New police constable degree apprenticeship

Instead of going to uni, police constables can complete a 3-year apprenticeship.

New police constable degree apprenticeship

police car

The way police constables are trained is changing.

Before the new police constable degree apprenticeship (PCDA) was introduced in June, police officers had to complete a learning and development programme over 2 years before being deemed fit to patrol the streets.

Now, budding constables complete a 3-year apprenticeship – which is an equivalent-level qualification to a bachelor's degree. Apprentices are awarded a degree in professional policing practice and are fully qualified constables at the end of their course.

How does it work?

Like all degree apprenticeships, the PCDA standard combines practical on-the-job training with academic theory. Police apprentices are on the beat from day one and earn a wage while they train. The apprenticeship covers all areas that are critical to effective policing in the 21st century – such as evidence-based policing, supporting vulnerable people and cyber crime. The PCDA will take around 3 years to complete.

How are candidates assessed?

Candidates are mentored by fellow police officers throughout their training, and then complete an end-point assessment (EPA) to pass the course.

How do candidates apply?

The police constable apprenticeship is new, so individual forces are recruiting in different ways. To apply, candidates must be between age 18-55, and have recognised level 2 qualifications in maths and English – level three (A level or equivalent) is preferred, but not necessary.

How is the PCDA funded?

Most UK police forces will pay the apprenticeship levy, so we recommend forces use these funds to pay for training. In fact, the PCDA has been designed as an apprenticeship to take advantage of the new levy funding, and more police training will be converted to apprenticeships in the future.

Get the best ROI from your apprenticeship levy. 

How will training be managed by forces?

Candidates spend 80% of their time learning on the job, and 20% 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 standards. They'll also need to take this portfolio to uni, and show their work to mentors, tutors and managers. We recommend forces use an eportfolio to manage the process.

Find out how to use OneFile to deliver police apprenticeships. 

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 online and is visible to managers, IQAs and EQAs – making quality assurance easy to maintain.

At OneFile, our eportfolio is already used by 10 UK police forces. Why? Because it 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.

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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.