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What you could be doing | Police Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme

The programme is a fantastic combination of on the job learning and university study

Police Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme

The Police Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) is for people who already have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent level 6 qualification) or in your final year of study in any subject and would like to be trained to be a first-class police officer.

Join us as an operational officer and you’ll get to learn both 'on the job' and by studying at university over a two-year period, where you’ll be able to gain a Level 6 Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice. It doesn’t matter what subject your degree is in. The important thing is that by earning one you’ve already shown that you have the ability to research, evaluate and present evidence.

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Is the role for you?

While being a police officer is physically, mentally and emotionally demanding, it’s also hugely varied and incredibly rewarding. Of course, it’s vital that you’re the right person for the job. This tool will help you to explore your suitability and make a reasonably informed decision about whether or not to apply.

Please note, this tool is a guide, not a definitive statement about your suitability.

Explore your suitability

What do you need?

All applicants must be a UK Citizen, EU Citizen with EU Settled Status, a Commonwealth Citizen or Foreign National with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom. Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have lived here for the three years immediately preceding your application.

You must also be 17 years old and over on the date of submitting your application.


You must have a minimum of a UK bachelor’s degree qualification (Level 6) or equivalent or be in your final year of study in any subject.

Accepted qualifications

  • Bachelors Degree e.g. BA/ BSc/ Bed
  • Bachelors Degree with Honours e.g. BA(Hons)/ BSc(Hons)
  • Degree Apprenticeship

Qualifications not accepted

  • Graduate Certificate*
  • Graduate Diploma*
  • Level 6 Award*
  • Level 6 Certificate*
  • Level 6 NVQ*
  • Irish Foundation Degree
  • Irish Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • Irish Higher Certificate

*Please note these are classed as the same standard as a Level 6 but are not Degree based and therefore cannot be accepted for DHEP.

Driving Licence

You must hold a full UK/EU valid manual driving licence at the start of pre-employment checks.

Fitness Level Requirements

You’ll need to pass a Job-Related Fitness Test (JRFT9) to check your fitness levels. This test determines whether you’re fit for the job and ready for Officer Safety Training, where you’ll learn to protect yourself and others. You’ll also be asked to take a running test (known as a multi-stage shuttle run or bleep test) to level 5:4.

Health Requirements

You’ll need to undergo a medical assessment to make sure you’re healthy enough for the intense training. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Our Occupational Health Team will generally carry out the assessment. They’ll check:

Body Mass Index (BMI)
Colour vision
Lung function

You’ll also be asked to complete a confidential medical history questionnaire. Depending on your medical history, we may have to contact your GP/specialist for further information. Once you have been declared medically fit, we’ll progress your application to the next stage.

You can check your Body Mass Index at or find out more about healthy eating at

Background Checks

You must declare any previous spent and unspent convictions and have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance. Applicants with cautions, convictions or reprimands, other than some motoring offences, may not be accepted.

What we can offer you



As a police or detective constable you’ll receive an expected starting salary of £28,551. After seven years your expected salary will be £46,044.



All police officers and staff are able to join one of our pension schemes - and we’d highly recommend doing it. As a police officer you'll have the option to retire at 60.

As a member of our police staff, you can join the Local Government Pension Scheme. It’s one of the largest public sector pension schemes in the UK, with 4.6 million members.

You can also join a recognised national scheme provided by our chosen administrator. Both of these schemes offer final salary, plus other benefits such as life cover or ill health benefits.


Funded learning

Funded learning

We are offering new funded learning entry routes into policing:

The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

The Police Constable and Detective Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)

Whichever route you choose, you'll be employed as an officer from day one, and spend time training with experienced officers on the frontline whilst also working towards a fully funded degree or graduate diploma.

Annual leave

Annual leave

We recognise the hard work and effort of all our staff by making sure they’re adequately rewarded with time off. As a police officer, you’ll receive 22 days’ holiday, rising to 30 days according to length of service. (This is in addition to public holidays).

