Return to investigative practice

Are you looking to return to policing?

The College of Policing is working with police forces across England and Wales, recruiting those who have left policing for care-giving reasons back into detective and investigator roles. 

The aim of the project is to reduce the obstacles associated with returning to policing, and best support re-joiners with a smooth transition back into the service. It also seeks to help address the national shortage of detectives and investigators.

The project is funded by the Government Equalities Office and will run between April 2019 and March 2020.

Which forces are involved?

The forces participating in the scheme are:

All of the participating forces have endorsed good practice principles associated with returner programmes. These emphasise the importance of forces providing a supportive environment for returners, including access to mentors and buddies and a positive attitude to flexible working arrangements.

Are you eligible?

The Return to Investigative Practice (RTIP) project is specifically aimed at police officers and police staff investigators who left policing for care-giving reasons. The vacancies advertised through the project will primarily be investigative roles (detective and police staff investigators). 

Been away from policing for a long time?

Recent changes to Police Regulations have removed the previous time limit on returning to policing. There is no longer an upper time limit, and we have produced guidance on the changes to regulations. Find out more and download the guidance.

The participating forces will assess your skills and knowledge, and work with you to develop a personalised learning and development plan. This will help you update your skills and understand changes that may have occurred since your last policing role.

What do you need to do next?

If you're interested in returning to policing, or would like to know more about the project, please fill out the expression of interest form.

The opening question asks for your contact details. Note, this is optional and enables us to link you to the participating force(s) that interests you. Your information will be managed under the terms of our privacy notice. You can withdraw your consent to be contacted in connection with the project at any time.

You can also find out more about the project on our 'meet the police' virtual jobs event. The return to investigative practice area includes force specific information and a chance to ask questions you may have to the project team directly or via the discussion wall.

First time visitors to the virtual event will need to complete an initial registration form. Once registered, you can then log in and visit our booth area directly.

If you have any questions, please email us:


The College of Policing uses cookies to collect and analyse information about the users of this website. We use this information to enhance the content and other services available on the site. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing for us to set a small number of cookies. You can manage your preferences for Cookies at any time, for more information please see our Cookies Policy.