Impact and Insights Report 2020/21



In September 2019, Police Now introduced a pilot National Detective Programme with eight partner forces to recruit, train and develop new Detective Constables; one of several solutions being employed by the police service to address the national shortage of investigative officers in the UK.

Following the early success of the pilot programme, in January 2021, we partnered with 14 forces across England and Wales for the second National Detective Programme.

Of those who started on Police Now’s National Detective Programme in 2021, 66% identify as women, 24% identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, 16% identify as women from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background, 10% identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual and 13% received free school meals. They graduated from 85 different academic institutions with 29 languages spoken across the cohort. 80% of participants are career changers, with the remaining 20% being recent university graduates.

Participants begin the National Detective Programme with an initial three-month intensive Police Now Academy which involves theoretical teaching, practical field training and a focus on developing both core policing skills and an investigative mindset.

Police Now uses data and feedback to continuously develop and strengthen our recruitment and training programmes. Based on our learning from the pilot programme, for the second National Detective Programme, we have implemented a number of changes to our recruitment campaign and the delivery of the academy. This includes an integrated marketing campaign featuring current programme participants and a new blended and immersive online assessment, designed to bring the realities of the Detective role and two-year programme to life. We have also developed a newly defined learning journey and training structure to enhance participant learning and wellbeing at the academy.
97% of participants said that they would encourage other graduates to join the Police Now National Detective Programme based on their experience to date1.

After completing the academy, participants join their forces to undertake operational duties, supported by a Police Now Leadership Development Officer as well as in-force colleagues and line managers. Alongside this, participants receive further advanced content and undertake additional assessment throughout the two-year programme. Impact Events, held three times over the duration of the two-year programme, hold participants to account on behalf of the communities they serve whilst providing an opportunity for participants to share learning, hear from experts in the field and present the work they have been doing to peers and colleagues.

After attending the most recent digital Impact Event, Detective Chief Inspector Kearney from North Wales Police said:

“It is great to see the Detectives develop and it shows the programme works”.

Successful participants gain a Level 6 Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice, as well as the Professionalising Investigation Programme Stage 2 accreditation (PIP2), by the end of the two-year programme.
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of participants passed the NIE first time, which is 23% higher than the national average2.

Trainee Detective Constable Larry Brown,
National Detective Programme Participant, Avon & Somerset Police.


  1. Measured via an online survey at the start of the 2021 Police Now Academy (n=188) ‘Based on your experience to this point (recruitment, assessment and onboarding), please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements: I would encourage other graduates to join the Police Now National Detective Programme.’  ↩

  2. College of Policing Limited (2019). NIE November 2019 – Results and Analysis Overview. ↩

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: