The first 40 student police officers start their training this week in Wiltshire on the new police constable training programme – a three-year apprenticeship degree in policing, or a two-year diploma for those who already hold a degree.
The new national entry routes for police constables were set by the College of Policing to standardise professional qualification levels for police officers. Wiltshire Police and the University of South Wales provide the training from police headquarters in Devizes.
The students had on their first day today, Monday, June 29, for a briefing, to pick up their IT kit and receive a welcome to Wiltshire from Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills and Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson. Due to Covid-19, the first few weeks of police constable training are online and the course curriculum adapted.
Of 25 new students taking the degree apprenticeship and 15 already degree holders on the diploma course – all are warranted full-time police officers from day one. During the initial 23 weeks training, they study together in mixed groups, before joining community policing teams under tutorship to continue their academic studies, with protected learning time alongside being full time police officers.
Police officer recruitment is unlikely to open again until early 2021 in Wiltshire, but expressions of interest are welcome on the Force’s Talent Bank online. Candidates need two GCSEs and one A Level or equivalent to apply – not a degree – to become a police officer. Applicants must be 17 years or old at the time of application and 18 when they start training and there is no maximum age limit. For more information go to www.wiltshire.police.uk/Officers
A national website https://www.joiningthepolice.co.uk/ has information and direct links to police forces currently recruiting. Potential recruits can also sign up to receive a regular police recruitment newsletter.