Graduate scheme

South West


Our National Detective Programme is a salaried two-year training and development programme. The programme is designed to equip you with the core policing skills required in modern investigative work. Being a detective is all about how you interpret information and being able to see clues where others don’t, allowing you to see below the surface.

Society is changing. People demand 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.

As a police detective, you’re the most critical support for victims of crime. What you choose to do will affect lives for generations to come. Whether driving change in the police service alongside dedicated colleagues, or improving relations with the public, your work will change the future for the better. The challenge is great and so is the need for talented individuals to step up to protect society’s most vulnerable.

To be successful you will be tactical and resilient with natural leadership skills, focusing on working towards defined goals, rarely losing focus. The tenacity you bring to your role as a police detective will help you deliver on these key attributes. You’ll critically analyse information and collaborate with others, combining insight and evidence to define root causes of some of the UK’s most complex problems. Everything you do, you’ll be adaptive to change to remain impartial as situations change and be able to show compassion to the communities you serve, being a pillar to your local community.

By demonstrating a positive can-do attitude, you will view obstacles differently to everyone else – there to be tackled head-on rather than used as an excuse to give up. You’ll be a leader in your community and will quickly become an instrumental member of the police service, solving crimes and working towards making our communities safer places to live, for generations to come.

We develop leaders. Future decision makers in policing have emerged from our programmes. This could be you. Our programmes develop the skills you need to inspire and activate change, within your force and within communities.

Whatever your ambitions, the National Detective Programme will empower you to succeed. You can rise up the ranks, specialise in a specific area of policing that interests you, developing skills that will last you throughout your career, wherever it may take you. Through your training, you’ll be comfortable with making big decisions, with getting cooperation from those around you, and taking personal responsibility for making change happen.

Whether you aim to be a senior leader in policing, a specialist in specific types of crimes or units, a leader in your team, or an agent of change within your force internally, you’ll have the skills and development training to make this happen.

Devon and Cornwall Police

Formed in 1967 from an amalgamation of local forces, Devon & Cornwall Police covers the largest area of any English police force at nearly 4,000 square miles of rural, coastal and urban communities.

Devon & Cornwall’s peninsula includes extensive national heritage sites, farmland, over 1,200 miles of coastline, a 13,600-mile road network, holiday resorts, market towns and the idyllic Isles of Scilly.

Devon & Cornwall‘s two ‘County Shows’, air shows, regattas and other festivals form some of the most notable policing events, in addition to the peninsula being a popular tourist destination.

Devon & Cornwall’s population of 1.8 million swells with around 11 million visitors per year. Tourists and other visitors bring great economic benefits plus significant summer policing demand, contributing to the 1 million annual calls for service they receive.

Ensuring equality of access to policing for all groups and providing equal opportunities to join or progress within the service are some of Devon & Cornwall Police’s equality priorities.


You don’t need any previous policing knowledge or experience, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never previously considered a career in policing, but you must have a degree before you start the programme. We’re looking for people with the potential to become the next generation of police detectives, representing the diversity of the communities you will serve.

To meet College of Policing eligible criteria, you will:

  • be over 17 years of age or older on application, (and 18 by the time of appointment)
  • be a British citizen, a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is resident in the UK and free from restrictions
  • have been resident in the UK for the past three years (some exemptions allowed)
  • not currently be registered as bankrupt (or have bankruptcy debts that have been discharged within the past three years)
  • not have existing county court judgements outstanding against them
  • not be a current or previous member of a proscribed terrorist organisation or group
  • not plan to take an active role in politics once in role
  • be sufficiently competent in written and spoken English and numeracy (assessed through the selection process)

To meet Police Now eligibility criteria, you will also:

  • hold at least one UK level 3 qualification in any subject, or non-UK equivalent
  • hold a 2.1 or above undergraduate degree from a UK university, or equivalent from a non-UK university, in any subject, by programme start date
  • have completed all education by programme start date
  • have not undertaken the College of Policing-licensed pre-join degree in Professional Policing Practice
  • have not previously attested, trained or been employed as a police constable
  • not have a current application for another police constable role outside of Police Now

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Devon & Cornwall


South West

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