanced practitioners in each force, enabling an internal network to be established as well as a wider national network across different national areas of practice. The College will not impose specific numbers.

How will each advanced practitioner be selected?

​The College of Policing has defined the eligibility criteria and application process for advanced practitioners and forces will take ownership of their own selection process, with support from the College. There is a need to ensure high calibre people are appointed to the role in order to create a degree of national consistency and credibility. Diversity in the selection process will also be important, as will the Code of Ethics with its emphasis on values.

What are the eligibility criteria for advanced practitioners?

The evidence from other sectors shows that the following are important; an expert in the field of practice, a strong track record of CPD, strong communication skills, ability to influence policing practice, strong values and behaviours and the ability to lead and develop others. The pilot will need to consider the balance between pre-requisites and potential for development in these areas. The pilot must ensure that those selected are able to contribute to the development of the advanced practitioner model as well as have an ability to influence policing practice. 

What will the areas of practice be for the pilot?

The pilot will define broad areas of practice at a national level within which forces will have local flexibility to determine priority areas of practice. For the pilot the national areas are: emergency response, public protection, vulnerability, local community policing, investigation and technology in policing.

What are the benefits for an individual in being an advanced practitioner during the pilot?

  • recognition for expertise in area of policing practice
  • increasing their expertise and effectiveness within their role
  • undertaking research into areas of police practice that will benefit policing at a force and national level
  • engaging in CPD, using a 70:20:10 approach, with most (70%) of CPD undertaken 'on the job'
  • developing their leadership skills to support the advanced practitioner role
  • opportunities to work with staff across their force and with those in partner organisations
  • engaging in a local and national programme of activity
  • contributing to the knowledge and evidence to support decisions about the advanced practitioner role


How much time will advanced practitioners spend on their role?

In order to fulfil the requirements of the role advanced practitioners in the pilot will need to think differently about how they undertake their role, they will need to include elements of research, networking, coaching, team building development and dissemination of practice and CPD. The pilot will determine what works most effectively.

How much time will a force have to commit to the pilot?

Forces will undertake a range of activities, including leading and managing the advanced practitioner role within their own force, work with other forces and partners and work with the College of Policing through the pilot. It is anticipated that the time commitment will fluctuate through the pilot and recording and evaluating the time spent and associated benefit will form part of the pilot.

What additional CPD will forces be required to provide?

Evidence from other sectors shows that success in advanced practitioner practice is linked to more time for CPD beyond than what is normally undertaken. However, the nature of the CPD should reflect the College's approach described in the Professional Development Programme for all police officers and staff where 70% of learning and development is 'on the job', with 20% through peer support and coaching and 10% through attendance at courses, conferences etc.

What reward and recognition will advanced practitioners get for being involved in the pilot?

Advanced practitioners in the pilot will not receive additional financial reward or remuneration. The pilot will lead to recommendations for what reward and recognition could look like if the model was rolled out at 'full scale'.

Will there be a change in the rank/grade for the advanced practitioner?

No, although some of the advanced practitioner activity may span more than one rank. The role emphasises the importance of lateral development and development of expertise. There will be additional responsibilities involving leadership, working across and beyond the force, undertaking activity related to areas of practice that can influence front line service delivery. As the pilot progresses, these will be developed further and inform work that is being undertaken in considering matters of wider organisational design by Chief Constable Habgood for the National Police Chiefs Council.​

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