Entry routes & training

This page outlines the various entry routes to becoming a Police Constable.

1. Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) and two A Levels (A-E)

Update February 2017: In light of changes to the employment market and the introduction of further academic and vocational qualifications, we have taken the opportunity to review our entry criteria. Applicants must now hold two A Levels graded PASS (A-E) or equivalent or higher and have gained a Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) (opens new window)

View the A Level equivalency table (PDF 177 Kb - opens new window) (opens new window)

Successful applicants will complete a 23 week training programme.

2. The Thames Valley Police Foundation Degree in Policing.

We are seeking to recruit a significant percentage of our future police officers from graduates of the Foundation Degree in Policing.* Working in partnership with universities within the Thames Valley area, we have developed and delivered the Foundation Degree in Policing (FdA), a two-year course with an optional third year top up.

The FDP is delivered by the universities and involves placements in TVP where students work as Special Constables. This mix of academic and practical development enables the successful graduate to reach a level of skill and knowledge that not only prepares them for a career in the police service but allows them, after selection, to join Thames Valley Police without the need for further initial training.

* Where the Foundation Degree meets national standards and involves both academic learning and practical application as a special constable.

Opportunities to commence the Foundation Degree are open during the year. Find out more about the Foundation Degree in Policing. (opens new window)

3. Thames Valley Police serving Special Constables

This is specifically for serving Special Constables with Thames Valley Police who have gained Fit for Independent Patrol Status (FIP), a Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) (opens new window) and have two A Levels (grades A-C) or equivalent or higher.
View the A Level Equivalency Table. (opens new window)

Successful applicants will complete a 14 week training programme.

4. Fast Track for internal candidates

Fast Track for internal candidates is open to serving Thames Valley Police Constables who can demonstrate their operational credibility to reach the rank of Inspector within two years, and show potential to reach the rank of Superintendent throughout their career.

To be eligible to apply you must be a serving regular Constable (i.e. not a member of the Special Constabulary), be out of your probation and not on any other promotion programme to become a Sergeant. You can have completed OSPRE® Part 1 PC to Sergeant but this is not essential.

As this is a nationwide programme, it is currently run once a year.

5. Direct Entry (Superintendent)

The Direct Entry (Superintendent) programme is open to candidates with knowledge and experience in Intelligence or Criminal Justice. You will need to be an exceptional leader who has the ability and desire to become an operationally credible police officer at the rank of Superintendent, upon completion of an intensive 18 month development programme and who ultimately has the potential to reach Chief Officer rank.

Further details about this recruitment plan will be on our website when available. As this is a nationwide programme it is currently run once a year.

6. Direct Entry (Inspector)

The Direct Entry (Inspector) programme opens up a second direct entry point into policing to individuals who will bring new perspectives and diverse backgrounds to support the continuous development of policing. For exceptional individuals with proven leadership skills and supervisory experience, the Inspector programme offers something very different.

The programme is designed to deliver robust and comprehensive training and exposure to policing to ensure that, upon completion, members are able to competently fulfil the role of an operational uniform Inspector. You will need to be ambitious, resilient, determined and realistic about what is required of you. Being a police officer is not a nine-to-five job. You will be expected to manage dangerous and difficult situations. The hours are unpredictable and the shifts can be long. You will have to justify and account for every action to ensure that you are working ethically and to the high standards that the public expect.

Visit the College of Policing's 'Lead Beyond' website (opens new window) for further details.

7. Police Now (Graduate Leadership Development Programme)

Police Now’s Graduate Leadership Programme offers outstanding graduates the opportunity to pursue a highly ambitious vision for social change. Its aim? To break the intergenerational cycle of crime in the most challenged areas by creating safe, confident communities in which people can thrive.

This two-year programme operates at pace and intensity. And the challenge is unique. Graduates become fully warranted police officers with responsibility for an area that could be home to as many as 20,000 people. The programme is challenging. But graduates are supported by mentors, coaches and line managers. Frontline training is delivered by over 40 different experts and a whole range of operational police officers.

We are partnering with Police Now as part of the 2017 intake. Applications are open until 27 February 2017.

Applications for entry in 2017 (opens new window) are currently open.

Further information about the programme can be found at the Police Now website. (opens new window)