How does the
programme work?

Training and development

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.

As part of the programme you will complete a bespoke Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice (GDPPP), in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University which allows you to learn and apply the academic theory that underpins an investigative mindset to drive real change for those who are vulnerable within the communities you will serve. Our Graduate Diploma is distinctive in its alignment to the operational work you will be doing on the ground as a trainee detective constable and how it helps you develop as an outstanding leader 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.

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, participants will have the opportunity to evidence what they 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.

0 % of participants passed the National Investigators’ Exam first time.
Which is 0 % higher than the national average.
Tary Kufa - National Detective Programme

The support we've received from the Police Now National Detective Programme Peformance and Development Coaches 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

Trainee Detective Constable

The two-year programme

You will receive continued professional development through ongoing Module Launch Days and be supported by a Police Now Performance and Development Coach for the duration of the programme.


You will have some online learning and revision to complete prior to starting at your academy. This will consist of approximately 80-100 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. You will have the opportunity to attend online Police Now learning sessions, in the form of webinars, should you need support.


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 ICT systems.

Immersion period

Following the in-force training you will undertake an immersion period in police uniform on a Response Team to continue 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 five to nine months. You’ll begin by developing your skills as a Police Detective in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Safeguarding or Proactive teams. Once you have completed your advanced vetting checks 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 as well, 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.

Module Launch Day

You will undertake innovative and dynamic skills sessions called Module Launch Days co-delivered by Police Now and Liverpool John Moores University over the course of the two-year programme – developing your detective and broader leadership development skills. These sessions will also lay a foundation for you to best prepare and complete your academic modules as part of the Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice. Over the course of the two years, you will also receive regular online learning that will support both your operational development and wider understanding of legislation and process required to complete your university modules.

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


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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: