Cheshire Constabulary offers a number of apprenticeship schemes where people can develop their skills in a diverse and dynamic environment, gaining valuable experience of working within a large organisation while earning a salary.
The recruitment window for PCDA applications has now closed.
The way that police constable new recruits are trained is changing nationally.
As of 2020 there will be three entry routes into policing, you won’t need a degree to get in but will have achieved one at the end of your training period:
- Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship – work as a police constable and study at the same time. Earn while you learn.
- Pre-join degree – if you want to study first, complete your Degree in Professional Policing at your own expense and then apply to become an officer.
- Degree-holder entry – if you already have a degree in another subject (not necessarily related to policing), you will follow a 2 year work based graduate programme.
The police constable curriculum has been updated, developed and expanded.
It now reflects the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to face the complex issues that police constables must deal with every day, whilst equipping them with the resilience they will need to adapt to the ever changing role of a police officer.
Cheshire Constabulary are working on their Pre-Join and Degree Holder Entry Programme routes ready to launch in 2020.
What is the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship?
This is a brand new, exciting opportunity open to all individuals with the passion, drive and enthusiasm to succeed in making Cheshire a safe place for all of our communities.
It is a three year programme and you will be employed as a police officer from day one, gaining valuable experience of the role alongside studying towards your degree.
Essentially, you will have day-to-day responsibilities as well as on-the-job, practical training and academic work all at the same time.
What are the benefits of the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship?
Recruitment and Selection Process
We are looking for the very best and so we have a lengthy recruitment and selection process. As an apprentice, you will have gone through and passed this before starting your degree. Those taking other routes will study and then still be required to pass recruitment before they can start work as an officer.
Earn while you learn
You will be a paid police officer from day one of your training, gaining on-the-job experience and studying your degree. Earn while you learn.
Forget the idea that apprentices are paid less than their colleagues, we offer a competitive starting salary of £24,177. This is the same as the other entry routes, so you won’t earn less because you are an apprentice
If you’re wondering what you might earn in other sectors the national average for degree apprenticeships is £18,000.
High quality training paid for by us
Cheshire Constabulary will pay your tuition fees. You’ll be earning a salary too so no need for student loans.
No tuition fees + no student loans = no debt!
Unlike traditional University courses, the PCDA has been designed by the police, for the police.
We have worked closely with the University of Chester to develop a programme that will give you the knowledge, skills and behaviours required in modern policing and to provide you with on-the-job learning and experiences that cannot be taught in a classroom.
We will ensure that your training provides you with transferable and future proof skills and enables you to develop personally and professionally.
Not just for school leavers
If you think that apprenticeships are for school leavers only, think again. This is a great opportunity for those looking for a career change, to improve their career prospects or for a route back into work. Yes, you will need to retrain but you will be paid a competitive salary and have your tuition fees covered by us.
Once you have passed the probationary period you will have the opportunity to progress through the ranks and/or specialise in an area of policing that interests you most, dependent on the vacancies available in the force.
Benefits of Working for Cheshire Constabulary
Pension, leave, discounts, access to staff networks, occupational health and wellbeing initiatives are available to all police officers, please see the PC area of the website for more information.
When will you be open for applications?
The recruitment window has passed. Please check back on this page for updates on when the window will be re-opened.
What are the eligibility requirements?
You will be required to study for a degree and so, ideally, you will have a level 3 qualification (A-Levels or equivalent) to prepare you for studying at this level.
Ultimately though we are looking for people with the right skills, experiences and a genuine commitment to Cheshire Constabulary and the communities we serve.
If you do not have a level 3 qualification but feel that you could take on the challenge of degree level study alongside working as a police officer then we will consider your application and assess your ability to achieve throughout the recruitment process.
If you have not already done so, you will be required to complete level 2 functional skills (GCSE grades A*- C or equivalent) in Maths and English, before you are able to complete your apprenticeship.
We strongly recommend that you address this requirement before commencing your programme. Please contact your local college or our partners University of Chester [email protected] who will be able to assist with this.
All other eligibility requirements, fitness, vetting etc. will be the same as other entry routes, see the PC page for this information.
What is the Probationary Period?
The probationary period for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship is three years. This is to give you time to complete your degree.
What, where and how will I be studying?
You will be studying for a BSc Professional Policing Practice.
Your learning won’t just be based in a lecture theatre; it will be a blend of classroom learning, seminars, coaching and mentoring sessions, practical training and the most valuable learning tool of all… actually doing the job!
When you are at University it will be on a block release basis, so you will be away from the front line for a number of weeks dedicating your time to study.
