National detective programme Applications now open


How the programme works

Laying the foundations for a successful long-term detective career, the National Detective Programme will provide you with the platform needed to contribute as a team member with your force from day one.

Over two years you will develop your leadership and problem-solving skills to help maximise that impact. The experience with us is one no other graduate employer can match.

Our programme develops your investigative mindset to drive real change for those who are vulnerable within the communities you will serve. We focus on how you can influence culture change and develop outstanding leadership skills within policing.

Participants on the programme are required to pass the National Investigators’ Exam (NIE) in the first six months of the programme and achieve full Professionalising Investigation Programme Stage 2 (PIP2) accreditation by programme completion.

Throughout the two-year National Detective Programme, you will have the opportunity to evidence what you have achieved on behalf of victims and communities at Impact Events. These events also allow for knowledge and best practice sharing on a national scale.

Once you complete our recruitment process, you will take part in:

  • 13-weeks of training at our Police Now Academy.
  • Continued training and development throughout the two-year programme.
  • Development with your force and Performance and Development Coach.
  • Opportunities for onward development and progression after completing the two-year programme.
0 %

of participants passed the National Investigators’ Exam first time, which is 15.7% higher than the national average.

Tary Kufa - National Detective Programme

The support we've received from the Police Now National Detective Programme Performance and Development Coach has been phenomenal. They have been keeping up to date with our progress and making sure we're developing the leadership skills we need to be able to make an impact within our roles in the police.

Tary Kufa

Detective Constable

The two-year programme

Our National Detective Programme empowers you to make a direct impact, support victims of crime, and gives you the chance to contribute to how policing is perceived and delivered. Over the two years you will develop your leadership, problem-solving skills and investigative mindset to equip you for modern detective and investigative work.


You will have a combination of online learning and live webinars to complete prior to starting at your academy. This will consist of approximately 10-20 hours of content including learning about the law, legislation and role responsibilities. This learning is here to best prepare you for both the academy and the National Investigators’ Exam.


Your salary begins on the first day of your 13-week academy. Training will be led by police detectives, with years of experience solving crimes across the UK and there will be various social events so you can get to know other participants. The training is partly residential, with eight weeks fully catered on-site training, at a high-quality conference venue, one-week digital delivery and the remaining time in-force training, so be prepared to be away from home during this period.

In-force training

Following completion of your academy, you will go to your in-force training which is typically one to two weeks long. During this time, you will learn specific force details to enable you to become operationally effective and to acclimatise to local procedures, policies and IT systems.

Immersion period

Following the in-force training you will undertake an immersion period in police uniform responding to emergency and priority incidents to practice and develop your core policing skills. Throughout this period, you will have a tutor to support you and help you attain Independent Patrol Status (IPS).


 As a Police Detective: Throughout the programme you will typically undertake three postings. Each posting will last between five to nine months and take place in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Safeguarding and Proactive teams. This combination of rotations will ensure you are capable of investigating serious and complex crime from the fifteenth month of your Police Now journey. This traditionally takes a minimum of two years via alternative routes.

As a Police Detective in Counter Terrorism with the Met: Throughout the programme you will typically undertake three postings. Each posting will last between six to nine months. You’ll begin by developing your skills as a Police Detective in the volume and priority crime team, local investigations (CID), and safeguarding. Once you have completed your advanced vetting checks, your core operational competence and your Professionalising Investigation Programme Stage 2 (PIP2) accreditation, you’ll have clearance to move into the Counter Terrorism team within your second year on the programme. You’ll continue to build your skills and undertake one or two postings in investigative roles within Counter Terrorism.

Performance and Development Coach

You will be assigned a Performance and Development Coach (PDC) who acts as your coach, support, and advocate throughout the programme. They will be responsive to your needs and will help you to grow both personally and professionally for you to become the best detective you can be in service to the public and your force. They will be on-site during your academy to ensure there is always support on-hand for participants and can provide coaching if required.

Impact Events

We bring Police Now National Detective Programme participants together from across the country for impact events. At each event, there is an opportunity to hear from keynote speakers, share the impact you’re having and connect with fellow Police Now participants and guests from within policing, the community and wider civil society. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date with a fast-moving and intense programme and feel part of a national network of detectives.

Ongoing learning

Throughout the two years, you will take part in a number of sessions designed to develop your leadership and policing skills, as well as reflect on the impact you have made. There is also a series of webinars and other self-guided learning to make sure you have all the knowledge you need to be a brilliant detective.


Those who successfully complete the programme will attend a graduation ceremony at the end of your second year. The ceremony is a celebratory event where you will be awarded your programme completion certificate.

Beyond the programme

We typically see participants commit to a long-term investigative career within policing.

At the end of your probation, having been exposed to a range of challenges, you will have the opportunity to develop in your career within the same role, or you may feel you have the necessary skills and motivation to apply for promotion.

As soon as you complete the programme you will automatically join our growing alumni community and be supported in your next steps by Police Now’s Alumni and Ambassadors team. There are alumni networks you can get involved with, promotion support for anyone wishing to become a Sergeant or Inspector, ongoing professional development support and events, and our Frontline Leadership Programme available in many forces.

You can visit our Alumni Hub on the website to find out more.

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