Starting salary: £24,780 – £31,686

Contract: Permanent

Programme length: Two years

Location: Nationwide

Closing date: August 2022

About the programme

Our National Detective Programme is a salaried two-year training and development programme. The programme is designed to equip you with the core policing skills required in modern investigative work. Being a detective is all about how you interpret information and being able to see clues where others don’t, allowing you to see below the surface.
Society is changing. People demand better, for our communities, and from our police service. You want change: a real way to tackle the problems destroying people’s lives.  By becoming a police detective, you can make this happen.
As a police detective, you’re the most critical support for victims of crime. What you choose to do will affect lives for generations to come.  Whether driving change in the police service alongside dedicated colleagues, or improving relations with the public, your work will change the future for the better. The challenge is great and so is the need for talented individuals to step up to protect society’s most vulnerable.
To be successful you will be tactical and resilient with natural leadership skills, focusing on working towards defined goals, rarely losing focus. The tenacity you bring to your role as a police detective will help you deliver on these key attributes. You’ll critically analyse information and collaborate with others, combining insight and evidence to define root causes of some of the UK’s most complex problems. Everything you do, you’ll be adaptive to change to remain impartial as situations change and be able to show compassion to the communities you serve, being a pillar to your local community.
By demonstrating a positive can-do attitude, you will view obstacles differently to everyone else – there to be tackled head-on rather than used as an excuse to give up. You’ll be a leader in your community and will quickly become an instrumental member of the police service, solving crimes and working towards making our communities safer places to live, for generations to come.
We develop leaders.  Future decision makers in policing have emerged from our programmes. This could be you. Our programmes develop the skills you need to inspire and activate change, within your force and within communities. 
Whatever your ambitions, the National Detective Programme will empower you to succeed. You can rise up the ranks, specialise in a specific area of policing that interests you, developing skills that will last you throughout your career, wherever it may take you.  Through your training, you’ll be comfortable with making big decisions, with getting cooperation from those around you, and taking personal responsibility for making change happen.
Whether you aim to be a senior leader in policing, a specialist in specific types of crimes or units, a leader in your team, or an agent of change within your force internally, you’ll have the skills and development training to make this happen.


You don’t need any previous policing knowledge or experience, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never previously considered a career in policing, but you must have a degree before you start the programme. We’re looking for people with the potential to become the next generation of police detectives, representing the diversity of the communities you will serve.

To meet College of Policing eligible criteria, you will:

To meet Police Now eligibility criteria, you will also:

Salary and benefits

When joining our National Detective Programme, you’ll receive a competitive starting salary and a wide range of benefits:


Pay varies with each police force. Your starting salary will be between £24,780 -£31,686 depending on location. Every 12 months on the anniversary of your joining date, your pay increases to the next pay point (more info). Within six years you could reach a salary of over £40,000.

In addition to your base salary, there are force-specific allowances that you will receive.

Some of our participants seek a promotion after they have successfully completed our two-year programme. For more information on how your salary will increase as a Sergeant or Inspector, please see here.

You’ll start with 22 days paid annual holiday, rising to 30 days a year with length of service. This is on top of public holidays and an average of at least two rest days each working week. You can also expect other forms of leave including maternity, paternity and adoption leave and the option of taking a career break of up to five years.

Flexible working
The police service is an emergency service operating 24/7 and 365 days a year. However, it is always the intention of the police service to take your individual religious and cultural needs into account so you can fit your work around your personal commitments.

When you start as a new police constable you’ll automatically be enrolled as a member of the Police Pension Scheme 2015, which is considered to be among the best around. This isn’t compulsory and you can opt out if you wish.

Some police forces offer the opportunity to join a contributory private healthcare scheme. You will also benefit from free eye tests and glasses if you regularly use a computer.

Financial services discounts
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. Many major high street stores, retail outlets and other national organisations offer discounts and special deals to police officers. Most police forces also provide access to a number of subsidised leisure and sporting activities.

Personal support and advice
Once you have been offered a position on our programme, you will have a dedicated Recruitment Officer who will offer support and advice for you on your journey right the way up to your start date. Your Recruitment Officer will assist you with all stages of your onboarding into force: your vetting, medical tests, fitness tests, references, and induction days. As well as this, our curriculum team will be on-hand to help you with your pre-academy core learning.

Training and development
We offer coaching with a Personal Development Coach who will support and coach you throughout your two years on the programme. There will also be regular training, events, and skills sessions.

As part of the programme, you will complete a bespoke Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice withLiverpool John Moores University, which allows you to step back from the day-to-day and learn the theory to drive real change for the communities you will serve. Our graduate diploma is distinctive due to its positioning as an essential and core part of training and developing outstanding leaders in policing. Drawing on the latest elements and developments within the criminological landscape, top academic experts will deliver a nationally recognised course. Your studies will give you the chance to learn and develop your skills and knowledge in a variety of ways utilising an expansive hub of resources that will challenge you in the most engaging way possible.

Apply now

Applications for our National Detective Programme are now open.

Devon & Cornwall Police

Police Now | Devon & Cornwall Constabulary

Shaun Sawyer

Chief Constable

National Graduate Leadership Programme

National Detective Programme

Case studies: