Police now graduate scheme vs regular application process

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catherine.ava
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I'm currently a first year psychology student and I really hope to join the police after I graduate. I'm currently applying to become a special constable just so I can gain some experience and make sure the job is really for me.

However, I'm slightly unsure which route I want to take when it comes to applying to become a regular.

What are the pros of police now vs the regular method of applying and vice versa, and if anyone has had any personal experience with either and any advice that would be greatly appreciated.

I'm also slightly unsure as to what the Police Now scheme involves and how it differs to applying the more traditional way, so if anyone could clear this up that would be great
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Fuzzpig
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(Original post by catherine.ava)
I'm currently a first year psychology student and I really hope to join the police after I graduate. I'm currently applying to become a special constable just so I can gain some experience and make sure the job is really for me.

However, I'm slightly unsure which route I want to take when it comes to applying to become a regular.

What are the pros of police now vs the regular method of applying and vice versa, and if anyone has had any personal experience with either and any advice that would be greatly appreciated.

I'm also slightly unsure as to what the Police Now scheme involves and how it differs to applying the more traditional way, so if anyone could clear this up that would be great
Hi, I think I can help with this one. I'm currently on course to start with Police Now this summer, but I will try to give you as balanced an opinion as I can.

Regular Application:

Can potionally take up to 18months to get a start date in some cases.
You will need to pay up to £1000 to complete the CKP certificate and exams with no guarantee that you will even get the job, even with this in the bag. You will never get this money back.
Training school takes a lot longer.
You will be taught how to be a cop, nothing more, nothing less. (This is not a bad thing!)
You will go straight onto regular response shift (early/late/night shifts) and stay there for two years.
You'll get real experience of being a proper copper, doing the real dirty jobs, and will be able to work your way up from the bottom, gaining the full respect (or otherwise!) of your colleagues.
You will not have a 'beat area' or anything like that, you're a proactive copper responding to jobs as they come in.


Police Now:
From start of application through to starting training, the process takes less than a year (depending on when you apply, just a few months).
No need to pay for the CKP.
You'll go straight onto neighbourhood policing (usually with your own beat area). Neighbourhood policing is slower paced and you tend not to respond to so many immediate crimes (though you will probably still get some experience of this). It's possible that the shift pattern will be a bit nicer, some neighbourhood policing teams do a lot fewer night shifts or only partial night shifts. This obviously depends on the force and the nick you end up stationed at.
The training takes place over the summer, you'll be out on area quicker.
You get a lot of support over the two year period.
You'll be a shiny graduate police officer, and some officers who went through the normal route will probably think that you're a worthless knob head. The police force really can be this biased.
You'll not have had the experience of response policing that all other officers have.
You'll get the chance to network and look at other industries if you find that you don't like being a copper after the two year program.
Obviously this is mainly going on information I have gained from talking to sergeants involved in the program, previous student officers on the program and the info they have given us.

Hope this helps in some way.
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bg9876
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(Original post by Fuzzpig)
Hi, I think I can help with this one. I'm currently on course to start with Police Now this summer, but I will try to give you as balanced an opinion as I can.

Regular Application:

Can potionally take up to 18months to get a start date in some cases.
You will need to pay up to £1000 to complete the CKP certificate and exams with no guarantee that you will even get the job, even with this in the bag. You will never get this money back.
Training school takes a lot longer.
You will be taught how to be a cop, nothing more, nothing less. (This is not a bad thing!)
You will go straight onto regular response shift (early/late/night shifts) and stay there for two years.
You'll get real experience of being a proper copper, doing the real dirty jobs, and will be able to work your way up from the bottom, gaining the full respect (or otherwise!) of your colleagues.
You will not have a 'beat area' or anything like that, you're a proactive copper responding to jobs as they come in.


Police Now:
From start of application through to starting training, the process takes less than a year (depending on when you apply, just a few months).
No need to pay for the CKP.
You'll go straight onto neighbourhood policing (usually with your own beat area). Neighbourhood policing is slower paced and you tend not to respond to so many immediate crimes (though you will probably still get some experience of this). It's possible that the shift pattern will be a bit nicer, some neighbourhood policing teams do a lot fewer night shifts or only partial night shifts. This obviously depends on the force and the nick you end up stationed at.
The training takes place over the summer, you'll be out on area quicker.
You get a lot of support over the two year period.
You'll be a shiny graduate police officer, and some officers who went through the normal route will probably think that you're a worthless knob head. The police force really can be this biased.
You'll not have had the experience of response policing that all other officers have.
You'll get the chance to network and look at other industries if you find that you don't like being a copper after the two year program.
Obviously this is mainly going on information I have gained from talking to sergeants involved in the program, previous student officers on the program and the info they have given us.

Hope this helps in some way.

