What you could be doing | Police Officers | Detective Constable Degree Holder Programme

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

Detective Constable Degree Holder Programme

As a detective there is no room for assumptions. Being diligent and collecting evidence based on facts are all part of each line of enquiry you’ll follow. You’ll work on some of society’s most challenging issues including child exploitation, sexual assault and murder. You’ll be driven by your personal mission of working to protect the victims of crime from future harm. You’ll learn about humans, how they behave, and how they shape the fabric of society.

It's a unique role with unique demands that are ever-changing. You need to be adaptable to change and ready to think on your feet. At the same time, it's a role that can give you some of the best and proudest days of your life. From protecting the vulnerable and saving lives, it's exciting, diverse and vitally important.

In return, you will have the benefit of working for a creative, forward-thinking force that is dedicated to keeping Derbyshire a safe place to live, work and visit.

We welcome applications from individuals from all backgrounds and encourage anyone who has considered a career in policing to apply. We are particularly keen to increase the number of women officers and officers from black and minority ethnic communities and candidates from the LGBT community, so that we can truly reflect the communities that we serve in Derbyshire.

As a new detective, you’ll receive an expected salary of around £26,679

Apply now

DC DHEP Discovery Webinars

To support recruitment for Detective Constable DHEP we are holding a series of online information sessions. Just click on the link to book a place at one of our events.

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6th October 2022 at 13.30

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11th October 2022 at 13:30

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Detective Constable Entry Routes

Detectives Constable DHEP

This route is available if you will already hold a bachelor’s degree in Criminology, Law, Social Work, Psychology or related subjects and are eager to pursue a career in investigation. The Detective DHEP is a rigorous, intensive, and demanding two-year programme. Like the Police Constable DHEP, it is a work-based programme, supported by on and off the job learning.

On successful completion of your probation, you will achieve a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice, as well as successfully obtaining the National Investigators Examination (NIE) and undertake a number of investigation courses, whilst working towards completion of Operational Competence Portfolio (PIP2) to qualify you as a detective constable.

During your probation you’ll work within a number of our investigation teams, learning the core skills of investigation. Once you are an accredited detective and become more experienced a whole world of roles and opportunities opens up within some of our specialist investigation teams including CID, Public Protection, Major Crime, Serious and Organised Crime and Cyber Crime investigations.

The role is vast and the opportunities to investigate are endless, you could be dealing with robbery one day only to be confronted with a potential murder the next.

When will I start?

* Your anticipated start date June 2023. Your training will last for 30 weeks and throughout this period your leave will be pre-booked. Closer to the start date we will be able to share the pre-booked leave dates with you.


*  We are also accepting online assessment centre scores.
*  If you have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent qualification) in Criminology, Law, Social Work, Psychology or related subjects.
*  If you are PIP2 qualified


Detective Constable Entry Routes

Detective Constable DHEP (PIP2)

If you hold a bachelor’s degree (level 6) in any subject and are PIP2 accredited or working towards accreditation by the end of April 2023, then this fast-track route is for you to become a detective constable.

This route is like our other DHEP routes, it is a two-year work-based programme, supported by on and off the job learning. You’ll achieve a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice and your initial training will cover all aspects of operational policing, like our police officers and work towards being signed off as competent on core policing duties.

You’ll then move into a detective role in one of our investigation teams, around 9 months of your service and in your second year a whole world of roles and opportunities opens up within some of our specialists investigation teams including CID, Major Crime Unit, Serious and Organised Crime and Cyber Crime investigations.

On successful completion of your probation you may decide you want to become a Sergeant and go through the national promotional process. Anyone promoted will be required to return to operational duties for a short period (6-12 months).


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 between 17 and 57 years old on the date of submitting your application.


To qualify for the Detective DHEP, you must have a bachelor’s degree or be in your last year of study (or equivalent qualification) in Criminology, Law, Social Work, Psychology or related subjects.  

Or you are PIP2 qualified or working towards accreditation by end of April 2023 and already hold a bachelor’s degree (level 6) in any subject.​​​​

Accepted qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree e.g. BA/ BSc/ Bed
  • Bachelor’s Degree with Honours e.g. BA(Hons)/ BSc(Hons)
  • Degree Apprenticeship

Qualifications not accepted for either route:

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.



You must hold a full UK/EU valid manual driving licence at offer stage which is typically 6 weeks prior to the cohort start date.


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.


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


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 may hold you back?

You cannot apply to become a detective constable with us 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, forearms 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.

What you could experience as a detective constable

Life as a detective constable is hugely varied. From volume and priority investigations, through to serious crimes. No two days are the same. We asked an experienced detective constable what they could experience in a typical day.



Briefing with the Detective Sergeant, to understand the priorities for the day.



I have new voicemail messages, all from the family of the victim from sexual assault case I worked on Saturday night. They’re calling with what they believe are more leads and evidence for me to look into.


Case updates

Catch up on emails and review previous cases to see if there has been any updates in the past 24 hours from my colleagues on the day shift.


Speak to the family

Return the calls the family of the victims. I assure them I'm doing everything I can to get answers, and I give them my mobile number so they can get in touch with me easily. It's a small gesture and an even smaller comfort, but it brings a little more relief to the family.


Case files

After I get off the phone, I look through my case files and plan the rest of the day. I've got three witnesses to interview, as well as the primary suspect from Saturday's sexual assault scene. I set up the interview for this evening to get as much extra information as I can to help me look for holes in the suspect's story.


Search warrant

I grab a coffee and a bite to eat. With the new information I've gathered, I've got some good leads and ideas of where to look for some key evidence. Have a debrief with the Detective Sergeant and request a search warrant so I can collect the evidence I expect to find.


Suspect interview

Start the suspect interview, their answers are short and somewhat evasive, and it's clear they've been coached. They offer an alibi, but I've got some witnesses who contradict that. I can tell he's not telling the truth, but I want to get more proof to back it up before I call them on it. When the interview is over, I assure them I'm exhausting all leads.


Collaborative working

Call in from the Op’s Team, there’s been another burglary in the same vicinity of a couple of cases I am working on. Update notes and reach out to Police Support Services team to understand if there is CCTV for that areas and can it be released.


Case files

It's been a long day, but I need to update notes on my files and will be in the office for at least another hour, maybe three! I grab another coffee.

What we can offer you


As a new detective, you’ll receive an expected salary of around £26,679.

All police officers and staff are able to join one of our pension schemes - and we’d highly recommend doing it. 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.

A police officer listens to a police staff member


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.

A police staff member talks to two police officers


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.

Two police officers and a staff member sit in a meeting.


You’ll be encouraged to join a contributory health scheme, and enjoy other benefits that include free eye tests, if you’re a regular computer user.

Three police officers chat in a meeting


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, is there for you.

Two police officers sit in a meeting with two members of police staff.


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’s 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 salary. And, membership allows you to bring your family along with you too.

A police staff member sits talking to a police officer.


On completing probation the following is available:

  • Police & Detective Constable - starting rank.
  • Sergeant - are responsible for a team of constables
  • Inspector - typically oversee a shift of constables/sergeants
  • Chief Inspector - manage a department with a specific geographical area
  • Superintendent – oversee a large department such as Specialist Ops
  • Chief Superintendent - responsible for a specific function such as Crime & Intelligence
  • Assistant Chief Constable - responsible for a business area such as Crime and Operations
  • Deputy Chief Constable - act as deputy and support for the Chief Constable 
  • Chief Constable - responsible for the effective running of Derbyshire Constabulary

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.

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The recruitment process

At the end of each stage of the recruitment process, you’ll be notified by email whether or not you’ve been successful and are therefore eligible to proceed to the next stage. You can also log in to view your application status. If you haven’t received an email, remember to check your junk mail/filter settings in case our emails are have ended up there.

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Application form

The first thing you’ll need to do is fill out an application form through our recruitment portal.

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Competency-based questions (CBQs)

We use these to assess how well you communicate and influence, work with others, and problem-solve and innovate.

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Internal assessment

Joining us for an assessment day at our Ripley HQ, you’ll be asked to do a short presentation, one to one interview, written exercises and a group task.

Find out more about the assessment day

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Online assessment

The final stage of the process is the National Online Assessment. This involves a competency based interview and a written exercise and briefing exercise.

Find out more about the online assessment

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Pre-employment checks

To be appointed you’ll need to complete a fitness test, medical and vetting checks. We’ll also need to obtain references for the last three years.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between this and the Police Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme?

Police Constables generally work in uniform either patrolling an area and responding to incidents or working within a community as part of a Safer Neighbourhood Team.  This Detective Constable Degree Holder programme is for people who know they want to work as Investigators (Detective Constables).  Investigators do not wear a uniform, they work in Investigation Units focussed on investigating and solving crimes.

What shifts will I work?

For the first 30 weeks you will be in training working daytime shifts only (usual hours are 8.30am to 5pm).  You will then move onto a uniform team where you will work rotating shifts of 2 early shifts, 2 late shifts, 2 night shifts, followed by 4 rest days.


When you move into an Investigation Unit you will have a new pattern of day shifts and late shifts.  Investigation Unit shifts extend into the early hours of the morning, but you will rarely be rostered for a full night shift.  You will need to be prepared however for long days, and evening and weekend working, as well as overtime when required – either pre-planned or at short notice.

Do I get time off to study for my Diploma?

Yes.  In Year 1 of your training you are given 80 hours – 24 of these are pre-allocated as part of your initial learning period, leaving 56 for you to book during the rest of Year 1.  In Year 2 you are allocated 120 hours of time for you to book as needed to complete your Diploma studies.

Do I get time off to study for my National Investigators’ Exam?

In addition to undertaking your Diploma, you also need to take your National Investigators’ Exam after 12 months’ service.  We will allocate you an additional 56 hours of time off towards the end of your first year to help you in studying for this.

What if I decide I don’t want to be an Investigator?

This programme is designed for candidates who are confident they do want to become Investigators.  However, we recognise that it isn’t the job for everyone.  If you join the programme and later decide it really isn’t for you then we will discuss with you the option of staying in service but as a Police Constable on uniform duties. 

I’m already working as an Investigator, in a civilian capacity - what extra training do I need?

All our Investigators need to be accredited at PIP Level 2 under the Professionalising Investigation Programme.  If you hold any other investigative training or experience, then you will need to re-train with us.  If you are already PIP2 accredited, then we will put you on a fast-track training programme which by—passes the need for the full Investigative Skills Training and the OCP PIP Level 2 portfolio in year 2; we may do refresher training depending how long it is since you became accredited.