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What you could be doing | Police Officers | Initial Police Learning and Development Programme

A traditional entry route into policing

Initial Police Learning and Development Programme

This route is to join our IPLDP programme, it is a two-year training programme. You will spend the first 30 weeks in our Training Centre, learning about law and legislation, officer safety training, IT systems and undertaking a job-related fitness test.

As you leave training school, you will then go on to your allocated station. You will spend ten weeks with a tutor constable who will monitor and assess your progress, then you will go onto independent patrols and continued to be assessed for the remainder of the two-year programme.

Your training will last for 30 weeks and throughout this period your leave will be pre-booked.

If you have any prior holidays or arrangements, throughout this period, we will not be able to accommodate these and will not be able to offer you a place on this cohort.

This route is only available to individuals who hold a level 3 qualification or are in their final year of study.

You are anticipated to start on one of our Autumn 2022 cohorts.

Once we have sufficient applications, we may close this campaign earlier than expected, so get your application in early to avoid dissapointment.

Apply now

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


To join this scheme you should hold a level 3 or 2 A levels or equivalent qualification in any subject by pre-employment checks


are currently serving or have previous work experience in the following areas within the last 5 years (from the date of your application):

  • Contact Management
  • Emergency Services
  • Custody Detention Officers
  • PCSO’s
  • Special Constables
  • Police Cadets and Leaders
  • Neighbourhood Investigation Officers
  • Detective Staff Investigators
  • Armed Services
  • Prison Officers

You must also be between 17 and 57 years old on the date of submitting your application.



You must hold a full UK manual driving licence at offer stage.


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 www.nhs.uk or find out more about healthy eating at www.nhs.uk/change4life


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 police officer 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 CBQ, 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.
  • If you have previously held the position of police officer you will not be eligible to apply for this route.

What we can offer you


As a police constable you’ll receive an expected starting salary of around £24,777.

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.

If you are a current PCSO at the time of applying and have served for 18 months, and are an independent or a current serving Special Constable who has achieved Safe and Lawful Status, your salary will be £24,780.  

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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.

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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.

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

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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, 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, is there for you.

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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.

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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

You’ll be asked to join us at our Ripley HQ for a 45 minute interview based on the Competencies and Values Framework for policing.

Read our Interview Preparation Guide

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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.

The realities of becoming a police officer