Application timeline

Both our national graduate programmes have a four step recruitment process. Find out more about what’s involved once you decide to apply.

The application process can take between two to three months. This is highly dependent on how soon you fill out an application (which takes five working days to process), when you complete your online assessment (which takes ten working days to process), and the earliest date you can attend an assessment centre. It is also dependent on the volume of applications we receive which is typically very high so delays may occur.

1. Application

We expect the application form to take no longer than 30 minutes to complete on average. Following a successful screening review, be invited to complete an online assessment.

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

2. Online assessment

Firstyou’ll take part in a week-in-the-life immersive assessment, where you’ll experience several realistic scenarios you would encounter in the day-to-day job as a detective or neighbourhood police officer. We want to see how you react in different situations, understand your reflections on how you dealt with them, and how you articulate yourself in video format. 

Then you’ll be asked to complete a personality questionnaire. This is designed to gain an understanding of your behavioural preferences, how you approach tasks and interact with others. 

We know our diverse candidates have diverse concerns, so we make time to:

3. Digital assessment centre

Following a successful online assessment, you will have the opportunity to be considered for an invitation to book a date and time slot at our assessment centre. Each assessment centre will now be held digitally, hosted via an online video conferencing software. 

This stage is an opportunity for us to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the programme you have applied for. It’s important that you understand why you applied for a place on the programme and remember to be yourself throughout the exercises. 

The digital assessment centre is a unique and fully immersive experience of life a police officer. 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.  The tasks and exercises vary depending on the programme you have applied for. The tasks will contain the same content as face-to-face assessment centres, and you’ll be scored against the same College of Policing framework and criteria.  

You will also be offered preparation support ahead of the assessment centre, which you will be sent details on when you progress through to this stage. 

4. Onboarding

Following a successful assessment centre you will be offered a position by your Recruitment Officer. They will support you through your pre-employment checks. 

You will be given a login to your onboarding platform so you can access useful information you’ll need before joining as well as giving you the chance to chat to others joining the programme. During this time, we’ll also support you while you complete online vetting, biometric and fitness tests, a medical assessment and we will review your previous employment references. 

There will also be some online learning to complete before you start the programme. Finally, you’ll attend both force and Police Now induction events which provide a great opportunity to build your network with your fellow future participants. 

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

We’ll also assist you with:

Your Recruitment Officer will be on hand to support and advise through all your pre-employment checks.  We’ll address any concerns you may have as you begin your journey into policing, liaise between you and your police force and help you every step of the way. 

There will also be some online learning to complete before you start the programme. Finally, you’ll attend both force and Police Now induction events which provide a great opportunity to build your network with your fellow future participants.

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 individual support and development we will offer you throughout your journey.

From the moment you apply, you’ll receive continuous, bespoke and responsive support from people like you, who’ve appreciated your experiences and know what you need.

What's the application process like?

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

The application process was enjoyable

The steps involved in applying

Be comfortable to be yourself

Help and useful links


For more information about our national graduate programmes or Police Now.


We are dedicated to supporting you during the recruitment process and your career.


Interested in applying to one of our national graduate programmes that is not currently open?


Ready to start your career with one of our national graduate programmes? Find out how.

Devon & Cornwall Police

Police Now | Devon & Cornwall Constabulary

Shaun Sawyer

Chief Constable

National Graduate Leadership Programme

Cohorts: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled: 8

National Detective Programme

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

Case studies: