Police Constable

From 2020, the entry requirements to policing at police constable rank will require all officers to either obtain or already have a degree level qualification in what is an increasingly challenging and demanding occupation, but also one which provides a great degree of job satisfaction.  We are working in partnership with Thames Valley Police to provide the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) so that driven and talented individuals can apply to be Thames Valley Police Apprentice Constables and gain a degree whilst working and earning.

The PCDA is a challenging, yet rewarding three-year programme combining on-the-job practical learning, academic learning and operational competence. Successful apprentices will graduate with a nationally recognised honours degree in Professional Policing Practice.

Policing increasingly requires its professionals to have graduate-level skills including the ability to think critically, reflect and deliberate effectively, exercise judgement, challenge accepted norms, contribute to the evolving evidence base, work with a high degree of autonomy, communicate confidently and make decisions independently. The PCDA is one of the new entry routes into the profession and our PCDA programme will provide new officers with the opportunity to develop these skills whilst gaining an understanding of areas which are critical for policing in the modern era, including cybercrime and dealing with vulnerable people.

Programme outline

Year one: A blended learning programme delivered by TVP and Bucks New University with initial learning based at TVP’s Training Centre in Sulhamstead, Reading. Apprentices will then join their designated Local Policing Area (LPA) for a period of operational tutoring leading to Independent Patrol Status.

Year two: Builds on the first year of learning but with more operational focus including response, investigation, intelligence, community policing and roads policing.

Year three: As part of the End Point Assessment apprentices will complete an Evidence-Based Research Project and achieve Full Operational Competence. The research project has a practical policing purpose; demonstrating learning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

You can find details about the PCDA programme on the Thames Valley Police website or you can visit the College of Policing website for more information on careers within the police.  Full details of the PCDA standards are also available on the Government’s website.