National Detective Programme

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, 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

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 programme, participants will have the opportunity to evidence what they and their colleagues have achieved on behalf of communities and victims at Impact Events.

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 Personal 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 skills sessions and be supported by a Police Now Personal Development Coaches 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. You will have the opportunity to attend online Police Now learning sessions, in the form of webinars, should you need support.

Detective Academy:

You will start with our twelve-week Detective Academy, preparing you for what lies ahead:

  • Learn to lead with conviction, right from the start.
  • Training will be led by police detectives with years of experience solving crimes across the UK.
  • Build your resilience and communication skills while developing your innate curiosity.
  • Become a great investigative detective, keeping the public safe for generations to come.

In-force training:

Following completion of your academy, you will go to your in-force training. 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 the programme you will typically undertake three postings. Each posting will last between five to nine months and take place in Main Office Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Safeguarding and Proactive teams. The combination of rotations will ensure you are capable of investigating serious and complex crime from the fifteenth month point, which traditionally takes a minimum of two years via alternative routes.

Personal Development Coach and Personal Development Plans:

When you join you will be assigned a Police Now Personal Development Coach (PDC). Their core role is to coach, guide and support you to transform communities by delivering sustainable change and tangible impact.

They will provide one-to-one guidance and work closely with your line managers and force to aid your personal and professional development throughout the two-year programme.

Your Personal Development Coach will meet with you regularly to have ‘coaching style’ conversations and work with you to complete your Personal Development Plan, support you at Police Now Impact Events and co-ordinate your skills sessions.

Police Now Impact Events and access to the impact library:

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. The impact event process is one of the key ways we assess participants. As well as building an evidence base, the purpose of the assessment is to develop the way you think, problem solve and project manage. Over the two-year programme, we assess your impact through a variety of mediums and all assignments are stored on the Police Now Impact Library for those in forces across the country to refer to and share learning.

Skills sessions:

You will undertake innovative and dynamic skills sessions delivered by Police Now and partner organisations over the course of the two-year programme – developing your detective and broader leadership development skills. You can also bring your line manager or a team member along to some of the sessions, in order to ensure that your wider team can also take advantage of this training.

Beyond the programme

We expect participants to commit to a long-term investigative career and many pathways will be open to you.

At the end of your probation, having been exposed to a range of challenges, you may wish to stay in your current role, apply for a lateral development opportunity such as within a specialist unit or you may feel you have the necessary skills and motivation to apply for promotion.

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.


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Devon & Cornwall Police

Police Now | Devon & Cornwall Constabulary

Shaun Sawyer

Chief Constable

National Graduate Leadership Programme

National Detective Programme

Case studies: