Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)
Cheshire Constabulary are pleased to be part of the National Uplift Programme and during 2021 to support with this campaign our recruitment adverts may close early, if we receive the desired number of applications before the closing date.
For this reason we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.
If you miss your opportunity, or perhaps need more time, please register your interest here and we will email you ahead of our recruitment window opening again.
Are you passionate about making a difference and helping to keep our communities safe? Do you thrive in a varied role with challenge and opportunity? Are you looking for a role that offers both personal and professional development? If so joining Cheshire Constabulary as a Police Officer could be just what you’re looking for...
We have Officers from all different walks of life in a variety of roles protecting and serving the communities of Cheshire. Being a Police Officer with us is an exciting and rewarding career with the chance to explore academic and vocational opportunities. Officers are at the frontline of the criminal justice system. They are required to deal with crime, missing people, sudden deaths, family feuds, child abuse, community tensions and much more.
Whatever your background, your skills, knowledge and personal attributes could bring something unique and valuable to Cheshire Constabulary
What is the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship?
This is a brand new, exciting opportunity open to all individuals with the passion, drive and enthusiasm to succeed in making Cheshire a safe place for all of our communities.
It is a three-year programme and you will be employed as a Police Officer from day one, gaining valuable experience of the role alongside studying towards your degree.
Essentially, you will have day-to-day responsibilities as well as on-the-job, practical training and academic work all at the same time.
Recruitment re-opened on the 7th of September, and has now closed.
Applications opened on the 7th of September and have now closed
Earn while you learn
You will be a paid police officer from day one of your training, gaining on-the-job experience and studying your degree. Earn while you learn.
Forget the idea that apprentices are paid less than their colleagues, we offer a competitive starting salary of £24,177. This is the same as the other entry routes, so you won’t earn less because you are an apprentice
If you’re wondering what you might earn in other sectors the national average for degree apprenticeships is £18,000.
High quality training paid for by us
Cheshire Constabulary will pay your tuition fees. You’ll be earning a salary too so no need for student loans.
No tuition fees + no student loans = no debt!
Once you have passed the probationary period you will have the opportunity to progress through the ranks and/or specialise in an area of policing that interests you most, dependent on the vacancies available in the force.
Benefits of working for Cheshire Constabulary
Leave - The starting annual leave entitlement is 22 days per year rising to 30 days depending on length of service. You can also expect other forms of leave including maternity, paternity, parental and special leave.
- Occupational Health provider at HQ
- Sports and Social Club
- On site gym facilities
- Wellbeing Zone
- Blue Light Card Discount
- Member of the police pension scheme
- Continuing Professional Development
- Career Progression
Candidates will be required to study for a degree, therefore the minimum eligibility requirement to apply to be a Police Constable with Cheshire Constabulary is for applicants to hold a level 3 qualification (2x A Level grade A*-D) or equivalent experience at the time of applying.
As part of the degree programme candidates will be required to complete level 2 functional skills (GCSE grades A*- C/ 9 - 5 or equivalent) in Maths and English, before being able to complete the apprenticeship programme.
We strongly recommend that candidates address this requirement before commencing this apprenticeship programme if they do not already hold GCSE grades A* - C/ 9 - 5 in English and Maths at the time of applying. Local colleges or our partners at the University of Chester will be able to assist. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Candidates who believe they have current experience equivalent to a level 3 qualification and feel they could take on the challenge of degree level study alongside working as a police officer will be assessed during the shortlisting stage.
Candidates who do not have a level 3 qualification will further be assessed by our Partners at the University of Chester at interview stage.
The probationary period for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship is three years. This is to give you time to complete your degree.
The 3 year (360 credit) BSc (Hons) Degree in Professional Policing Practice is aligned to the College of Policing’ national curriculum for the role of Police Constable. Apprentices will complete this qualification, alongside working as a serving Police Constable for Cheshire Constabulary.
This is a brand new exciting opportunity, open to all individuals with the passion, drive and enthusiasm to succeed in making Cheshire a safe place for all of our communities.
You will be employed as a police officer from day one, gaining valuable experience of the role alongside studying towards your degree.
