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Police constable (PC) entry routes

Published on 13 September 2023
As forces prepare for a new entry route, we’ve updated our guidance on the different ways of becoming a PC.

There are currently three main routes into policing:

  • the police constable degree apprenticeship (PCDA)
  • a degree in professional policing (PPD)
  • the degree-holder entry programme (DHEP)

From 1 April 2024 the police constable entry programme (PCEP) will be added, and forces will begin to offer this as one of their entry route options into the service.

The initial police learning and development (IPLDP) route will be closed from 1 April 2024, meaning there will be four different ways of becoming a police constable from that date.

We are continuing to work with the NPCC, forces across England and Wales and education providers to further improve and maximise the potential of all routes.

All of the police constable entry routes have been designed to maintain standards, ensure consistency and provide the best possible opportunity to prospective candidates, which will in turn help continue to attract a diverse workforce into policing.

The introduction of the police constable entry programme PCEP from April 2024 will complement the existing three routes and help ensure the police service is in the best position possible to represent and engage with the communities it serves. 

To coincide with this the initial police learning and development programme (IPLDP) will be decommissioned on 31 March 2024. 

The curriculum for all of the four entry routes going forward has been modernised to equip officers with the skills needed to meet the complex policing challenges we face today, whilst contributing to a positive policing culture.

There are now various ways to join the police depending on which best suit the background and experiences of those hoping to become officers, and this can only be a good thing for the future of the service.

Jo Noakes, Director of Leadership and Workforce Development

Find out more about police constable entry routes

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