National detective programme Applications now open


National Detective Programme

Starting salary: £28,551

Contract: Permanent

Location: Various

Programme length: Two years

Programme start: March 2025

About the programme

Police Now is a not-for-profit organisation, our central mission is a representative police service. We partner with forces across England and Wales to recruit, develop and inspire outstanding and diverse future leaders in policing. We are looking for talented graduates from all degree disciplines who are motivated by our mission You don’t need experience in policing to apply to this role.

Our National Detective Programme is a salaried two-year training and development opportunity for graduates. It is designed to develop your leadership and problem-solving abilities to equip you with the skills required in modern detective and investigative work. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will have a permanent role in policing.

Being a detective is all about how you interpret information and being able to spot clues where others don’t, allowing you to see below the surface. Society is changing and people are demanding 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.

You’ll collaborate with others, combining insight and evidence to solve some of England and Wales’ most complex problems. In everything you do, you’ll adapt to change and remain impartial as situations change. You’ll show compassion to the communities you serve, being a pillar to your local community.

As a police detective, you provide the most critical support for victims of crime. What you choose to do will affect lives for generations to come. Whether driving change alongside your colleagues, or improving relations with the public to build trust, your work will change the future of policing for the better.

Training and development

The programme will start with an initial 13-week residential training academy. You will then take part in various sessions over the two years, designed to develop your leadership and policing skills, as well as reflect on the impact you have made. You will also have access to a dedicated Performance and Development Coach during the two years, who will provide tailored support and guidance.

Career progression

Following completion of the programme, you can enrol in the promotion process, and you will join our alumni community, where you can receive support with progression. We have alumni across the country who are represented at levels up to Chief Inspector who are leading change and exploring new approaches to policing.

Our national graduate programmes

Over seven years, we’ve partnered with over 30 police forces across England and Wales to provide career opportunities nationwide. And, as we continue to grow, we are striving to bring our programmes to more forces.

Applications are currently closed for our National Graduate Leadership Programme. You can register your interest for future cohorts.

The Metropolitan Police Service

Surrey Police

Thames Valley Police

Hertfordshire Constabulary

Are you eligible to apply?

To apply for this programme, you must:

Rewards and benefits


As a police detective you can earn a starting salary of £28,551 depending on force/location, which will commence on the first day of your training academy. Every 12 months on the anniversary of your joining date, your pay increases to the next pay point. Within six years you could expect to reach a salary of over £40,000.


This ranges from 22 days (in addition to public holidays) when you’re starting out to 30 days for long-serving staff. You can also expect other forms of leave including adoption, maternity and paternity.


You’ll automatically be enrolled as a member of the Police Pension Scheme 2015, which awards police officers for their dedication and service to the public. It offers a generous and secure retirement package, providing officers with financial stability and peace of mind.

James Pullen Neighbourhood police officer
James Pullen | Police Now graduate

Work-life balance

This is not your typical 9-5. Police officers work varied shift patterns which gives them flexibility and freedom to maximise their time outside of work. Different to your typical working week, you’ll often receive several days off in a row. It may take some time to adapt to shift pattern working, but once you do, you may find that the flexibility of the schedule allows you to better balance work and home life.

Application process

There are three stages to our application process during which you’ll gain insight into the role of a police detective:

There is support available throughout the process from our recruitment team and adjustments can be made at all stages.

If successful, you will receive a conditional offer and be allocated a dedicated Recruitment Officer to assist with your onboarding and pre-employment checks including: fitness test, BMI, medical, references and vetting.

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