We also provide a number of other forms of leave, including maternity, paternity and adoption leave, special leave with and without pay, carers leave, parental leave and career breaks of up to five years.

Flexible working

Flexible working

Nine-to-five isn’t for everyone. That’s why we encourage flexible working. Flexible working patterns that help you balance your working life with other commitments and interests you may have. While there’s normally a qualifying period, we’ll always look at each case individually and on its own merits.

We’ll consider all requests and try to accommodate them provided they fit in with operational demands. In short, we strive to be a flexible employer, but we expect you to be flexible too. For example, you couldn't suddenly stop and go home in the middle of a suspect interview or while taking a victim statement just because your scheduled shift has ended.

When it comes to shifts, the good news is that you'll be advised of your shift pattern a year in advance. This allows you to plan your work-life balance accordingly. It’s all part of our commitment to providing a healthy working environment and improving the quality of life of everyone who works with us.



You’ll be encouraged to join a contributory health scheme and enjoy other benefits that include free eye tests and a contribution to glasses if you drive a police vehicle or are a regular computer user.

Personal support and advice

Personal support and advice

We believe in looking after our people – and their families – in every way that we can. As well as a range of comprehensive support initiatives to help with your personal welfare and that of your family, we offer occupational health and welfare counselling, from psychotherapy to financial guidance.

We also run a number of development and mentoring schemes. And, as a member of the Police Federation and staff associations, you can be confident that the support and representation you need, should you need it, is there for you.

Sports and social

Sports and social

Our active Derbyshire Constabulary Sports Club is a hive of social and sporting activities. Indeed, there's always something new to try. Whether you enjoy playing in a team, are keenly competitive or simply looking for some satisfying sport at your own level, you can choose between tournaments and team games in sports that range from rugby to snooker.

As a Sports Club member, you’ll enjoy full exclusive access to our fitness suites too, while 'Days Out' corporate tickets are also available, allowing access for you and your family into places such as Chatsworth, Twycross Zoo, White Post Farm, and many more.

You can join the Sports Club for £5 per month. Membership is open to Police Officers and Police Staff, both serving and retired, as well as serving members of the Special Constabulary. It's easy to join with direct payment from your salary. And membership allows you to bring your family along with you as well.

Other benefits

Other benefits

As a member of Derbyshire Constabulary there are many other benefits you can take advantage of:

The Blue Light Card. Offering a wide range of discounts offered by retailers, restaurants and other businesses to police workers.

The Cycle2Work scheme. Enabling you to loan a bike and he scheme enables you to loan a bike and equipment for commuting to and from work within a salary sacrifice scheme.

Boost. Our employee benefits scheme, which is in place to save money on everyday purchases. Get cash back, buy instant vouchers or purchase reloadable gift cards at discount prices.

Career progression

On completing probation, the following career path is available. As a Police Constable, you’ll be able to apply for specialist units. To find out more visit the College of Policing career pathways portal.


Police/Detective Constable

Starting rank.



Responsible for a team of constables.



Typically oversee a shift of Constables and Sergeants.

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Chief Inspector

Manages a specific geographical area.



Oversee a large department such as Specialist Operations.

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Chief Superintendent

Responsible for a specific function such as Crime and Intelligence.

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Assistant Chief Constable

Responsible for a business area such as Crime and Operations.

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Deputy Chief Constable

Deputy and support for the Chief Constable.

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Chief Constable

Responsible for the effective running of Derbyshire Constabulary.

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What may hold you back?

