National Graduate Leadership Programme

Become a leader in society and on the policing frontline.


You’ll be there: to act, when action is needed; protect, when protection is required; drive change, when change is necessary.

Neighbourhood policing impacts the lives of people living in some of the most deprived and vulnerable communities in the England and Wales. A positive, diverse and determined group of people can have an immediate and significant impact on these communities, helping to increase confidence in policing and to raise the quality of life for people living in areas impacted by crime.

We’ve partnered with over 30 police forces across England and Wales to address the shortage in neighbourhood policing with talented, determined and ambitious graduates and career changers.

This is a unique opportunity to make a real and immediate impact on society, while developing valuable leadership skills for life.

The Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme is a salaried two-year graduate training programme where you’ll develop skills in leadership, negotiation, problem solving, decision-making, and emotional intelligence. During the two-year programme you will become a visible, reliable and proud leader in the community you serve.

We’re proud that 80% of our participants remain in policing after the programme, but whatever you decide, the skills and experience you’ll develop through this unique experience are transferable to successful careers across the public and private sector.

Am I eligible
to apply?

Our criteria for entry to the programme follow national standards for new police officers.


Am I suited
for the role?

Working as a neighbourhood police officer is a demanding but rewarding job.


What salary
can I earn?

Neighbourhood police officers receive a competitive salary and a wide range of employee benefits.


About the Programme


Our innovative programme meets and exceeds the College of Policing’s National Standards and is designed to develop the skills and experience you will need to become a high performing neighbourhood police officer.

After successfully completing our recruitment process and being made an offer you will begin the programme with a six-week residential academy course, followed by a further two years training and development with your selected force.

You’ll be assigned to a specific community of up to 20,000 residents, usually in an area of great need. You’ll be given the guidance, support and training you need to be an effective officer and make an impact from day one. Working within a single community over an extended period means that you will get to know the challenges in detail. Your policing mentors and our programme Leadership Development Officers will work with you to develop innovative strategies and techniques that help address some of the entrenched problems, so you will make a real and tangible impact throughout the two-year programme.

At the end of the two years, you will have a number of options inside policing. You’ll be able to continue in a neighbourhood policing role, as well as seek promotion if you feel you have the confidence and skills to do so, or to pursue further training in a specialist unit. You may also choose to leave policing to use the skills and experience you’ve developed in a different role or sector.



Recent graduates


We’re looking for talented graduates from all degree disciplines to become neighbourhood police officers.


Policing is a unique working environment, and this is a career opportunity no other graduate employer can offer. You must have already achieved or be working towards at least a 2:2 undergraduate degree, or non-UK equivalent, by the time the academy programme starts date in July 2020.

You don’t need any previous knowledge or experience of policing. In fact, we welcome graduates who haven’t considered policing before. What’s important to us is people from diverse backgrounds with a range of experiences, so if you’ve never considered a career in policing this could be the prefect graduate programme for you.

We’re looking for people with the potential to become the next generation of police officers, representing the diversity of the communities you will serve. There are a diverse set of professional skills needed to be a police officer, and the service benefits greatly from individuals with socially diverse backgrounds and experiences.

So far, applicants to Police Now programmes have come from 77 different academic institutions and 58% had never previously considered joining the police. 

Career changers


Career changers make up a big part of our yearly intake, bringing invaluable knowledge, skills and experience from their previous employment.


Changing careers isn’t an easy decision, but life and work experiences are a big benefit when becoming a great police officer. In fact, in 2019 over half of the National Graduate Leadership Programme cohort joined us from another job. The job of police officer requires a diverse set of skills, and the service benefits greatly from individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. There’s a high chance your previous work experience will bring valuable skills to the job, whatever line of work you are in.

As a career move policing is a great choice. Policing is a unique environment, and the skills and experiences you’ll gain will stay with you for a lifetime. We’re proud 80% of our participants stay in policing, but whether you develop a long-term leadership career in policing, or move on to other things, the skills and experiences you’ll gain are transferable to a successful career in the private or public sector.

Programme timeline

The Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme will enable you to make a disproportionately positive impact on the lives of many people.


Over the two years you will develop your leadership and problem-solving skills to help maximise that impact.
The two-year programme comprises the following elements:



You will have online learning and revision called Core Learning to complete prior to starting at your academy. This will consist of content including learning about the law, legislation and role responsibilities. The purpose of core learning is to equip you for your time at academy and throughout the two-year programme. You will have the opportunity to attend online Police Now learning sessions, in the form of webinars, should you need support.



Summer Academy:

The Police Now Summer Academy is an intensive six-week training programme designed and delivered by outstanding, high performing frontline police officers, many of whom are or have been neighbourhood constables and sergeants themselves. At the Summer Academy you will participate in practical sessions and assessments to ensure you have everything you need and are ready for your first day in your neighbourhood.

The Summer Academy is innovative, dynamic, inspiring and challenging. Training is delivered through a mixture of classroom-based and practical activities – including seven full shifts of field training where you will gain real experience on the streets of a busy neighbourhood. The training meets and exceeds the College of Policing foundation police training requirements and includes all mandatory training to ensure you are equipped with all the skills you need to be effective in a neighbourhood-policing role.



