Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

11 Jul 2020
12 Mar 2021
Role Type
Apprenticeship, Degree
Start Date
24 months+

Nathan’s story

Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

Starting a career in the police can be one of the best things you’ll ever do. You’ll be able to make a real difference in your community, reducing crimes and making people safer. 

With a Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) you can earn and learn on the job. You don’t need a degree to join but by the end of the programme you’ll have gained a degree in Professional Policing Practice. Many forces are recruiting officers in this way right now - you can apply through your chosen force.

Police 8


Alternative Entry Routes

If an apprenticeship isn’t for you there are other routes into policing. For some forces you can still apply via the traditional entry route – following the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP) and a two-year probation period.

Or if you want to get a degree before you join, there is the degree holder entry route for graduates.

Some universities also offer a specific pre-join policing degree. If you wish to become a police officer through this route, you should search for a university offering the Professional Policing Degree. You can then apply to one or more forces as your degree is coming to an end.

Learn more about ways into policing 

Benefits of being a police officer

CF image 3

There's a comprehensive range of benefits including :

  • Competitive salary - from the outset, you earn while you learn. Minimum starting salaries for police apprentices are around £18,450 but this will vary by force and region. Once you’ve passed your probation, you normally receive an annual pay rise, with the maximum salary for police constables being around £40k. 
  • A generous pension, including the option to retire at 60.
  • Heavily discounted private healthcare via the Police Mutual discretionary healthcare scheme.
  • Annual leave - ranging from 22 days (in addition to public holidays) when you’re starting out to 30 days for long-serving staff.
  • Generous maternity and paternity leave.
  • A wide range of discounts offered by retailers, restaurants and other businesses to police workers. Here’s just one example.

Representing the communities you serve

When you join the police, you can make a real difference through understanding the needs of your community. That’s why we welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, cultures and experiences.

 Find out more about joining the police