New police constable degree apprenticeship
The way police constables are trained has changed.
In the past, police officers had to complete a learning and development programme over two years before they were deemed fit to patrol the streets.
But that changed in 2020, with the introduction of a Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA). Now, budding PCs complete a 3-year degree apprenticeship. At the end of the course, successful candidates achieve a degree in professional policing practice and are fully-qualified constables.
How does it work?
Like other degree apprenticeships, the PCDA standard combines practical on-the-job training with academic theory. Police apprentices will work on the beat from day one, earning a wage while they train. The apprenticeship covers all areas which are critical to effective policing in the 21st century – such as evidence-based policing, supporting vulnerable people, and cyber-crime.
How are candidates assessed?
Candidates are mentored by fellow police officers throughout their training, and then complete an end-point assessment (EPA) to complete the course.
How do candidates apply?
Individual police forces recruit apprentices in different ways. But to be eligible, candidates must be aged between 18-55, with recognised level 2 qualifications in maths and English. Level three (A level or equivalent) is preferred, but not essential.
How is the PCDA funded?
Most UK police forces pay the apprenticeship levy, and will use these funds to pay for training. In fact, the PCDA has been designed to make use of levy funding, with plans for additional police training to be converted into apprenticeships.
How will training be managed by forces?
Candidates spend most of their time learning on the job, and 6 hours per week of their time learning at university. During their time on the beat, candidates will need to create a portfolio of evidence to prove exactly what they've learnt so they can be assessed against the relevant standards. They'll also need to take this portfolio to university, and show their work to mentors, tutors and managers. We recommend forces use an eportfolio to manage the process.
With an eportfolio you can manage the whole apprenticeship online. You can access the candidates' portfolios remotely to assess them, send feedback, and monitor progress. With an eportfolio, the entire audit trail is recorded and visible online to managers, IQAs and EQAs – simplifying quality assurance.
At OneFile, our eportfolio is already used by 10 UK police forces because they recognise that software can be adapted for all types of police training – from initial recruitment to degree apprenticeships. OneFile also has a built-in CPD tracker so officers can use the same account to track their professional development throughout their career.
To find out why OneFile is already used by police forces to deliver training, download our free guide.
This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.