The police constable degree apprenticeship (PCDA) is a three-year programme that will see student officers gain a fully-funded, BSc (Hons) degree with Anglia Ruskin University and earn a full-time wage by working as a police officer. Once officers have successfully completed the three years, they are able to explore the many career paths that are available at Bedfordshire Police.
This route to join as a police officer was developed from a need of progression and to recognise the hugely challenging job done by officers every day. It addresses the fact that policing is about so much more than just catching criminals. Policing is complex; it’s about problem solving, understanding social difficulties and working in an evidence-based way.
Over the years the role of an officer had developed and changed. Every day officers face complex problems and often dangerous situations, and the job includes a lot more digital investigation and the protection of vulnerable people. So, the training requirements have been updated to meet what is needed to be a police constable (PC) today.
The skills needed to be a PC were then independently assessed by the Institute for Apprenticeships and others and was recognised to be at a degree level. This made the College of Policing understand that current officers are already operating at degree level.
This route is delivered in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University and is moving forward in professionalising policing and to recognise the work and level that student officers now work to as well as giving them a tangible and widely recognised qualification.
You will start your three-year journey with a 22-week initial training phases. During this period, you will learn how to use our IT programmes, the basic dos and don’ts of policing, personal safety training, law, role plays, and everything else needed to prepare you for life as a police officer. You will be awarded your warrant card during a ceremony called an Attestation, where family and friends can also join and watch this special moment in your policing career.
The next phase is the 15-week tutorship where you will gain independent patrol status. During this time, you will work on response with a tutor on a one-to-one basis. They will guide you through each of the different jobs you will attend as a student officer and help you to achieve independent patrol status.
From then your time will be split between working on response and classroom-based / protected learning time. In the first year your time will be split approximately 50/50 between off-the-job, classroom-based learning time and on-the-job learning in response. Over the remaining two years you will spend 80% of your time as a police officer on response with 20% classroom-based learning time. You will be expected to work towards and complete written assignments during the classrooms based/ protected learning time.
Modules on the course include crime investigation, understanding vulnerability, leadership and coaching, and specialist policing.
Once the three years are complete and you have passed the degree programme you will graduate and be a fully ranked officer. Officers and tutors are on hand to help you if you need more time or need to go to certain jobs to pass the course.
As a fully ranked officer you will be able to take advantage of different training opportunities that are available and apply to work in different departments like community policing, firearms, cybercrime and more.
The salary of a fully ranked officer is £27,030 and will increase each year for the next seven years to reach £41,000.
You will start on this route at £26,682 and will increase in the second year and third year. There is also a £1,500 yearly allowance added on top of the above salaries.
Salaries are on a scale system with yearly increases over the next seven years.
To be successful you will need to meet our minimum entry requirements, and demonstrate a passion and commitment to providing a first-class policing service to our communities.
Do you have A Levels or equivalent?
To join this entry route, you need a minimum of 32 UCAS points and GSCEs at grade C or Level 4 and above in Maths and English.
If you have less than 32 UCAS points and the GCSE grades, you also need to have one year's experience in a role that has comparable skills to policing or academic study. Skills include customer service, conflict management or experience in high pressure situations.
Do you have GCSEs or equivalent?
If you have GCSEs in Maths and English at grade C or Level 4 and above, you must have at least one year's experience in a role that has comparable skills to policing. These skills include customer service, working in a high pressure environment and conflict management.
You will be invited to complete an aptitude test followed by a suitability discussion where an assessment will be made on your ability to meet the academic demands of the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship.
Further information on UCAS points can be found at UCAS.
Applicants will also have to meet the eligibility for becoming a police officer and pass the Police SEARCH® Recruit Assessment Centre. See the College of Policing website for more information.
You’ll enjoy the advantages of a contributory pension scheme, which offers generous benefits based on final salary. You’ll start with 22 days annual leave rising to 30 days, dependent on your length of service. You also have access to equity loans for housing under our Key Worker scheme and the opportunity to attend various free advice sessions through Police Mutal.
You can also join our sports and social club which will give you access to our on site gyms, discounts at local attractions and businesses and where you can enter our force lottery. Staff can also sign up to the Blue Light Card where they can receive discount at many businesses.
There is free on-site parking at HQ and Luton, on-site canteens as well as many well-being resources and support groups available for all staff members.
An additional benefit to police officers is the huge range of career and training opportunities that will be available to you. After your two year probation period you will be able to apply to join the various teams that make Bedfordshire Police. You could move into community policing, work in cyber crime, join the firearms or dogs unit, join the detective pathway and more. The opportunities are endless. We will support you throughout your career with us and provide training when needed to help you achieve your goals. If you fall ill or have a long-term injury we can look for you to work in a different department, more suitable to your needs.