In-force training week:

Following the Summer Academy, you’ll go to your force to complete your in-force training week. You’ll be introduced to all the force specific information you’ll need to be operationally effective, including local procedures, policies and ICT systems.



Immersion Period:

After completing your in-force training week, you’ll begin your eight to twelve-week Immersion Period. You’ll be partnered with a PC who will work with you on a one-to-one basis and act as your mentor, providing support and guidance. Your mentor will tutor you on every shift during this critical transition period. Mentors play a crucial role in helping you to get to know the area, making sure you can deal with the challenges you might encounter on patrol.



Personal Development Planning:

When you join, you’ll be assigned a Leadership Development Officer (LDO). Your LDO will provide one-to-one guidance, working with your line managers and force to aid your personal and professional development throughout the two-year programme.

Your LDO will work with you to develop innovative plans and set ambitious goals for your neighbourhood. Like any good coach, your LDO will help you play to your strengths and address weaknesses, so you can confidently step up and deliver measurable outcomes for your community.

Your LDO will meet with you regularly to help you complete your Personal Development Plan (PDP). They will support you at impact events and co-ordinate your skills sessions. They’ll also catch up with you regularly outside of official assessments.



360 feedback:

We’ll make sure you receive regular feedback from line managers and colleagues throughout the programme. This will support your learning and improvement. Your Leadership Development Officer will also be on hand to help you develop your skills; including how to self-assess and peer review.



Secondments and attachments:

During the second year of the programme, you’ll have an exciting opportunity to spend up to four weeks on an external secondment or internal attachment within your force. External secondments are a fantastic way to experience professional life outside the police service.

You will learn new skills, gain valuable experience, work with outside partners and contribute to our objective of bringing policing and society closer together. Internal attachments to specialist departments will allow you to learn about different areas of the policing family. By developing your skills with new teams and by facing new policing challenges, you can start to plan for life after the programme.



Skills sessions:

You’ll be involved in five innovative and dynamic skills sessions over the course of the two-year programme, each designed to develop your leadership and policing skills. You can bring your line manager or a team member along to some of the sessions, so that your wider team can also take advantage of this training.



100 Day Impact Events:

Every 100 days we bring Police Now participants from across the country together for an exciting 100-Day Impact Event. There are five over the course of the two-year programme. At each event you’ll have the chance to hear from key speakers, meet other Police Now participants and show what you’ve learned by giving presentations at two of the events. For the other three, you’ll submit an assignment in advance – this could be a video, blog, poster or project plan. All in all, it’s a great way to stay up-to-date with a fast-moving and intense programme!

The 100-Day Impact process is one of the key ways we assess participants. Over the two-year programme, we’ll assess your impact in a variety of ways, including your presentations and assignments. The 100-Day Impact Events allow you to share what you’ve learned and demonstrate your work to key figures across policing and civilian society.




Those who successfully complete the programme will attend a Graduation Ceremony in July of their second year. The ceremony is a celebratory event, held in front of proud family members and friends. Every Police Now graduate is invited to step forward to be awarded their graduation certificate. The highest achievers also have an opportunity to present their best work in front of an audience of invited guests. The ceremony culminates with friends and family members joining every new graduate to celebrate the achievements of their two years on the programme.



Beyond the programme:

Policing is inspiring work and spending two years as a neighbourhood police officer is a unique development experience that can’t be matched by any other graduate employer.

Ultimately, it’s the ideal start to a career that could take you in many directions. That’s because the skills you’ll learn in negotiation, decision-making, emotional intelligence, resilience and leadership are transferable to any profession.

Once you finish the programme, many pathways will be open to you if you choose to stay in policing. You could remain in neighbourhood policing and continue to make lasting change at a local level. Or you could go on to become a detective, join a specialist unit or apply for the National Policing Fast Track Programme, which gives you the opportunity to become an Inspector after another two years.

Should you choose to leave policing, you could take up a leadership role in business, commerce, charities, politics, law or the public sector. The skills and experience you gain on the programme are respected by organisations in these sectors and the opportunity you get in the second year of the programme for a secondment with one of our partner organisations is an excellent way to see how they can be applied.

Whatever path you choose to follow after two years on the programme, you will become part of the Police Now alumni, our exclusive ambassador network. You’ll have opportunities to keep in touch with the Police Now team and your fellow participants, as well as access to events, skills sessions and professional development advice. There will be many opportunities for you to continue to contribute to our mission to transform the most challenged communities and increase the public’s confidence in policing.

The role of a neighbourhood police officer


Join us on campus at University events to experience a day in the life of a neighbourhood police officer. Put on one of our virtual reality headsets and discover the sort of real-life scenarios you’d be faced with as a police officer on the Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme.

Come along and meet our recruitment team, Police Now participants and alumni who will be happy to answer any questions you have about our national graduate programmes.

To find out when we’ll be near you, check dates on our campus events page here.

On Campus Dates

Our national graduate programmes

Over five years we’ve partnered with 30 police forces across England and Wales to provide career opportunities nationwide.

Applications are now closed for our 2020 National Graduate Leadership Programme. Please register your interest to find out more information about when you can apply for next years’ programme. 


Register your interest

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