Understand the different routes into the service before you apply.
How the College can help
If you enjoy facing challenges, solving problems and would like to contribute to keeping your community safe while developing a wider range of skills, then policing could be for you. There are many different ways you can contribute to the police.
The College of Policing can help with information to make decisions about the best way you could get involved. We also provide information on the professional training, qualifications and standards you'll need to achieve to become a police officer.
The recruitment of officers and police staff is usually done directly by forces themselves.
Joining as a new PC
Joining routes for new police constables
The different routes to join as a new PC are:
- apprenticeship in professional policing practice earning while you learn – the police constable degree apprenticeship (PCDA)
- work based if you already have a degree in any subject – degree-holder entry programme (DHEP)
- a degree in professional policing before you join
- the 'traditional' initial police learning development programme (IPLDP)
Sift and online assessment process
After you've applied to join as a police constable, you need to complete a sift and the online assessment process. The sift you complete depends on the force you apply to.
The exercises in the online assessment process are:
- a competency-based interview (CBI)
- a written exercise
- a briefing exercise
Becoming a volunteer
Offer your time, skills or expertise to help officers on the frontline or the police staff that support them. See information about:
- joining as a special constable
- working as a police support volunteer
- joining the volunteer police cadets if you're between 13 and 18 (opens the police cadets website)