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Police leadership programme – stage 5 (executive leaders)

Policing's most senior leadership development course. This replaces the strategic command course (SCC).

The police leadership programme – stage 5 (executive leaders) is a development course for senior leaders in law enforcement. It is designed to equip our future chief officers to lead policing operations and organisations locally, regionally and nationally. 

Application window

The application window for the next cohort (cohort two) opens on Wednesday 26 July 2023 and closes on Friday 25 August 2023. Candidates wishing to apply for cohort two must submit their portfolio of evidence by midday on Friday 25 August 2023.

Cohort two will begin the programme in November 2023.

Beyond cohort two, the next opportunity to apply for this programme will be between July and August 2024. This cohort will begin the programme in November 2024.

What to expect 

The course includes elements of personal, organisational and operational leadership at the executive level. It focuses on developing:

  • ethical and inclusive leadership
  • business skills
  • political acumen
  • leadership of major policing issues, such as counter terrorism, child protection and nationally significant events

The course is delivered in phases over 12 months. This includes a blended mix of face-to-face, online and experiential learning in role, and work with an executive coach. See our upcoming course dates.

The course enables individuals to identify, understand and improve their personal development areas to support their progression into a chief officer role.

    Key details


    This course is suitable for police officers and staff.


    You can apply if you are:


    • a substantive superintendent or chief superintendent who wishes to apply for roles at chief officer level within the next 24 months
    • a member of police staff at the equivalent substantive grade of superintendent or chief superintendent, leading large and complex areas of your organisation, who wishes to apply for roles at chief officer level within the next 24 months
    • a member of police staff currently working at executive or chief officer level, who holds a substantive post on your chief officer or executive team
    • a member of senior staff from a UK policing organisation who wishes to apply for roles at chief officer levels – for example, from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)
    • from an international police force aspiring to the most senior roles in your organisation
    • from a non-policing partner organisation working in an executive-level role

    12 months

    Course contact
    Additional documents
    Additional information

    Application process

    Entry onto the course is based on a portfolio of evidence. This should demonstrate your readiness for the next stage of your professional development towards executive leadership.

    The portfolio of evidence will form the first part of your continuing professional development (CPD) portfolio. Delegates will continue to develop these throughout the course. 

    To apply, submit your completed portfolio in one email to both:

    • your chief constable (you are responsible for identifying the correct email address for your chief constable)
    • the College of Policing at [email protected]

    You should then complete your biographical monitoring form.

    Leadership standards

    Course dates

    You must be available for all the dates in your cohort, apart from weekends, school holidays and key religious dates. 

    Cohort one

    Module 1 – Development centre

    • Monday 19 to Friday 30 June 2023

    Module 2 – Personal and inclusive leadership

    • Monday 11 September to Friday 6 October 2023

    Module 3 – Organisational leadership

    • Monday 6 November to Friday 1 December 2023

    Module 4 – Operational and partnership leadership

    • Monday 26 February to Friday 22 March 2024

    Cohort two

    Module 1 – Development centre

    • Monday 27 November to Friday 8 December 2023

    Module 2 – Personal and inclusive leadership

    • Monday 15 Jan to Friday 9 February 2024

    Module 3 – Organisational leadership

    • Monday 15 April to Friday 10 May 2024

    Module 4 – Operational and partnership leadership

    • Monday 30 September to Friday 25 October 2024

    Authorising officer course

    (Mandatory for UK police officers only)

    Choose one of the following.

    • Monday 18 to Thursday 21 March 2024
    • Monday 25 to Thursday 28 March 2024
    • Tuesday 28 to Friday 31 May 2024
    • Monday 1 to Thursday 4 July 2024
    • Monday 8 to Thursday 11 July 2024
    • Monday 19 to Thursday 22 August 2024
    • Tuesday 27 to Friday 30 August 2024
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