The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship will be delivered in partnership with the Institute of Policing at University of Chester. The course will be primarily delivered at its Warrington Campus with some components at Police Headquarters in Winsford.
In year one, you will commence the initial phase of training will last for 25 weeks and will include inductions at the Constabulary and University, Personal Safety Training , classroom based learning and practical role plays. This will be followed by a period in company with a Tutor Constable before commencing operational patrol, when you pass the Independent Patrol Status module.
In the second year, you will continue with your operational duties, in addition to attending the University for your protected learning time, along with spending three periods of secondments to other units, which will develop your knowledge and skills.
The third year comprises of continued operational duties and attending the University for your protected learning time, which culminate in completion of the End Point Assessment module. This consists of a research project related to your chosen area of policing specialism and completion of the Occupational Competence Portfolio, which comprises the assessed elements of a professional discussion and presentation.
Further information on the programme is available on the College of Policing website.
Will I be tied in to a contract after finishing my degree?
No. We really hope that you will stay with us but you are under no obligation to do so.
What is the recruitment process?
You will be required to go through the same process as the other routes:
SEARCH assessment centre
For further information on each stage please see the PC page.
If you have any other questions please email [email protected]
We are no longer taking Business Administration Apprenticeship applications.
Business Administration Apprenticeship
Cheshire Constabulary annually recruits a cohort of Business Administration Apprentices to join the policing family.
The apprenticeship runs for 12 months and during that time apprentices gain valuable work experience as well as a qualification.
We work closely with our training provider Total People to ensure all apprentices benefit as much as possible from the programme.
What to expect
Business administration apprentices are employed on a 12 month fixed term contract, they typically work a 37 hour week and earn a competitive rate of £8.21 per hour (in line with national living wage).
Apprentices are posted to one of the departments, based at HQ in Winsford, that provide valuable support to the front line. Previous placements have been in IT, Fleet, Finance, Criminal Justice, Human Resources, Firearms Licensing plus many more.
Apprentices are given every opportunity to learn as much as possible about the organisation during their time with us, including chances to shadow other departments and visit Local Policing Units.
Our ultimate goal is to help our apprentices into permanent roles and we support them in applying for internal and external opportunities during their time with us.
What is the recruitment process?
Initially applicants are required to complete an online application.
Applications are then shortlisted and successful candidates invited to an assessment centre which will consist of team working activities and an interview.
Those successful at assessment centre will then be required to undertake our pre-employment checks, these are:
"My apprenticeship is split between the Professional Standards Department (PSD) and the Force Vetting Department at the Cheshire Constabulary HQ.
"As part of the apprenticeship we have to spend 20% of our time doing some shadowing, meaning that we visit different areas of the police so that we can understand the constabulary as a whole. I think this is the part of my apprenticeship that I have enjoyed the most (not that the rest isn’t fun). I have been all over Cheshire (Crewe LPU, Northwich LPU, Middlewich Custody etc.) and I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite. I’ve met some amazing characters and have learnt a lot about the role of the police in the legal system and have tried to relate this as much to my future career as possible."
"I was pleased when I found out that I was going to be based within the Criminal Justice Department as this sounded interesting to me and I was keen to learn about the different roles within the department. The team that I work in is called the Criminal Justice Change Management Team. This team is responsible for leading change within the justice system, ensuring that the victim, witness and criminal receive justice.
"I have been very lucky to be able to shadow in various different roles, just a few of these are: Crime Scene Investigations (CSI), Witness Care, and the Force Control Center - this is where they receive all the 999 and 101 calls."
"Before applying for my Business Admin Apprentice role, I was studying Business in College. I studied Business for two years whilst also working in retail as a part time job for three years. During my time in College, I gained a real interest in HR which led me wanting to peruse a career in HR.
"After finding out information about the Business Admin Apprenticeship, I thought it was a really good opportunity to gain experience within a large organisation that prides it’s self on what they do, and gain a recognised qualification at the same time.
"This apprenticeship has offered me a huge amounts of experiences. I really don’t think that working in a bar for my break from education would have offered me the same kind of growth in person that working here has done for me. It has also offered me possible career paths and two very great departments to work with."
How to apply
We are not recruiting for this scheme at present. Please keep an eye on our vacancies page and our social media for updates.
Other Entry Routes
We are currently developing our entry routes into the organisation. Keep checking this page for more information
Police Staff Apprenticeships
Cheshire Constabulary’s frontline are supported by a dedicated team of Police Staff, they work in a range of departments and specialisms.
We are currently developing our apprenticeship programmes for existing staff and those new to the organisation. Keep checking this page for further information as it becomes available.