You cannot apply to join the frontline if you:

  • Have had an application turned down by a police force in the last three months at any stage of the national process. The national process includes Online Assessment, fitness test and pre-employment checks.
  • Have been or are a member of a group or extreme political organisation such as BNP, National Front or Combat 18 that stirs up racial hatred and violence, a proscribed terrorist organisation/group or a similar organisation.
  • Are waiting to appear in court or have any serious convictions or recent cautions, bind-overs or findings of guilt.
  • Misuse drugs, solvents or anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits.
  • Have tattoos on your face, neck or hands that could cause offence. If you have a tattoo, you’ll be asked to provide a description and photographs of the tattoo. The nature, location, size, prominence and appearance of tattoos will be considered.
  • Have any current County Court Judgements (CCJs) against you, or are the subject of an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA). If you’ve been registered bankrupt, you may only apply if it is at least three years since the date your debts were discharged.
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What you could experience as a police officer

Life as a police officer is hugely varied. From community initiatives and minor offence calls, through to major incidents or immediate response calls. When we say no two days are the same, we really mean it. Here's an insight as to what you could expect on shift:


Shift starts

First job: make a tea for tasking. It may be the only chance for a sit down cuppa this shift so got to get it in!



My tasks for the day, maybe one or two assigned incidents that could involve domestics, missing people, etc.


Equipment check

Next up is an equipment check. We check our equipment every shift to be sure we're as prepared as possible for the shift ahead of us.


Road traffic Collison

The first call of the shift comes in as a RTC. Time to get our blue lights on and get down to the scene. 


At the scene

We arrive at the scene and it appears to be a minor RTC with no injury. We take statements, run checks and support partner agencies in clearing the road.


Aggressive male

A new call comes in about an agressive male in a near by street, we head straight there to calm the situation down and move the male along. 



It's back to the station to fill out the paperwork for the incidents of the shift so far. It's good to try and keep on top of it throughout the shift if we can


Domestic Violence Suspect

Intelligence has come in about a suspected domestic violence suspect's wherabouts, back out to attempt arrest. 


Time for a break

The suspect wasn't at the location and after a search of the surrounding area it's time for a break to grab some food.


Missing Person

The food will have to wait! A new call for a high risk missing person has come in. We join a number of other teams in the search around the loacl area.


ASB checks

The missing person is found safe and well, thankfully - it doesn't always end this way. While we are in the area we do a patrol of a well known Anti-Social Behaviour spot. 


Caught a break

We finally get our break! We get the chance to eat and recharge.


Stolen vehicle found

Our break gets cut short as intelligence comes in about a stolen vehicle being found. It's not far away from the station but we have to move now because we don't know how long it will be there for.


Vehicle recovered

The vehicle is recovered and the owner is notified. We'll take that as a win for this shift!


Final call

We get what turns out to be the final call of the shift; a drunk person making threats of violence to members of the public. Time for the blue lights again. 


Arrest made

We arrest the suspect at the scene on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly. 



We head to custody where there is a queue for booking in, so we wait. 


Suspect booked in

We complete the booking in process at the custody suite, handing over the details to the custody officer.


Back to the station

It's back to the station in time for end of shift, but there's paperwork to be done before we clock off. 


End of shift

Only half an hour later than planned today! It's time to clock off and head home for a rest. Tomorrow's a new shift, and who knows what it'll bring. 

Meet some of the team

Jason Potts, Police Constable

I joined the force back in 1992 as a Response Car Driver. During my time in that role I helped save someone’s life. It remains one of my proudest moments. I’ve been in my current job for over 20 years, but I’m still as enthusiastic and inspired to do my best as I’ve ever been. 

I’ve investigated many fatal collisions and serious offences. A lot of cases have challenged me professionally and moved me on a personal level. It can be a difficult and frustrating job at times, but working with like-minded people and producing positive results makes it all worthwhile. The people who work here are a credit to the force.

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Our approach to recruitment

We’re proud to employ some of the very best talent in the Derbyshire and beyond. Their talent and dedication are what make our force so successful. In order to select those people, we apply an objective process and provide a world-class candidate experience. Our process is built on ensuring equality of opportunity for all and appointing the best person for the job.

Our recruitment process for police officers, Specials and PCSOs
Two police officers and a staff member sit in a meeting