Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship

What is it?

The introduction of the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) route into policing enables entrants to receive practical on-the-job learning alongside academic theory and knowledge while earning a wage. Entrants recruited onto the programme will be a police officer from their first day on the job.   

Successfully completing the apprenticeship will result in the award of a degree in professional policing practice.

What does the programme entail?

The PCDA will typically take three years to complete. Assessment of academic and operational competence will be ongoing throughout the programme and will be carried out through a collaborative partnership between a force and one or more learning providers such as a university.

We anticipate that the first entrants via this route will join early adopter forces from September 2018, although the recruitment process will start earlier than this.  

Entrants will be aged between 18 and 55.  

To apply to be on a PCDA, applicants are likely to have achieved a level 3 qualification (which is A-level or equivalent). Forces may accept training or work experience, whether undertaken in or outside England and Wales, which is considered to be equivalent to a level 3 qualification. Here is a guide to educational levels (this is an external site and the College is not responsible for the content).

What does the programme cover?

This programme covers a breadth, depth and range of professional education for the police constable not present in any previous constable training programme. This is a professional degree very much founded on effective professional performance with academic achievement. The police constable apprenticeship standard has been developed along with a police constable assessment plan, which sets out the occupational profile for the role of police constable and provides further details such as knowledge, skills and behaviours. 

The apprenticeship will cover areas that are critical to effective policing in the 21st century, such as evidence-based policing, supporting vulnerable people, dealing with cyber crime and crime prevention. An equivalent apprenticeship framework has been developed for Wales.

 The introduction of the PCDA is embedded as part of the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF). The College has developed PCDA supporting resources for forces and learning providers to assist with implementation.

If you have any further questions not answered in the frequently asked questions, please contact us by emailing PolicingEQF@college.pnn.police.uk.

How do I apply?

More information is available on the Police Officer page.

You may apply to more than one force at a time, however you can only sit the assessment centre once within a 6 month period, unless otherwise notified by the force you are continuing your application with. 

Don't forget to check the precise eligibility criteria with your chosen force before applying.

If you want to join the Police Service of England and Wales as a police constable, you must be successful in a number of recruitment stages. One of these is the Police SEARCH® Recruit Assessment Centre

Please check with your chosen force for more information regarding current and future recruitment campaigns.  List of Police Force websites in the UK


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