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The ‘Nonsense’ That Is The Police Graduate Entry Programme

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Last updated on July 20th, 2023 at 03:16 pm

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Much has been said about the Policing Educational Qualification Framework (PEQF) and the so called Graduate Entry Programme. I have been one of many to mistakenly use this title, but it is a misnomer, indeed, it has even been called ‘Nonsense’. You definitely do NOT need to have a degree before you can apply to join the Police.

It must be nonsense, a Temporary Chief Constable has told us it is.

So how can you join the Police? What are the routes in and what qualifications do you really need?

In no particular order you can join in one of these ways

The Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)

This is for candidates who have already been to University and obtained a Degree in ANY subject. A two-year academic and practical-based programme, this route is for anyone who already holds a degree in any subject area (but not in Professional Policing Practice) and leads to a Professional Policing Diploma alongside your existing Degree.

The Pre Join Degree Programme

This route is for anyone who already holds a degree in Professional Policing Practice. Successful students can apply to join the service and, if accepted, will follow an operational competence focused programme to achieve independent patrol status and full operational competence over a two-year probation period

The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship

Under this scheme you can join the Police as an Apprentice, earn while you are studying, and, if successful, after 3 years you will be awarded a Degree in Professional Policing Practice

To qualfy to join under this route you will need to have

  • two A levels, or an equivalent level 3 qualification, as defined in the Education and Skills Act 2008
  • competence in written and spoken English

So, basically, Temporary Chief Constable O’Reilly is correct, it is nonsense, you don’t have to have a Degree to join., , but where an old dinosaur like me gets confused is that all 3 of the above routes contain the word DEGREE.

It is clearly the intention of the College of Policing to make Policing 100% Degree Holders in due course. No, you don’t have to have a Degree to join, but join under the Apprenticeship route and if you don’t succeed in obtaining a Degree you will fail your Probation and be out.

Just to confuse me even more (not difficult I know), but of the 43 Police Forces in England and Wales, THREE are currently recruiting under the Traditional route. Just three. They are Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire, but how long that will remain the case is anybody’s guess. Will more ‘rebels’ join them? Who knows?

So there you have it. It is not a Graduate Entry Scheme, but you will need to either have or obtain a Degree. Got it?

If anything that I have written here is ‘Nonsense’ then I sincerely apologise to Mr O’Reilly. However, this dinosaur thinks that Mr O’Reilly’s tweet (above) was at best misleading, and potentially not factually accurate. With only 3 forces recruiting under the old, traditional route, I can only assume that the thousands who have joined in the last year, and the thousands who will be joining this year without a Degree must be making the Apprenticeship route very heavily susbscribed.

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