Frequently Asked Questions


We have collated some of the most frequently asked questions below to help you with your application. If you have any further queries you can contact the recruitment team at

Are you currently accepting new applications for the Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme?

Shortly! Applications will be opening from mid-August 2018 until February 2019; however each force will fill on a first-come-first-serve basis and therefore we advise to submit your application as soon as possible  here.

What are your minimum academic requirements?

You must have, or be predicted, a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate degree from a university in the UK or an equivalent from a non-UK university. You also need to hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C or above, or equivalent qualification including Key Skills Level 2.

I took different qualifications rather than A Levels. Can I still apply?

We do not screen applications on A Level grades or UCAS points, however we do take any grades attained for our information.

Can I apply if I have not yet graduated?

Of course, as long as you are predicted to receive a 2:2 or above from a UK university or equivalent from a non-UK university.

I didn’t get a 2.2 in my undergraduate degree but I have a Masters. Can I still apply?

Unfortunately, our eligibility criteria requires a 2.2 or above at undergraduate degree. If you do not meet these requirements you can still apply to the police through standard entry with your chosen force.

I didn’t get a 2.2 in my undergraduate degree but I have considerable work experience since graduating. Can I still apply?

Unfortunately, our eligibility criteria requires a 2.2 or above at undergraduate degree. If you do not meet these requirements you can still apply to the police through standard entry with your chosen force.

I do not have a GCSE in English but have since taken Key Skills. Can I still apply?

Yes, we recognise Key Skills Level 2 as equivalent to a GCSE Grade C in English Language.

I have an international degree. Am I still eligible?

As long as your degree is equivalent to a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate degree from a UK university, you are still eligible. Please note that all educational certificates will be checked and for those that are not in English, a full certified translation must be provided.

Do I have to complete the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing?

There is no requirement to complete the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP). You will have to complete some study before joining the programme in July, but this is a bespoke pre-learn for Police Now which will come at no financial cost to you.

Are there any age parameters for the role of police constable?

We will consider your application if you are aged between 18 and 57 years at the time of applying.

What is the nationality criteria?

You can be of any nationality to apply, provided you have the status of indefinite leave to remain and you work in the UK. If you are a UK citizen or citizen of a member state of the EEA, you will have this status. If you are a citizen of a non-EEA state, you must be able to provide evidence of your passport and residency documentation.

What is the residency criteria?

You will need to have lived in the UK continuously for the past three years in order to apply. If you’ve been abroad during the last three years while serving in the UK Armed Forces, working for the UK government or if you studied abroad as part of your university degree, your application will still be considered.

How do I find out about force specific requirements?

Please review the following document to see if the force you wish to apply to has any force specific requirements.

I have a tattoo; can I still apply?

Tattoos are not a total bar to appointment. However, some tattoos could potentially offend members of the public or colleagues, or could be considered lewd, garish or provocative depending on their size, nature and location and therefore will not be accepted. Due to this, as part of the application process, you must declare and document any tattoos you have.

Can I apply if I have a criminal conviction/caution?

You must declare any convictions, cautions, charges, summonses, pending prosecutions or investigations. Ideally, you should not have a record containing any of the above. We need to be careful when recruiting, as a police officer with criminal associations or convictions may be vulnerable to disclose information, and certain offences can also undermine an officer’s position as a witness in court. Further details can be found here.

I already work for the police. Can I still apply?

You are unable to apply to Police Now if you are currently or have previously been a serving police officer or have been attested and started training. Police Now is not a way for officers to transfer between police services or return to the police service.

You are still eligible to apply if you are currently or have previously been a police cadet, special constable, PCSO or member of police staff for any force.

I applied to Police Now last year, can I apply again?

Of course. We would only advise to listen to any feedback given during the last recruitment process.

I am still at school and really interested in the Police. How can I sign up?

Police Now is a graduate programme and therefore we only take applications from those currently at or graduated from university. If your interest in the Police continues, we would recommend looking towards an individual police force to join the Special Constabulary or apply for standard entry as a Police Constable.

I am currently applying for another police service; will my application be discounted?

As Police Now is an independent charity it does not matter if you are applying to another police service at the same time or have recently applied and been unsuccessful.

I graduated from university a few years ago. Can I still apply?

Yes, we welcome applications from career changers and believe existing life and work experiences can be a real benefit when it comes to being a great police officer. In fact, 67% of this year’s National Leadership Development Programme cohort are career changers. You can find out more about career changers on our programme here.

How long, on average, can I expect from application to offer?

Applications open in Mid-August and assessment centres will run from October to March. We aim to give feedback after assessment centres very quickly and at this point, conditional offers are made.

Does having a disability affect my application?

The Equality Act 2010 applies to all appointments in the Police Service and we welcome applications from individuals with disabilities. Adjustments will be made to selection processes and/or the working environment, provided it is reasonable in all circumstances to do so.

