Please be aware we have received the maximum number of applications possible for the Fast Track Detective Programme and the lines have now closed. Thank you for your interest, please keep an eye on our careers pages for further opportunities to join the policing family.

Being a Detective is not only challenging, it is extremely rewarding. You will be the difference that helps make Cheshire safer, serve our local communities and strive to achieve the right outcome for victims and their families.

The Fast Track Detective Programme is completely new to Cheshire Constabulary and we have designed this course to equip you with the right knowledge and resources to support you in becoming an accredited Detective in just under two years. This is a brand new entry route into Policing which has been developed by Cheshire’s lead Crime Training Team.

If you hold a Level 3 qualification and think you have what it takes to uncover the truth and seek justice for those affected by crime, then let Cheshire help turn you into a Detective.

There are a limited number of spaces on our 2021 Fast Track Detective programme and we anticipate high levels of interest in the opportunity. We recommend that you submit your application as early as possible as it may be necessary to close the recruitment window early.

Our Detectives investigate anything from domestic abuse, fraud, robbery, child protection, cyber-crime, serious assaults, organised crime, right the way through to high level drugs importation and serious organised crime.

We are looking for candidates that are determined to see things through, can be compassionate towards others, and demonstrate resilience when things might not go the right way. You will need to be confident, calm and professional and have the ability to problem solve and think outside the box. The course is designed to expand on your skillset and harness your strengths.

This is an intensive course, which will require commitment and dedication to both serving the public and meeting the demands of the Fast Track programme.

If you think that this is the career for you, please use the accordions further down the page for more detail or download the Fast Track Detective Information Pack 

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Read serving Detective profiles

Detective Constables play a critical role in discovering the truth behind a crime. They gather, verify and assess all appropriate and available information to gain an accurate understanding of situations. They strive to achieve the desired outcomes for the victims and continue to provide reassurance and build confidence within the community.

You will be responsible for solving some of the most complex cases, and no two days will be the same or even cases. One day you could be analysing the evidence or preparing for court or talking to witnesses and the other interviewing suspects or working towards safeguarding a child or an adult.

Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 - “A Detective must pursue all reasonable lines of enquiry whether they point towards or away from a suspect”.

The role of a Detective Constable;

Manage and conduct a range of complex investigations in your area of responsibility
Gather, verify and assess all appropriate and available information to gain an accurate understanding of situations to an agreed case investigation plan
Develop and evaluate strategies to manage investigations, working closely and communicating with staff at all levels
Make decisions based on balancing risks, costs, benefits and the wider impact
Use cutting-edge technology to help with the investigations
Analyse and interpret data, examine records and documents
Prepare, complete and submit accurate case papers and evidential files to the highest professional standard and within set time limits
Handle and document exhibits
Deal with forensic material and its submissions
Conduct interviews and interrogations
Participate in and conduct raids, searches or arrests
Identify appropriate witnesses and obtain evidential accounts
Work with all colleagues as a team
Keep up to date with changes in legislation and procedures as they affect criminal investigation.

Resilience, determination and compassion provide a strong foundation in the making of a successful Detective.

As Detective, you could find yourself working in our Investigations team, dealing with crimes such as fraud, robbery and serious assaults. Or you may join one of our Safeguarding Investigations Units (SIU); protecting the most vulnerable adults and children from abuse and exploitation. Once accredited, you have the opportunity to work within Major Crime, investigating serious crimes such as homicides, or with our Serious Organised Crime Unit tackling high-level drug importation.

The College of Policing has more information about what the role of Detective entails on their website.

Educational eligibility

To be eligible applicants must meet at least one of the following entry qualification criteria:

  • The minimum eligibility requirement to apply to be a Police Constable (IPLDP) with Cheshire Constabulary is for applicants to hold a level 3 qualification (2x A Level grade A*- D) or equivalent Level 3 at the time of applying.
  • Have achieved an academic or vocational qualification gained outside England and Wales which is considered by the UK National Recognition Information Centre to be a level 3 qualification.

Personal Eligibility

All applicants must:

In addition to meeting at least one of the above 'Education eligibility' criteria, at the time of application candidates must also:

  • be a European Economic Area (EEA) National or a Swiss National (Commonwealth citizens and Foreign Nationals are also eligible to apply but are required to have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period.).
  • have resided in the UK for three continuous years immediately prior to application.
  • be aged at least 17 years of age.
  • possess a full UK manual driving license.
  • not have tattoos which cause offence, are excessive or considered unprofessional.
  • ideally not have a criminal record. Any previous criminal convictions or cautions (including those spent), fixed penalty notices, traffic offences or any involvement with the police must be declared.
  • not be registered bankrupt, subject to County Court Judgements or Independent Voluntary Agreements.
  • be prepared to work shifts and serve anywhere in the Cheshire area.
  • be dedicated to providing a service to the people of Cheshire and be prepared to uphold the Police Service Statement of Common Purpose and Values.
  • meet the basic eligibility criteria to become a Police Constable.

The Standards required of a Police Officer are laid out nationally in the Code of Ethics, which can be accessed via the College of Policing website.

Applicants will only be considered if they meet the above essential criteria.


