Graduate scheme


Neighbourhood police officers are the face of our communities. Diligent, hardworking, and committed to change, you make decisions that have a real and lasting positive impact. As a reliable presence in the neighbourhood you serve, you’ll investigate and understand the complex issues facing the most vulnerable in society and work within the community to develop innovative ideas and techniques to tackle the challenges they face.

Our National Graduate Leadership Programme is a salaried two-year training and development programme. Over two years you will develop leadership and problem-solving skills, embodying all the attributes that you’ll need to succeed in the role.

Once you’ve successfully completed our two-year National Graduate Leadership Programme, it doesn’t stop there. Our programmes act as a springboard for participants to develop skills for life and become leaders within policing and advocates of the service in other public sector roles.


The route into policing through the Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme is for people that haven’t considered policing and are not working in the sector already. Police Now’s national graduate programmes are designed for candidates with no policing experience, who haven’t considered a career in policing before, 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 officers, representing the diversity of the communities you will serve.

To be eligible for the National Graduate Leadership Programme, you must:

  • Have obtained or be on track to achieve a minimum of a 2.1 degree (or equivalent) by the time you begin the programme.
  • Hold a UK Level 3 Qualification in any subject (e.g. an A Level or BTEC National Diploma), or if not, an English Language overseas equivalent.
  • Be over the age of 17 upon application.
  • Have lived in the UK for the last three years with no more than nine months abroad cumulatively within that time.
  • Have indefinite leave to remain and work in the UK without restriction i.e., settled or pre-settled status.
  • Not have previously attested and served as a police officer.
  • Not currently be applying to join the police by any other route other than Police Now.
  • Have a full driving licence before the start of the programme, however this does not apply to all forces. Whether you need a full driving licence or not is dependent on the force you would like to join as each force has different eligibility requirements. You can continue with your application without a full driving licence but will not be able to join forces which require a full licence. To find out which partner forces will require this, please see our website.

Salary and benefits

When joining our National Graduate Leadership Programme, you’ll receive a competitive starting salary and a wide range of benefits:


Your starting salary will range from £24,780 - £31,020, depending on location. The basic salary of a Police Constable rises to over £41,000, plus allowances, within six years.

Some of our participants seek a promotion after they have successfully completed our two-year programme. For more information on how your salary will increase as a Sergeant or Inspector, please see our website.


You’ll start with 22 days paid annual holiday, rising to 30 days a year with length of service. This is on top of public holidays and an average of at least two rest days each working week. You can also expect other forms of leave including maternity, paternity and adoption leave and the option of taking a career break of up to five years.

Flexible working

The police service is an emergency service operating 24/7 and 365 days a year. However, it is always the intention of the police service to take your individual religious and cultural needs into account so you can fit your work around your personal commitments.


When you start as a new police constable you’ll automatically be enrolled as a member of the Police Pension Scheme 2015, which is considered to be among the best around. This isn’t compulsory and you can opt out if you wish.


Some police forces offer the opportunity to join a contributory private healthcare scheme. You will also benefit from free eye tests and glasses if you regularly use a computer.

Financial services discounts

There are various partner organisations who work alongside the police to offer a variety of financial services including saving, investment and protection products, as well as discounts and subsidies. Many major high street stores, retail outlets and other national organisations offer discounts and special deals to police officers. Most police forces also provide access to a number of subsidised leisure and sporting activities.

Personal support and advice

Once you have been offered a position on our programme, you will have a dedicated Recruitment Officer who will offer support and advice for you on your journey right the way up to your start date. Your Recruitment Officer will assist you with all stages of your onboarding into force: your vetting, medical tests, fitness tests, references, and induction days. As well as this, our curriculum team will be on-hand to help you with your pre-academy core learning.

Training and development

We offer one-to-one mentoring with a Performance and Development Coach who will coach you throughout your two years on the programme. There will also be regular training, events, and skills sessions.


As part of the programme, you will complete a bespoke Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice, which allows you to step back from the day-to-day and learn the theory to drive real change for the communities you will serve. Our graduate diploma is distinctive due to its positioning as an essential and core part of training and developing outstanding leaders in policing. Drawing on the latest elements and developments within the criminological landscape, top academic experts will deliver a nationally recognised course. Your studies will give you the chance to learn and develop your skills and knowledge in a variety of ways utilising an expansive hub of resources that will challenge you in the most engaging way possible.

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