If you decide to take this route – known as the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) – you will be a police officer from the first day, earn a competitive apprenticeship salary with the potential to earn up to £40,128 in just seven years. That means, gaining a degree you don't have to pay for, while working in the job as a police officer.

Entrants receive practical on-the-job training alongside academic theory and knowledge while earning.

This is a structured three year programme, after successful completion you are awarded a degree in professional policing practice.

Assessment of academic and operational competence is ongoing throughout the programme and carried out through a collaborative partnership between the force and one or more learning providers such as a university.

Education and development during this year is at academic level 4, with the aim of preparing apprentices for operational deployment with the support of a tutor or mentor. This is to enable you to achieve independent patrol status (IPS), which must happen by the end of year one.

The second year see apprentices take a significant step forward in the development of a highly skilled, multi competent police constable – academic level 5.

The apprentice will undertake advanced learning across five areas:

  • Response policing
  • Community policing
  • Policing the roads
  • Information and intelligence
  • Conducting investigations

During year three the apprentice will undertake advanced learning, development and professional practice at academic level 6, associated within a chosen specialism from the five areas of professional practice covered in year two.


An apprentice’s education will culminate in the completion of an evidence based research project and a reflective piece in the form of a presentation. Alongside the academic assessment, individual’s operational performance and competence will be assessed via the completion of an operational competence portfolio. Together they will form part of an End Point Assessment (this is an external site).

Current vacancies

We have regular recruitment windows for applications to become a police officer. The next time we will be taking applications to the PCDA route is November 16, 2020.

You can also register your interest for the PCDA by emailing: recruitment@northants.pnn.police.uk

Details are kept on file and during recruitment windows the work force planning team will notify you.

In the meantime our IPLDP route is now open for applications.

Find out more about IPDLDP

Before filling out your application, make sure you look through our guidance document to assist you.