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New routes into policing

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To ensure we prepare our new police officers for the demands and complex challenges of modern day policing we will be moving to a new educational route into this career path.

In 2021 new officers will follow the degree apprenticeship route. This route still involves on the job officer training but with the additional benefit of gaining a fully funded degree, in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University (ARU). It also gives candidates the unique opportunity to earn whilst working towards, and gaining, a degree.  

There will be three options available:

Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

This is a three-year professional degree apprenticeship where student officers will earn a full-time wage whilst studying with support from ARU. Upon completion, successful candidates will achieve a degree in Professional Policing Practice. The force will cover the full cost of the three-year degree.

This route is available for applicants that have two  A levels or qualifications that equate to 64 UCAS points. Find out more below.

On successful completion, students will be a fully ranked officer and can apply to work in different departments within the force.

Applications now open

Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)

The Degree Holder Entry Programme is for those who already hold a degree in any subject area.  This is a two-year academic and practice based programme with our education partner, ARU. This route will see you achieve a Diploma in Professional Policing Practice. 

On successful completion, students will be a fully ranked officer and can apply to work in different departments within the force.

Applications open in June 2021

Pre-join Degree

The Pre-join Degree in Professional Policing Practice is for those who choose to complete the degree at a Higher Education Institution of their choosing, at their own cost.

If you choose this route you will also undertake academic and practice based training to develop policing skills, assessed against national assessment criteria and operational competence.  To be successful you will need to meet our minimum entry requirements and demonstrate a passion and commitment to providing a first class policing service to our communities.

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PCDA Entry Requirements

To be successful you will need to meet our minimum entry requirements, and demonstrate a passion and commitment to providing a first-class policing service to our communities.

The entry requirements will be;

  • GCSE (Level 2) in English & Math’s (Grades A-C or 4-9)
  • Level 3 qualifications, or equivalent experience (see below). A Level 3 qualification typically equates to 2 A levels at Grade C/64 UCAS points or above.

For candidates that don't have A levels at the grades mentioned above, but have 2 years relevant experience in the following areas, we will ask you to complete an online assessment and have a further discussion with you.

  • Armed Forces (Four Years)
  • Nursing / Care Sector
  • Social Work
  • Youth Work
  • Charity Work
  • Teaching
  • Experience in the justice and law enforcement sectors
  • Police Staff - particularly Custody, public contact/demand hub/enquiry office      roles, investigative roles
  • PSCO or Special Constable
  • Criminal Justice sector/CPS/Courts
  • Border Force
  • Prison Service
  • Relevant local authority experience which has involved close and sustained working with police
  • Experience of emergency services - ambulance, fire
  • Experience of cyber/digital and financial fraud/crimes
  • Roles which have focused on promotion of equality of opportunity and inclusion

Qualification Support

If you do not hold the relevant qualifications or experience, please do not let this deter you in becoming a Police Officer.  Please find some guidance below to support you in obtaining the qualifications or support you need;

To be successful at academic shortlisting stage for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) and Degree Holder Education Programme, please find below guidance to support you should you not currently hold the academic criteria required.

Level 2 Qualifications

It is a requirement for all apprenticeship applicants to have ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) approved Level 2 maths and English qualifications before the start of the course.

Level 2 Functional Skills qualifications are recognised as a GCSE equivalent, and are accepted by the ESFA to meet degree apprenticeship requirements. Functional Skills in English and/or maths are available through some Further Education colleges or Adult Education providers and can be researched locally.

Alternatively, they can be taken with online providers, such as learndirect.

Depending on the Level 2 Provider, you may be required to undertake a diagnostic test to determine your current level and whether you need to follow a course of learning, or if you are already at the right level to take the exam.

Please note that there may be a cost involved for the course and/or the exam.

It is important that you ensure the qualification is Functional Skills Level 2.

Level 3 Qualifications

It is a requirement for apprenticeship applicants to have approved Level 3 qualifications which equate to 64 or more UCAS points.  You may find it useful to follow this link to the UCAS tariff point calculator, if your equivalency is a level 3 not listed within the calculator then Anglia Ruskin and the UCAS calculator will be able to determine your points.

Points can be accrued through various Level 3 qualification types which include; A Levels, NVQ Level 3 and BTEC’s.  If you are unsure on which qualifications equate to which level please consult the government website.

Should you wish to undertake Level 3 qualifications there are a number of providers including;

ICS Learn

UK Open College

Or you can research your further education local colleges who are likely to provide the courses you require.  All courses you embark on will be at your own expense.

If you do not wish to return to study to obtain Level 3 qualifications there is an option where two or more years’ experience (Armed Forces is four years) in the following roles would qualify you to progress to the next stage which is an online academic assessment and suitability discussion with Anglia Ruskin University.

The roles are; Armed Forces, Nursing/Care Sector, Social Work, Youth Work, Charity Work, Teaching, Experience in the justice and law enforcement sectors, Criminal Justice Sector, Border Force, Prison Service, Local Authority Experience in conjunction with the Police, Ambulance Service, Fire Service, Cyber/Digital & Financial/Fraud Crimes and roles focusing on promotion of equality of opportunity and inclusion. 

In addition, two years’ experience in police staff roles including Custody, Enquiry Office, Force Control Room, Police Community Support Officers or Investigation roles.  If you are not already a member of Police Staff in the aforementioned roles please view our latest vacancies.

Should you not have experience in the above roles, please consider joining us as a Special Constable (volunteer Police Officer) where you volunteer a minimum of 16 hours per month. 


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