Essentially, you will have day-to-day responsibilities as an officer, as well as completing the practical training and undertaking protected academic learning time, in order to study for and complete your modules for your degree.
This course will be delivered by Subject Matter Experts and experienced practitioners with a wealth of professional and subject expertise supported by a network of relevant subject specialists to prepare you with key transferable skills required for the role of Police Constable.
How will I be taught?
Methods of learning and teaching are varied to facilitate application of theory to practice. Bespoke facilities dispersed across two sites include simulated road policing scenes, interviewing suites, a Hydra immersive learning suite, court room and custody suite.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment methods include Policy Books; Essays; Reflective Essays; Academic Posters; Examinations; Personal and Group Presentations; Observed tasks; Professional discussion; Analysis of recorded interview; Preparation of interview transcripts; Review of case materials; Plan and conduct an investigation into Priority and Volume Crime; Collecting and collating evidence; Investigative case management exercise; Case Study and Court Tribunal; Brief tutors on the Investigation; Conduct role-play practical exercises where students' compliance with legislation and professional practice will be assessed; Podcast on the effective use of Social Media; Evidenced Based Research - Research Proposal, Research Project and Portfolio for Full Occupational Competence and a Professional Discussion.
Fees and Funding
Student Funding will be drawn down from Cheshire Constabulary Apprenticeship Tax Levy Digital Account.
You won't be tied into a contract after finishing your degree. We really hope that you will stay with us but you are under no obligation to do so.
When applying to Cheshire Constabulary, you will progress through seven stages. These stages are listed below to help you understand the process you are about to embark on. All candidates are required to successfully pass every stage of the process to be recruited as a Police Constable.
We are an equal opportunities employer and are committed to attracting, supporting and developing a workforce representative of the communities that we police and serve. We strive to ensure that all personnel practices, including recruitment are applied consistently and fairly. As such we expect all staff involved in the recruitment process to share this commitment.
Therefore, throughout the recruitment process, the members of staff and assessors involved are trained to the highest standard, ensuring that the principles of the Equality Act are adhered to. This is supported through our Standards of Practice and Unconscious Bias training that is delivered to all of our assessors.
Prior to starting your application you are advised to complete the College of Policing pre-application questionnaire.
At the end of each stage of the recruitment process, you will be notified whether or not you have been successful and therefore eligible to proceed to the next stage. All correspondences will be sent via email from MFSS Resourcing.
We welcome applications from all members of the community who are willing to work at any location across the county and who meet out eligibility and recruitment standards.
Reasonable adjustments and accommodations
It is important that you consider if you would like to request arrangements that will assist you in completing the selection process. For example, in relation to disability, dyslexia, learning difficulties, pregnancy, menopause, religion or belief, injury etc. Any requests for reasonable adjustments will be considered and arranged where possible. This information will be treated with the utmost confidence. If you require any support or further information please email us at the earliest opportunity.
1. Application form
You are required to complete an application form. The application form consists of personal information as well as regarding your motivation for applying to be a Police Constable with Cheshire Constabulary.
During the eligibility stage we will check that you meet all of the criteria previously detailed before continuing with your application; these will include:
- declared convictions
If you do not meet the eligibility criteria your application will not be progress with and you will be withdrawn from the recruitment process.
Further information about eligibility criteria can be found on the College of Policing website.
What is the College of Policing online assessment process?
The College of Policing online assessment process is an online process for the recruitment of police constables. It is a series of stages containing exercises that test the key competencies and values that are important for police constables.
The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) sets out the behaviours expected of everyone working in policing.
What does the online assessment process involve?
The online assessment process is a staged process that consists of up to four exercises over three stages.
The process is broken up as follows
- Stage 1 – Situational judgement test (SJT)
- Stage 2 – Competency-based video interview
- Stage 3 – Written exercise and briefing exercise
No prior knowledge of the role of a police officer or any policing knowledge is required to complete the exercises. Further information on the role profile of a police constable can be found on the College of Policing website.
How do I begin the online assessment process?
Once you have completed your force application, you will receive an email informing you to complete stage 1 of the online assessment.
Your journey as a candidate
Please see below a breakdown of the online assessment process from a candidate perspective.
