Being a police officer is both rewarding and challenging - you’ll sometimes need to operate outside of your comfort zone and handle difficult or complex situations. This means you’ll need to be able to think on your feet and work well with colleagues as part of an effective team. You’ll also need great people skills, remaining calm and patient with members of the public, particularly in stressful or volatile situations. 

The training you'll receive

To enable you to do your job safely and effectively, you’ll receive world-class training (both classroom-based and on the job) and mentoring, which will see you develop the skills and knowledge you need to be able to:

  • Apply investigative skills and intelligence to solving crimes
  • Deal with safety issues within the community
  • Ensure public order and safety while supporting major police operations
  • Develop an understanding of new technologies
  • Deliver national policing objectives at a community level

While each force manages its own training programme, you’ll typically have a mix of: 

  • Around 18 – 22 weeks classroom-based training – you’ll learn a lot about various aspects of policing, the law and procedures but don’t worry, it’s definitely not boring! It’s normally broken up by role plays and practical sessions. 
  • You’ll receive first aid and personal safety training.
  • You’ll also undertake a driving course to give you the on-the-road skills you need to do your job. 
  • You’ll then typically be assigned to a tutor and spend around three months as part of a response rota, developing your on-the-job skills and experience, from taking statements to diffusing tense situations and making your first arrest. 

And at every step, you’ll get lots of support from your tutors and the experienced colleagues you’ll be assigned to work with. Discover how Tanya has progressed in her career with the support of her colleagues and mentors - watch the film.

View the full video transcript

Female detective in uniform working on a computer sat at a desk

Female detective talks directly to camera

As a detective you deal with more serious offences, so things like rape, murder, serious violence. Whereas on response you probably deal with lower level crimes.

So I’ve got a mentor that kind of assists through my career. I’ve got a coach that works me, so if there’s anything that I want to work on in my career, you know, anything around my personality style or my leadership style, I’ve got a coach that can help me with that to develop me into a better leader.

So I think as an organisation it’s really good that I’ve got people around me, peers that want everyone to do well and motivate you, it’s a great environment to work in. It’s definitely a supportive environment.

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Who can join?

There are various ways to join the police, depending on your work, life and educational experience. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, cultures and experiences and you don’t  need a degree to apply.

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