How the programme works

Police Now has partnered with more than 30 police forces across England and Wales to recruit, develop and inspire talented, determined and ambitious graduates and career changers.

Our competitive, award-winning two-year National Graduate Leadership Programme gives you the opportunity to make our society better from day one.

On the programme you will be joining a neighbourhood policing team, working on cases with a focus on long-term problem solving. This gives you the chance to build relationships with individuals in the community and with other partner agencies like social services, mental health services, and other community resources.

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

You’ll be assigned to a community with up to 20,000 residents, usually in an area of great need:

You’ll be working to build relationships with those in the community and your colleagues. The trust you earn will encourage others to share information, ideas and concerns with you, helping you to build a bigger picture of what’s happening in your community.

You can rely on the guidance, support and training you need to be an effective officer and make an impact from day one.

Working continuously within a single community means you get to know the challenges. Your policing mentors and Police Now Performance and Development Coach work with you to:

In your role and on our programme you’re focused on the positive impact you’ll have in communities challenged by crime, and along the way, you’ll build evidence that can be used to help you achieve promotion.

In the programme you develop the skills you need to:

You will progress quickly. Graduates who complete our programme regularly achieve promotion early in their career, through the support we offer during and after the programme. Our Frontline Leadership Programme has been developed to help you progress to the next rank as soon as you complete the programme, should you want to, or at any point in your policing career.

Programme timeline

Our National Graduate Programme enables you to positively impact the lives of many people. Over two years you will develop leadership and problem-solving skills, embodying all the attributes that you will need to succeed.


You will get to attend an in-person induction event, with all your travel and accommodation covered. Here you will meet your peers who will be joining your force and the wider programme, Police Now members of staff, as well as representatives at your force and inspirational guest speakers. On top of that you will have a dedicated Recruitment Officer who will support you as you drive your readiness for academy. You will also get to attend drop-in sessions so you have all the information you need, pre-learn to help you make a great start in your policing career, and much more.


Your salary begins on the first day of your seven-week academy. The training has been designed especially for graduates and will be led by experienced frontline police officers. There will be various social events during the academy, so that you can get to know other participants. The training is partly residential and will take place at a high-quality conference venue, with food and accommodation costs covered. So be prepared to be away from home during this period.

The academy is innovative, dynamic, inspiring, and challenging. There will be a mixture of classroom-based and practical activities, including the opportunity for 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 make sure you are equipped with all the skills you need to be an effective neighbourhood police officer.

In-force training week

Following the Police Now 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 IT systems.

Immersion period

After completing your in-force training week, you’ll begin your eight to twelve-week immersion period, usually on a Response team. You’ll be partnered with an experienced officer 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 police with influence beyond your immersion period.

Personal development planning

When you join, you’ll work with a Performance and Development Coach (PDC). Your PDC 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 PDC will work with you to develop innovative plans and set ambitious goals for your neighbourhood. Like any good coach, your PDC will help you play to your strengths and address weaknesses, so you can confidently step up and deliver measurable outcomes for your community.

Your PDC will meet with you 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 Performance and Development Coach 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.

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 police officer.


Those who successfully complete the programme will attend a graduation ceremony in September 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 ceremony culminates with friends and family members joining every new graduate to celebrate the achievements of their two years on the programme.

What is the programme really like?

Are you looking for an opportunity to develop your leadership skills in a way that will give you more confidence in yourself and your career? 

Hear from our National Graduate Leadership Programme graduates who explain what attracted them to the programme and their experiences. 

Help and useful links


Do you have questions about applying? From choosing a programme to checking your eligibility.


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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: