We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, cultures and experiences and you don’t need a degree to join. That’s why there are various ways to join the police.

What’s the best route for me?

Choose an option below for more detail on your entry route options:

Don't currently have a degree?

The three-year Apprenticeship lets you earn while you learn. Some forces are still offering ‘Traditional Entry’ too.

Apprenticeship and Traditional Entry programmes

Already have a degree?

The two-year work-based Degree Holder and Detective Degree Holder Entry programmes both see you end up with a graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice when you complete your probation. You could also apply to the Police Now graduate programme.

Degree Holder and Detective Degree Holder Entry programme

Studying for or completed the Professional Policing Degree?

Some forces offer a dedicated entry programme for graduates with the Degree in Professional Policing. 

Professional Policing Degree Holder

Are you a former officer?

You can rejoin at your existing rank or potentially at a higher rank based on experience you’ve gained outside policing.

More about rejoining

Are you a Special Constable/Volunteer?

Some forces have dedicated entry programmes for people who already volunteer. Even if your chosen force doesn’t, your commitment and experience will be valued.

More on joining as a paid officer

Want to volunteer as a Special Constable?

You don’t always need to join straight into paid roles. You can volunteer as a Special Constable, where you’ll undertake the same training as a regular paid Police Constable, while committing to a minimum of four hours a week. Find out more about what’s involved.

Find out more about volunteering

Positive Action

Many police forces also offer positive action initiatives (such as online engagement sessions or mentoring) to specifically support people from under-represented groups to apply. Check out your chosen force’s website to see what positive action initiatives they’re running.

Ready to apply?

Forces across England and Wales are recruiting right now.

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