National Graduate Leadership Programme FAQs

Choose a category below to view the FAQs.

Application, recruitment & selection process

This can vary depending on the programme you applied for and the volume of applications that we are processing.

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.

If you have questions about your specific application or adjustments, please email us at [email protected].

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

When applying to the programme, you will know the start date for the cohort you will be joining. If you are yet to apply, you can see our current cohort intakes on the programme page. If you have already applied, you can check this by logging in to your application profile.

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.

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

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

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. However, please note you will have to attend an assessment centre in person, in addition if you receive a conditional offer some of the medical checks and the fitness tests will take place in person.

Please email our Graduate Recruitment Team at [email protected]

Yes, candidates can choose which force they would like to apply to upon completing their initial application form.

For further details on each force we have partnered with historically, please visit the Forces page.

Becoming a neighbourhood police officer

You will need to complete some study before joining the programme but this will be fully outlined at your Police Now induction. The pre-learning comes at no financial cost to you and is designed by front line officers for front line officers. There will be support in place in the form of webinar revision sessions to assist you with this learning.

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

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.

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

As a neighbourhood 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, detain and deal with suspects in the same way as other colleagues at your force.

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.

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.

Your starting salary will depend on the force that you join. To find out more about the salary and benefits of a police constable role, please click here.

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.

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.

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

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.

Yes you will have to complete assignments for five Impact Events as well as ongoing assessments by mentor review.

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 neighbourhood police officer.

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.

The dates and locations for each academy cohort will be released on the programme page.

Police Now places trained and attested officers into some of the most deprived communities in the UK through the National Graduate Leadership Programme. Our mission is to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring leaders in policing. We strive to recruit an outstanding and diverse group of individuals to be leaders in society and on the policing front line.

Beyond the programme - National Graduate Leadership Programme

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

After your two years with Police Now, you can continue your role as a neighbourhood police officer, move to one of the other vast arrays of roles within policing, 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.

Eligibility - National Graduate Leadership Programme

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

It is Home Office eligibility criteria for all police recruitment in England and Wales not to have spent longer than nine months in the three years prior to applying outside of the UK. Unfortunately, as this criteria is not set by Police Now it’s not something we can supersede. If you have been abroad during the last three years while serving in the UK Armed Forces, working for the UK government or as part of their UK university degree (i.e. University study abroad year), your application will still be considered.

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.

Applications can be accepted from the age of 18. There is no upper age limit for applying to the police service, but bear in mind that the normal retirement age is 60 years and that new constable recruits are required to undertake a two year probationary period.

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.

To be eligible, you need to hold a UK Level 3 Qualification in any subject and of any grade (e.g. an A Level or BTEC National Diploma), or if not, an English Language overseas equivalent

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.

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.

Of course, as long as you have completed your studies and predicted to receive a 2:2 or above from a UK university or equivalent from a non-UK university by the time the academy is due to begin.

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

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 UK Level 3 Qualification in any subject and of any grade (e.g. an A Level or BTEC National Diploma), or if not, an English Language overseas equivalent.

To see the programmes that are currently open for applications, please click here.

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.

National Graduate Leadership Programme & Secondments

You will need to complete some study before joining the programme but this will be fully outlined at your Police Now induction. The pre-learning comes at no financial cost to you and is designed by front line officers for front line officers. There will be support in place in the form of webinar revision sessions to assist you with this learning.

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.

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.

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

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.

Yes you will have to complete assignments for five Impact Events as well as ongoing assessments by mentor review.

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 neighbourhood police officer.

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.

The dates and locations for each academy cohort will be released on the programme page.

Police Now places trained and attested officers into some of the most deprived communities in the UK through the National Graduate Leadership Programme. Our mission is to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring leaders in policing. We strive to recruit an outstanding and diverse group of individuals to be leaders in society and on the policing front line.

Load More

National Detective Programme

Our Forces

Our Partners