Support Police Now
Police Now’s mission is to transform communities, reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, and increase the public’s confidence in the police service by recruiting, developing and inspiring outstanding and diverse individuals to be leaders in society and on the policing frontline.
Police Now delivers national programmes in partnership with the Home Office and police forces across England and Wales. Since we were founded in 2014, we have partnered with 36 police forces to deliver our programmes. Together, we bring outstanding and diverse individuals with a passion for public service into policing and give them the training and support they need to be leaders in society and on the policing frontline.
Police Now is a social enterprise that promotes public service in communities. We support police forces to deliver improved outcomes for communities and every penny we have we reinvest into the programmes and the police service.
Our National Graduate Leadership Programme and National Detective Programme offer intellectual challenge, a fast-paced learning environment and responsibility for transformational change from the outset.
The two-year programmes require participants to achieve the same operational milestones as regular recruits and to the same standards. We aim to develop, inspire and support leaders on the frontline of policing.
For substantive officers, we also run the Frontline Leadership Programme, a one-year leadership development programme which prepares police officers with high potential for promotion to leadership roles. The programme is open to all eligible officers from our partner forces who are aiming to progress from constable to sergeant rank and pays particular attention to the barriers often faced by officers from underrepresented groups.
Our partner forces
Since our inception in 2014, we’ve partnered with 36 police forces to provide career opportunities nationwide and develop best practice. We welcome the opportunity to work with new forces and organisations across our national programmes, collectively recruiting outstanding individuals into the service.
Avon and Somerset Police
City of London Police
Devon and Cornwall Police
Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police
Greater Manchester Police
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary
North Wales Police
North Yorkshire Police
South Wales Police
South Yorkshire Police
Thames Valley Police
West Mercia Police
West Midlands Police
West Yorkshire Police
Become a force partner
How do we attract and recruit brilliant graduates?
Graduates joining our programmes hold degrees either at a 2:2 or above, in a range of disciplines. Police Now typically attracts those who have not considered policing as a career before as well as a high proportion of career-changers. This wealth of interests and experience brings with it diversity of thought, aiding problem solving and decision making.
Our intensive training academy and two-year national programmes are designed for high-achievers and build upon their potential, by equipping them with the skills required in modern neighbourhood policing and investigative work. However, we also understand that academic potential is not everything, which is why we assess each participant’s commitment to public service, emotional and cultural awareness, and leadership and communication skills from the outset.
✓ Times Top 100 highest climber
We are recognised in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers directory at 43rd place and are the only ranking policing organisation. Each year final year students at universities across the UK are interviewed, to establish the leading employers recruiting graduates. They are asked for open responses to the question: ‘Which organisation do you think offers the best opportunities for graduates?’
✓ Championing equality, diversity and inclusion
We recruit, train, and develop diverse graduates that are representative of the communities they serve. Of those who started on our National Graduate Leadership Programme in 2023, 24% were Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background and 51% were female.
At every stage of our award-winning recruitment and onboarding process, we seek to remove barriers to inclusion such as through offering tailored support and feedback to all candidates, proactively addressing negative stereotypes and stigma surrounding policing and providing a range of accessible resources.
✓ Multiple awards
Our work has been recognised by students, graduates and industry experts, resulting in our campaigns, our programmes and the graduates on them achieving over 35 awards to date. Notable recent awards include the Institute of Student Employers Recruitment Award for Best Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and the Personnel Today award for Graduate Scheme of the year.
✓ Impacting communities
Police Now officers will be leaders of change in their communities and increase public confidence in policing, by reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and supporting vulnerable members of society. Across England and Wales, our participants have achieved industry awards recognising their commitment to transforming communities and policing. These include the Northumbria Police Problem Solver of the Year Award, Lancashire Police Problem Oriented Policing Award, and Student Officer of the Year Awards across Greater Manchester Police, West Midlands Police, Humberside Police, South Yorkshire Police, and more.
✓ Career progression support
The support offered to our participants continues even after completion of the two-year programmes through our Alumni and Ambassadors Network. Here officers have access to our unique national networks where they unite to foster connections and share knowledge and expertise with one another to continue to drive Police Now’s mission.
Our alumni receive ongoing career progression support, and our Frontline Leadership Programme also offers support to serving officers by equipping them with the knowledge and tools needed to build on their skills and achieve promotion.
During the second year of the Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme, participants are given the opportunity to undertake an external secondment with a partner organisation or an internal attachment with a specialist unit within their police force.
This opportunity is built into the programme to allow officers to experience professional life outside of the police service, work with external partners, bring new skills and learning back into force and contribute to bringing policing and society closer together; ultimately, to improve confidence in the police and lead to more effective policing.
On the National Detective Programme, trainee detectives work towards passing the National Investigators’ Exam (NIE) at the end of Police Now’s 13-week academy and are expected to achieve Independent Patrol Status within 10 weeks of joining the force, allowing them to spend more time on the frontline supporting their communities. Officers sit the NIE within the first three months of the programme and have a first-time pass rate that is higher than the policing national average. Of our 2022 detective cohort, the average first-time pass rate was 83%, compared to a policing national average of 70%. After completing the academy and force immersion period, Police Now participants will spend the remainder of the two-year programme deployed in their force – predominately within CID teams.
Throughout the programme, participants will evidence their professional competencies to achieve Full Operational Competence and PIP1 and PIP2 accreditation, in line with the College of Policing’s specifications and guidelines. They will work to solve complex cases and safeguard vulnerable people with the support of a personal tutor, Police Now Performance and Development Coach and force colleagues. By developing the skills and knowledge required of a modern-day investigator, we expect participants to be confirmed in rank detectives by the end of the two years.