Can any adjustments be made if I have a specific learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia?

Candidates with a specific learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia, can request reasonable adjustments during the assessment process upon submission of documentary evidence compiled by a qualified professional e.g. a chartered psychologist. The report or assessment should have been written since your 16th birthday. Information on how to get an assessment for dyslexia or a report evidencing that you have a specific learning difficulty is on the British Dyslexia Association website.

What do you look for other than good grades in a potential candidate?

It takes a particular combination of skills and abilities to become a Police Now participant. We are looking for ambition, focus, drive and resilience, and a passion and commitment for public service, Leadership skills will ensure you succeed within the programme, In addition to this, we are specifically looking for the following competencies and values.

Do I need to pass a fitness test?

Yes – all new recruits need to be fit and healthy. The fitness test will be undertaken by your force and consists of a shuttle run. Further information can be found  here.

What is the medical criteria for the role?

The role of a Police Officer is physical and mentally demanding and we must test your physical ability. Please have a look at this document for more details regarding the medical assessment and this document which should provide clearer insight into any medical considerations which would not be suitable for the role.

Do I have to register with a General Practitioner (GP)?

The Police Force’s Medical Practitioner will need to liaise with your own GP in regards to your medical history. The Home Office requires our medical team to review a form that has been signed off by a General Practitioner who holds your medical notes. You cannot enter the Police Service unless this is done, so please make sure you are registered with an NHS GP, and do not move to another GP during the recruitment process.

Will I be tested for substance misuse?

Yes, all applicants will be subjected to a substance misuse test during the course of the selection process. Your consent will be sought to take either a hair, urine or saliva sample prior to the test. Failure to provide a sample will result in your application being terminated. Please note, any instances of substance misuse in the prior 12 months to applying may negatively impact upon your application.

How will I be contacted throughout the process?

We will primarily contact you by email but sometimes also by telephone. Please make sure these details are always current and up to date once you have applied.

What references will I need to provide?

All successful candidates will need to provide a reference from their undergraduate university, any current employment, or previous employment if this is not applicable, and a personal reference. Anyone who has been employed by a Police Service or the Armed Forces, no matter for what duration or how long ago, will require a reference from this employment as well.

When will you be contacting my employer for a reference? I don't want to give my notice in yet.

References will be sought three months before your start date, between receiving a conditional and final offer.

If I am successful, when am I likely to start?

You will need to available for a one-day Spring Induction in April and to begin the Summer Academy in July. The Summer Academy runs for six weeks and you will be unable to take annual leave for this period – this is when you’ll start your employment as a Police Officer.

How do you choose which force and station I will be deployed to? Do I have a say in where I go?

You will apply for the force you would like to be allocated to. The decision regarding where you are posted will be made in accordance with the operational requirements of the forces we are partnered with.

I’m experiencing an issue with the recruitment process. Who can I contact?

Please contact to speak to the Graduate Recruitment Team who will be able to advise on any problems you may be having.

Which forces are you partnered with?

Please review this page for a list of the forces working with Police Now for entry in 2019.

Can I complete the recruitment process while abroad?

Mostly. You submit an online application, and then complete some online tests and a video & job insight exercise online. You can sit all of these elements at a time and place that suits you – whether that’s early in the morning or late into the night. We recommend you pick somewhere quiet and try and complete each exercise in one sitting. Please note you will have to attend an assessment centre in London.

My recruitment question is not answered in these FAQ’s. How do I get in touch?

Please email our graduate recruitment team at

What is the difference between Police Now and Standard Entry?

Police Now is a two-year Leadership Programme placing trained and attested officers into some of the most deprived communities in the UK. Our mission is to transform those communities by reducing crime and increasing the public’s confidence in policing. To do this we recruit and develop an outstanding and diverse group of individuals to be leaders in society and on the policing frontline.

When will I start my training and how long does it last?

You will need to available for a one-day Spring Induction in April and to begin the Summer Academy in July. The Summer Academy runs for six weeks and you will be unable to take annual leave for this period – this is when you’ll start your employment as a Police Officer.

Do I have to do any pre-learning?

You will need to complete some study before joining the programme in July but this will be fully outlined at the Spring Induction held in April. The pre-learning comes at no financial cost to you and is designed by frontline officers for frontline officers.

How will the training be assessed and is it pass/fail?

Your performance is subject to continual assessments during training. These take the form of written tests and practical assessments, as well as ongoing assessment of the standard and application of your knowledge and understanding, when completing written work and dealing with scenarios. If you do not meet the standards required, then you will be supported to help you achieve the required level with extra coaching. However, if you are unable to do so then you may fail the course and be unable to commence duty as a Police Officer.

Are there more assessments during the two years?

Yes – you will have to complete assignments for five 100 Day Impact Events as well as ongoing assessment by mentor review.

Do I have to attend a set amount of leadership and development sessions?

You need to attend a minimum of one leadership and development session a month and this is supported by one-to-one meetings with your Leadership Development Officer on a regular basis.

When can I apply for a Secondment?

There will be the opportunity to start applying for or organising a Secondment at the end of your first year on the programme.

How many Secondments can I apply for? How long can a Secondment be for?

You can apply for any Secondments that interest you. However in total, you can only spend up to four weeks on Secondment. This can be with one provider for the whole period or split between two for two weeks each, etc.

Can I organise my own Secondment?

You can research and organise your own Secondment, provided Police Now approve the final details to make sure there is no conflict of interest with the Police Service.

What happens after the two years are finished?

After your two years with Police Now, you can continue your role as a Neighbourhood Officer, move to one of the other vast array of roles within the Police, apply to join the National Policing Fast Track Programme run by the College of Policing, or leave Policing altogether and become an Ambassador for Police Now in another profession.

What is the starting salary?

Your starting salary will depend on the force that you join. The basic starting salary for police officers joining all participating forces is typically £23,586 per annum. Some forces have additional location allowances or weighting up to £6,735 bringing the total starting salary to £30,321.

When do I start being paid on the programme?

Your starting salary will commence on day one of the Summer Academy. Your first and subsequent pay dates will depend on the force that you join.

Are there any other financial benefits to being a police officer?

All forces also offer a range of hugely competitive benefits which are described on their websites. When you start as a new police constable you’ll automatically be enrolled as a member of the Police Pension Scheme 2015. This isn’t compulsory, and you can opt out if you wish. There are various partner organisations who work alongside the Police to offer a variety of financial services, including saving, investment and protection products as well as discounts and subsidies. Similarly, many major High Street stores, retail outlets and other national organisations offer discounts and special deals to police officers.

How many days leave will I have?

You’ll start with 22 days paid annual holiday, rising to 30 days a year depending on your length of service. This is on top of public holidays and an average of at least two rest days each working week.

Will I have the same powers as a regular officer?

As a Police Officer, you will operate on the front line, supporting victims and witnesses, providing reassurance and instilling confidence. You will have full powers of arrest when responding to 999 calls, to be able to detain and deal with suspects – just the same as a regular police officer.

Will I have to work shifts? What shifts am I likely to have to work?

First and foremost, the 24-hour nature of policing means that there’s no such thing as 9-5 for a police officer. You will normally be expected to work five or six shifts a week, often at night or over the weekend, although working patterns can vary according to the needs of the Service.

How many hours will I have to work?

You will be required to work approximately 40 hours a week, although this is dependent on the needs of the public.

What happens after the two years are finished?

After your two years with Police Now, you can continue your role as a Neighbourhood Officer, move to one of the other vast arrays of roles within the Police, apply to join the National Policing Fast Track Programme run by the College of Policing, or leave Policing altogether and become an Ambassador for Police Now in another profession.

Will Police Now keep in touch after the programme?

Of course! Police Now is an ever-growing family for which you will always be an Ambassador and alumni member of our network for life.


If you have any further queries you can contact the programme team at

What is Police Now?

Police Now exists to transform communities, reduce crime and increase public confidence in policing by recruiting and developing an outstanding and diverse group of individuals to be leaders on the policing frontline.

Our Case for Change report sets out in detail why there is a need for Police Now and what we hope to achieve.

What role do Police Now participants carry out?

Each Police Now neighbourhood police officer is posted to a uniformed front-line neighbourhood role where they take responsibility for a specific geographic area.

During the two-year programme, officers will have the opportunity to showcase their problem solving skills and leadership potential, but fundamentally this is about making a tangible difference in the most challenged communities across the country.

Are these officers on the same salary as other police constables?

Police Now participants are employed directly by the force where they work, and as such are paid the standard salary for a new police constable in that force area.

Is this a fast track scheme?

Police Now is not a fast-track or promotion-based scheme. All officers remain as police constables for the duration of the scheme.

Are Police Now Participants guaranteed promotion at the end of the programme?

Police Now participants are not guaranteed promotion at the end of their two years. There is no promotion mechanism built into the scheme. It is about harnessing the talents of some of the country’s brightest and most innovative graduates to make a positive difference to the communities that need us most. Of course, having been exposed to a variety of policing challenges, our officers will be in a strong position to apply for promotion or lateral development if they choose to do so – but in just the same way as any other officer.

Are you saying that all police officers should be graduates?

We do not believe that a university education necessarily makes a police officer excellent. This is why our assessment centre is specifically designed to place candidates in real life policing scenarios, and tests their commitment to public service throughout. Our recruitment process is extremely challenging to ensure we only recruit the very best graduates into the police.