Hi I was wondering if you could help please? I'm so keen to join the police when I finish uni in two years but I can't apply to be a special as my time is split half and half between England and Scotland I was wondering what experience you had if you don't mind sharing or any ideas how else I could get experience? Thanks so much!
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Fuzzpig
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(Original post by bg9876)
Hi I was wondering if you could help please? I'm so keen to join the police when I finish uni in two years but I can't apply to be a special as my time is split half and half between England and Scotland I was wondering what experience you had if you don't mind sharing or any ideas how else I could get experience? Thanks so much!
I'm sorry I've never been a special... you could ask your local police station if you can go out on a ride along for a day?
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IAGW96
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Hi, About force allocation, is it a completely random process? I'm moving to Cardiff and will apply whilst living there. Obviously I'd want to be stationed in South Wales, could I end up being stationed in Manchester? Thanks
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thelonelawyer
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(Original post by Fuzzpig)
Hi, I think I can help with this one. I'm currently on course to start with Police Now this summer, but I will try to give you as balanced an opinion as I can.

Regular Application:

Can potionally take up to 18months to get a start date in some cases.
You will need to pay up to £1000 to complete the CKP certificate and exams with no guarantee that you will even get the job, even with this in the bag. You will never get this money back.
Training school takes a lot longer.
You will be taught how to be a cop, nothing more, nothing less. (This is not a bad thing!)
You will go straight onto regular response shift (early/late/night shifts) and stay there for two years.
You'll get real experience of being a proper copper, doing the real dirty jobs, and will be able to work your way up from the bottom, gaining the full respect (or otherwise!) of your colleagues.
You will not have a 'beat area' or anything like that, you're a proactive copper responding to jobs as they come in.


Police Now:
From start of application through to starting training, the process takes less than a year (depending on when you apply, just a few months).
No need to pay for the CKP.
You'll go straight onto neighbourhood policing (usually with your own beat area). Neighbourhood policing is slower paced and you tend not to respond to so many immediate crimes (though you will probably still get some experience of this). It's possible that the shift pattern will be a bit nicer, some neighbourhood policing teams do a lot fewer night shifts or only partial night shifts. This obviously depends on the force and the nick you end up stationed at.
The training takes place over the summer, you'll be out on area quicker.
You get a lot of support over the two year period.
You'll be a shiny graduate police officer, and some officers who went through the normal route will probably think that you're a worthless knob head. The police force really can be this biased.
You'll not have had the experience of response policing that all other officers have.
You'll get the chance to network and look at other industries if you find that you don't like being a copper after the two year program.
Obviously this is mainly going on information I have gained from talking to sergeants involved in the program, previous student officers on the program and the info they have given us.

Hope this helps in some way.
What was your application process like? I have to complete an online assessment with some multiple choice questions, written answers and videoed answers - what sort of questions were you asked if you had to complete this phase?

Also, what does the program look like after the initial two years, can you progress into different roles or must you remain on the beat?
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MaryamAslam1
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I am graduate from pakistan living in uk for 5 years on spouse Visa can I get into police now graduate course I have 3 year old daughter as well to take of
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Dilak
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Hi do you get paid during those two years in police now or in the regular way
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one_two_three
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Most forces don't ask for an outlay of funds or CKP qualification prior to joining - check with your local force. Whether you apply through regular or Police Now, once you are allocated your force they can place you anywhere they like within that force area.

If you go Police Now then you are locked into a contract for 2 years. You have to do the initial beat policing to become 'safe and legal' but then go into Neighbourhoods or Detective depending on which stream you apply for. The issue with this is that you have less control over your career. If you definitely want to be Neighbourhoods or Detective then it is a great programme, but if you start and decide you want patrol policing then tough. Realistically, there is no chance of returning to patrol after this time.

With Police Now you have a more defined timeline which syncs with finishing your degree. Regulars you have no guarantee of a start date and it can take a lot longer. You may be required to get a job that you don't really want to do in the meantime.

Pay wise you are paid on the same pay scale as regulars - you don't get anything special. If you did then the regulars would resent that so be happy for the low pay everyone receives.

On shift everything will be ok, people don't really care whether you are Police Now or a regular if you do your job and you are good. And you keep quiet because you're not better than them and if you act like you are then that is where problems start. If you act like you don't want to be on patrol and it is only a necessary evil for you to get where you are going you will not be well received. But that is just general manners.

You will be Neighbourhood police officer - it is not the cool stuff you see on TV. There will be no response to immediate crimes. Some people love the role and some people hate it.

Most new recruits, regular or otherwise, are graduates. Most regulars will now be graduates and a lot of life experience coming from other career paths. No one cares about your degree, it is a career like no other and so the most qualified person on your shift is the most experienced.
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