Police forces partnering with Police Now are required to support with the practical implementation of the two-year programmes to ensure that participants are supported and trained to the highest standard.
Partnering forces will:
- Support in setting up and carrying out in-force pre-employment check activity (vetting, medical etc).
- Support in setting up and carrying out in-force academy activity (Officer Safety Training/Emergency Life Saving, IT training, field training, immersion period support)
- Provide a seconded Syndicate Lead for the academy; these officers will support the delivery of our training (also see ‘What is the role of a Syndicate Lead?’). We require one Syndicate Lead for every 10 officers that are recruited for the force.
- Support in accessing and upskilling tutors and line managers, to ensure participants achieve Full Operational Competence (as well as PIP1 and PIP2 for detectives) within two years.
- Attend monthly implementation governance meetings.
- Provide escalation points to ensure we meet the overall objectives of our partnerships.
As part of Police Now’s programmes, participants are required to complete university assignments in order to achieve their Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice, which they work towards over the two-year programme with Police Now’s academic partner, Liverpool John Moores University.
To provide time for officers to complete these assignments alongside their day-to-day duties, partnering forces are required to provide a number of abstracted ‘study days’ to participants. These days may be used by participants for independent study or delivering university presentations at Police Now hosted events.
The total number of abstracted days required for National Graduate Leadership Programme participants over the two years is 16 and for those on the National Detective Programme, 21. We aim to keep the number of abstracted days at a minimum and have a significantly lower number than other police entry routes.
Police Now also offers a competitive external secondment opportunity to which those on the National Graduate Leadership Programme can apply. Like with an internal attachment, if successful, participants must get approval from a line manager to be released for the four-week secondment. The opportunity will not count as abstraction and is given at the discretion of the force.
Over the two-year programmes, participants gain the skills and experience needed to become well-rounded substantive police constables or detective constables. Our programmes are comprehensive, and participants are expected to have completed all their core policing competencies by the end of the two years.
After completing Police Now’s academy, participants on both the National Graduate Leadership Programme and National Detective Programme will undertake an immersion period on the force Response team. Within 10 weeks of joining the force, participants are expected to have attained Independent Patrol Status. Throughout the rest of the programme, they will work with support from their personal tutor, sergeant and Police Now Performance and Development Coach, to achieve Full Operational Competence.
Officers on the National Detective Programme will also take their National Investigators’ Exam (NIE) at the end of the initial 13-week Police Now academy and will complete the Professionalising Investigations Programme Levels 1 and 2 (PIP1 and PIP2) over the first and second years of the programme.
Police Now’s academy is an intensive introductory training programme delivered by outstanding, high performing frontline police officers (Syndicate Leads), who are or have been constables and sergeants themselves. Training is delivered through a mixture of classroom-based and practical activities – including in-force Officer Safety Training/Emergency Life Saving, IT training and field training shifts. The training meets and exceeds the College of Policing foundation police training requirements and includes all mandatory training to ensure that recruits have the essential skills and knowledge ready for starting in force.
Alongside the foundational police training, officers on the National Detective Programme will learn the skills and knowledge necessary to pass the National Investigators’ Exam (NIE), which they will take at the end of the academy.
Typically, our National Graduate Leadership Programme academy lasts for seven weeks, and our National Detective Programme academy, 13 weeks.
Our academies mark the start of each programme cohort. The National Graduate Leadership Programme academy usually launches in July and the National Detective Programme in March.
Please note that these timeframes are subject to change.
During our academies, Syndicate Leads are crucial to the development and training of our participants. They play a key role in the delivery of Police Now’s mission through training, teaching, leading and mentoring participants through their first steps to becoming trainee detective constables or neighbourhood police officers.
Syndicate Leads are seconded operational sergeants and inspectors from our partner police forces and lead participants in learning their foundational policing skills via Police Now’s fine-tuned curriculum. They bring the expertise of being an operational police officer and share their lived experience of the role. Syndicate Leads are usually from the force participants land in, so will be a friendly face throughout the two-year programme.
Since Police Now was founded in 2014, our officers have made a significant impact in the communities they serve. We regularly hear from our officers across England and Wales about the work they have been involved in and the positive difference they have been making in their communities and teams – examples include a participant in Greater Manchester Police leading an initiative which could save the force over £7 million each year and a participant from West Midlands Police who was instrumental in the UK’s first pilot of the life-saving drug Naloxone. Read more in our Impact Report or Police Now News.
The retention and progression of diverse, talented officers is vital for the transformation of the policing workforce and long-lasting impact in communities. Upon completing the two-year programme, officers typically remain in force and continue to receive support from Police Now’s Alumni and Ambassadors team.
Police Now participant retention rates are high and consistent across our core programmes by ethnicity and gender. Of those on the second and third National Detective Programme cohorts, 85% chose to stay policing at the end of the programme, including 88% of those who were female and 80% of the those who identified as Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background. Of those on the third National Detective Programme cohort, 75% say they aspire to reach a senior leadership role during their policing career, and our Frontline Leadership Programme is there to support them.
Interested in becoming a Police Now partner force?
Get in touch with our Force Partnerships team today.
By joining a Police Now national graduate programme you’ll be able to positively impact the lives of the most vulnerable in society.
Young people’s confidence in the police has increased by 17% in the communities where Police Now neighbourhood police officers operate.
National Graduate Leadership Programme
Recruiting graduates to train as neighbourhood police officers and become leaders in society on the policing frontline.
National Detective Programme
Attracting outstanding graduates to become trainee detectives, who learn core policing skills required in modern investigative work.
Assessment & selection process
Our award-winning assessment and selection process is designed to identify candidates who are committed to public service.