What happens at the end of two years?

We anticipate that many of our officers will remain in the police and go on to have long successful careers. However, the national workforce is changing and many individuals – graduates and non-graduates alike – seek variety in their career profiles. Some may go on to work elsewhere in the public sector, or in private or voluntary organisations.

By having Police Now ambassadors in other sectors we can spread our social movement beyond policing. These officers may become journalists, MPs or work in business – but they will have had first-hand experience in a policing role. These ambassadors will be in a better position to make informed decisions around public or social change based on their knowledge of front-line work.

What leadership and development training do you offer to officers?

Personal and professional development of these officers is vitally important in ensuring that they thrive and succeed in their roles. Police Now officers are supported by a mentor and Police Now leadership development officer, as well as being offered a wide variety of training and development opportunities ranging from public speaking to project management.

Neighbourhood officers may be expected to chair community meetings, speak at local events, advocate on behalf of the police at local authority or other meetings and plan policing operations. All these activities benefit from the training and support offered by Police Now. These are also transferable skills that will be invaluable should they wish to continue their careers outside of policing.

What is the Police Now Summer Academy?

The Police Now Summer Academy is an intensive six-week training programme designed and delivered by outstanding, high performing front-line police officers, many of whom are or have been neighbourhood constables and sergeants themselves. Drawing on the best parts of competitive graduate scheme programmes and police training, the Summer Academy is innovative, dynamic, inspiring and challenging. We deliver training through a mixture of classroom-based and practical activities, and encourage participant involvement at every stage.

The training meets and exceeds the College of Policing foundation police training requirements and includes all mandatory training (e.g. Officer Safety Training (OST) and Emergency Life Support (ELS)).

Is six weeks training really enough?

All officers arrive at the Summer Academy having completed a bespoke e-learning package designed by Police Now. This covers key legislation and fundamental knowledge that Police officers must have. This means that more lesson time can be spent applying the legislation to real life scenarios instead of learning it from scratch.

The Academy itself is very intense, with Police Now participants working long days – just as they might have to on the job. They are given front-line policing experience through field training when, paired with an experienced and enthusiastic constable, each officer is deployed to the streets of London as part of a response team. Throughout these shifts officers are assessed on their performance in real-life policing scenarios to ensure they are demonstrating the required competencies.

After the Summer Academy, Police Now participants spend a further week familiarising themselves with local policies, procedures and systems in their force.  The in-force week is immediately followed and reinforced by a 28-day immersion period, which takes place in the officer’s neighbourhood.

What is the 28-Day Immersion?

Each Police Now participant receives a one-to-one mentor during their first 28 days in force. This mentor is a substantive constable, preferably with neighbourhood experience. The 28-day period is not a coached patrol phase, but offers the officer an opportunity to put the skills learned at the Summer Academy into practice whilst being able to draw on the support and experience of their mentor.

What are the 100 Day Impact Events?

Over the course of the two-year programme, Police Now runs five 100 Day Impact Events.

These events are an opportunity for officers to demonstrate the impact they have had for their community during the last 100 days by delivering a short presentation to their assembled colleagues and visitors. It holds them to account for the work they have been doing and allows them to share best practice and new ideas with each other. It is about demonstrating a measurable impact through the reduction of crime and/or increase in public confidence in the police.

The presentations take place in front of an audience of colleagues, line managers and external visitors. This includes senior leaders in policing, members of the community, visitors from the Home Office and other partner agencies.


If you have any further queries you can contact the development team at

Why is Police Now an independent social enterprise?

Since April 2016, Police Now has been an independent registered social enterprise. Being independent enables us to build partnerships and operate more effectively that might otherwise be possible. Police Now is able to build trust with people who have historically been doubtful of the policing establishment and/or government, and at the same time can provide support and honest critique to these institutions. By existing outside of the policing establishment, Police Now is exceedingly nimble and able to respond to the demands of both policing and the market.

How is Police Now funded?

Police Now is funded by a combination of fees paid by forces and grants from government. We are also developing a range of other funding streams, including from corporate partners. As a charitably registered social enterprise all funding that Police Now receives is invested directly in enabling us to achieve our mission of community transformation, reducing crime and increasing the public’s confidence in policing.

Are there any other non-financial ways for me or my organisation to get involved?

Yes – we occasionally seek value in kind donations to add value to our Police Now head office operations. If you would be interested in exploring such means of non-financial support, please email

Does Police Now take resources away from the regular police force?

No. Since all of Police Now’s efforts go into recruiting and training excellent officers who then join the various forces that partner with us, any public money that is allocated to the programme ends up benefiting the police forces themselves. In addition, Police Now works to secure alternative streams of funding from corporate donations, trusts and foundations in order to reduce the ask for public money.