National detective programme Applications now open


Application timeline

Our programmes have a straightforward, four-step recruitment process where you will receive feedback on your performance, whether you are successful or not, at key stages to help you with your own development.

1. Application

Estimated completion time: 45 – 60 minutes

In the application form, you’ll be asked for details which will enable us to check your eligibility. This will include:

Once submitted, our recruitment team will review your application. If you are eligible, you will be invited to complete the next stage of the process, our immersive assessment.

2. Immersive assessment

Estimated completion time: 45 minutes

Firstyou’ll take part in an immersive assessment, where you’ll be taken through realistic scenarios you could encounter in the role. We want to see how you react in different situations, and what you think would be the most effective and least effective response to each scenario.

Typically the immersive assessment takes 45 minutes to complete, with an additional 10 minutes for the practice assessment.

Before you begin your immersive assessment you will be emailed a handbook to help you prepare. You will have seven days to complete it.

3. Assessment centre

Estimated completion time: half-day

If you pass the immersive assessment,  you will be able to book a date and time slot at our assessment centre. These are currently taking place virtually. 

The assessment centre is an opportunity for us to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the programme. It’s important that you know your motivations for applying to Police Now, show a clear understanding of the programme structure, and remember to be yourself throughout.

The virtual assessment centre is a unique and fully immersive experience. You’ll get a snapshot of the role you can play in bringing about positive impact and change for vulnerable communities, as you experience a series of scenarios designed to give you the chance to showcase your character, attitude and aptitude for policing. 

You will be offered support from our recruitment team to help you prepare ahead of the assessment centre. We offer pre-assessment centre coaching sessions to everyone who gets through to this stage. You can book your coaching session through your candidate portal.

4. Onboarding

Following a successful assessment centre you will be offered a conditional place on the programme. You will be assigned a Recruitment Officer who will be you point of contact through your onboarding journey right up until your first day at the Police Now Academy. They will work to support you with everything you need before starting the programme, track your progress through the various stages, and liaise between you and your force. 

You will be provided access to an onboarding platform, this includes all the information you’ll need before joining the programme, including a number of useful resources to help you feel prepared for your new role and access to a discussion wall to meet fellow offer holders.

You’ll attend various events during onboarding, including the Police Now Induction where you will find out more about the programme, and hear from inspirational speakers, current participants on the programme and your force. At your Force Induction, you’ll have the opportunity to visit your force and hear more about your role in detail. 

Throughout your onboarding, we’ll offer guidance to support you in completing your pre-employment checks. 

We carry out a number of standard checks for joining the police, including:

We’ll also provide guidance on:

Supporting your success

Police Now community
What makes our graduate leadership scheme stand out from all the others?
Our participants all say it’s the influence they have in society through policing and the individual development they receive throughout your journey.

From the moment you apply, you’ll have access to resources and development opportunities created by a team who understand your needs, who appreciate your experiences and want to see you succeed.

What's the application process like?

Our participants give their view on the Police Now application and recruitment process.

Police Now focus on improving the system

The application process was enjoyable

The steps involved in applying

Be comfortable to be yourself

Help and useful links


Do you have questions about applying? From choosing a programme to checking your eligibility.


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Dorset Police

Police Now | Dorset Police
Scott Chilton - Dorset Police Chief Constable

Scott Chilton

Chief Constable

National Graduate Leadership Programme

Cohorts: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled: 6

National Detective Programme

Cohorts: —— —— —— —— 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled:

Visit the Dorset Police website