By joining Cheshire Constabulary on the Fast Track Detective Programme you can expect a diverse, challenging but fulfilling career.

Cheshire has a population of just over one million people and the policing area of Cheshire covers 919 square miles with strategic crossroads in the national motorway infrastructure.

As a Detective Constable with Cheshire Constabulary you’ll get the chance to make a difference and really contribute to the lives of the people in the community, build relationships and tackle crime. Your job will be to reduce crime and the fear of crime, and promote confidence among local people that the police understand and are prepared to deal with the issues that matter most to them.

Cheshire Constabulary is proud to offer a benefits package that provides a range of opportunities and options for all.


As a new Detective Constable, you’ll receive a starting salary of £24,780, potentially rising to £41,130 within your first 7 years.


The starting annual leave entitlement is 22 days per year, rising to 30 days a year depending on your length of service. This is on top of public holidays in lieu. You can also expect other forms of leave, including maternity, paternity and adoption leave, special leave (with or without pay) and parental leave.


When you start as a new Detective Constable you’ll receive automatic membership of the police pension scheme. This isn't compulsory, so you can choose to opt out if you want to.

Career progression

Joining Cheshire Constabulary on the new Fast Track Detective Programme is the start of an exciting and rewarding journey that could take you anywhere.

During your first two years with the force, you’ll be working alongside experienced Response Officers and putting your training into practice where no two days are the same – dealing with everything from anti-social behaviour and burglary to missing people and domestic incidents. Throughout your time on response you will undertake development sessions led by Crime Training where you will work towards completing Professionalising Investigation Programme One and Two.

You will be required to complete and pass the National Investigators Exam, advanced Detective Training Course, and continue to work towards becoming a substantive detective constable. All of this will be achieved within your first two years, after which you will be successfully confirmed in the rank of detective constable.

Specialist roles

After becoming a Detective Constable, you will be able to build upon your experience or move into a variety of specialist roles dependent on your career aspirations and the vacancies across the force.


In agreeing to start with Cheshire Constabulary you are agreeing to our Posting Principles, which mean that you can be posted anywhere across the County. Our workforce planning team consider a range of information when deciding on your posting. As a Detective Constable with Cheshire Constabulary you can be posted anywhere across the county.

Cheshire Constabulary reserves the right to retract an offer at any stage of the on-boarding process.

  1. Application Form – we will check you are eligible to apply. If the application is successful you will be invited to:
  2. Online Assessment - 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 interviewStage 3 - Written exercise
    Stage 4 –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.
  3. In-Force interview and Detective Assessment: This will be based upon the competency and values framework (CVF)
  4. Pre-employment checks: This is when we begin our pre-employment checks which consist of a medical, vetting, biometric vetting and a fitness test. Further information on the checks can be found on our Police Constable pages.

What does the role of detective entail?

Our Detectives investigate anything from domestic abuse, fraud, robbery, child protection, cyber-crime, serious assaults, organised crime, right the way through to high-level drugs importation and serious organised crime.

What sort of investigative team would I be working in initially?

Following the completion of initial training, you will be posted to a response unit with a Local Policing Unit. Following competition of the Detective training, you will be posted to a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and a Public Protection Unit (PPU) in rotation.

Will I need to complete any exams or coursework?

You will need to complete an exam and a portfolio. The exam is the National Investigators exam which you will need to pass before undertaking specific Detective training. You will need to complete two portfolio’s to demonstrate competency. The first Student Officer Learning and Assessment Portfolio (SOLAP) that you will complete is what every new Police Officer completes following initial training. The second SOLAP will be your Detective portfolio that you will begin to complete following your first seven-week training course as a Detective. This will then be completed during your rotations on Detective Units.

What fitness requirements are needed?

You will need to be able to pass an endurance shuttle run (bleep test).
This involves running 15-metre shuttles to a series of audible beeps. During the test, the beeps will become progressively faster and you need to reach the end of the shuttle before the next beep sounds. You will need to achieve level 5.4 to pass.

What pre-employment checks will be carried out?

  • Employment references - We will send reference requests to your current and previous employers/education establishments within the last 2 years.
  • Medical screening - You will either attend an appointment at HQ or have a phone consultation with our force doctor who will check BMI, eye sight, colour vision and hearing.
  • Fitness test - Will need to achieve level 5.4 of the 15m bleep test
  • Biometric testing - Fingerprints and DNA samples are required to carry out vetting checks against the national police database
  • Drugs test - A substance misuse test will be carried out by providing a hair sample
  • Vetting checks - Vetting checks will be undertaken to consider yourself and immediate family. Police Officers have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption.

Can I transfer my assessment centre/online assessment score?

You would need to apply via the force website and attach a copy of either your SEARCH score (over 50%) or online assessment centre confirmation email.

I have a live application with another force, can I still apply to Cheshire?

Yes you are able to have more than one live application with different forces

Will having tattoos stop me from being able to apply?

Not necessarily. You will be required to upload pictures of all of your tattoos to your online application. We will then assess the tattoos against of force standards.

Download the Fast Track Detective information pack

Fast Track Detective 2021.pdf

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Charter marks

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