Candidate applies to Cheshire Constabulary
Candidate undertakes application and eligibility checks
Stage 1: Situational judgement test
Approximate time to complete: 30 minutes
Stage 2: Competency-based video interview
Candidates who pass stage 1 are invited to take stage 2 immediately.
Approximate time to complete: 35 minutes
Stage 3: Written exercise
Stage 3: Briefing exercise
Successful candidates will be invited to take stage 3, which will consist of two separate exercises.
Approximate time to complete both written and briefing exercise: 45 minutes each.
How should I approach the online assessment process?
- Be professional.
- Stay relaxed.
- Have an open mind.
- Be yourself.
- Behave as naturally as possible.
- Remember that all the information you will need is provided to you.
- Read and listen to instructions carefully.
- Enjoy the experience and your opportunity to demonstrate what you are capable of.
How to plan for your online assessment
- Read relevant documents sent to you by Cheshire Constabulary.
- Read the CVF and think about how you can demonstrate the competencies and values being assessed.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Ensure you have all the relevant equipment required to access the exercises online.
- Ensure the system you use is up to date and working at full capacity to support performance.
To enable forces to continue with PC recruitment in light of COVID-19 the new online assessment is currently being rolled out across all forces. To support this process, Cheshire Constabulary will progress candidates to interview using random allocation. Please do not worry if you are not progressed, there will be further opportunities to be invited to interview throughout 2021.
4. Cheshire Constabulary interview
Candidates successful at the Assessment who meet the Cheshire Constabulary standard will be invited to an in force interview. This is a panel interview in front of Operational Officers and Police Staff representatives which will last approximately 30 – 45 minutes.
The Interview will be assessed against the Competency and Values Framework (CVF). Questions will be based on the four values of the CVF and candidates will be required to demonstrate their values across the interview, providing the rationale and evidence (Level 1) to demonstrate their suitability for the role of Police Constable with Cheshire Constabulary.
The panel members will all have received an interview briefing as well as training in Standards of Practice and Unconscious Bias to ensure fairness and legitimacy of process.
Candidates who pass interview stage will receive an update from MFSS Resourcing on how their application will be progressed. Candidates are progressed in line with the principles detailed above and the intake numbers, a candidates application may be put on hold.
5. Pre-employment checks
A conditional Offer of employment will be issued to candidates who are being progressed onto an intake. Candidates will not automatically receive a conditional offer if they pass the interview stage, a candidates application may be put on hold. Candidates are advised not to hand their notice into their current employer upon receipt of a conditional offer.
The pre-employment checks that you will be required to successfully complete within the agreed timescales are as follows:
- fitness test
- signed GP statement (fees payable by applicant)
- opticians (fees payable by applicant) - Cheshire Constabulary is a force which does require individuals to meet Group 2 DVLA standards and therefore must be able to undertake blue light driving.
- occupational Health (medical appointment)
- drug screening Test
- Final vetting/security checks
If you require further information on the medical standards including eye sight standards, please visit the College of Policing website.
Candidates have two attempts to complete the fitness test, candidates will be invited back to re-take the fitness test 3 weeks after their initial attempt. Failure to complete it on the second attempt will result in your application being withdrawn.
Any non-attendance or delay in attending appointments or this stage of the process may result in you not meeting a specific intake date and you application to join Cheshire Constabulary either being put on hold or being withdrawn.
To ensure you are fit enough to be a police officer, you will undertake a fitness test.
We are looking for the minimum standard to demonstrate you will be able to work effectively as a police officer.
6. Offer of employment
Once we have received back satisfactory pre-employment check you will be sent a Formal Offer of employment. Your start date will be dependent on when there is an intake with Cheshire Constabulary.
Candidates are advised, not to hand in their notice until they have received their final offer of employment.
7. Start your training
As a Police Constable Apprentice your initial weeks will involve being introduced to both Cheshire Constabulary and University of Chester.
You will be issued uniform and receive your warrant card along with registering you as a student at the university.
Classes will begin in the first week and will concentrate on introducing you to policing and the course content along with the academic requirements of the apprenticeship and the skills to help you through it.
There will be an introduction to the law and your first academic essay will be set along with time to maintain your fitness and 'parade on' to check your uniform to maintain standards.