Detective Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme.

We are open for recruitment now!

Dorset Police are open for recruitment now for Detective Constable recruitment via both their Degree Holder Entry Programme. Find out more about the role and it's requirements below. Be part of something BIGGER and take the first step in your career today.

If you'd like to find out more about the role before you get started, sign up to one of our awareness events by following the link below.

Apply now Sign up to an Awareness Event

What does a detective do?

Detective constables and police constables have the same rank. They have different operational roles, but there are also lots of similarities too, albeit detectives don't wear a uniform. Detective constables ultimately deal with serious and complex investigations. In this interesting and exciting role, you will be working on varied investigations, which could include serious assaults, domestic abuse, fraud, burglary, robbery and knife crime. You could be working to safeguard a child or adult, and you could be pushing a case through the courts, ensuring that you get the right outcomes for the victim, their family and in the process making your community safer.

Being a detective is all about uncovering the truth, while identifying and managing any risks. You'll do this by analysing evidence, talking to witnesses and building trust within the community. You will talk to lots of different people, and have the compassion and skills to deal with some difficult situations.

Ultimately being a detective is about the management of investigations. Much of the relevant material will be gathered by other officers whilst your responsibility will be to understand that material thoroughly and identify the evidence within it. On occasion, as a sworn officer you may be required to make arrests, search people and places, deal with conflict, and respond to incidents. However, the majority of your work will be based around managing investigations, interviewing suspects, and preparing cases for crown court.

Once a qualified and well experienced detective you may choose to apply for specialist detective roles within the police. Some of these roles move away from the management of investigations into other areas including teams dealing with specialist investigation, intelligence, and covert tactics.

We are open for recruitment now!

Dorset Police are open for recruitment now for Detective Constable recruitment via their Degree Holder Entry Programme. Find out more about the role and it's requirements below. Be part of something BIGGER and take the first step in your career today.

Apply now

As a new Detective Constable you’ll follow a two year training plan, learning on the job from experienced colleagues. This will be supported by training from our in-house team. After 37 weeks you’ll reach independent patrol status and when you finish your training you’ll have earned a graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice. The first year of the programme requires successful candidates to develop core knowledge and skills in a uniform role in the same way as any officer. Your starting salary will be £24,780 and £25,902 in year two. Within seven years of joining the salary will be £41,130.

After 12 months candidates move into the detective arena where they will develop enhanced investigative and safeguarding skills in more serious and complex investigations.It doesn’t matter what subject your degree is in. The important thing is that by earning one you’ve already demonstrated the ability to research, evaluate and present evidence.

Participants on the programme are required to pass the National Investigators’ Exam (NIE) at the end of 12 months of the programme and achieve full Professionalising Investigation Programme Stage 2 (PIP2) accreditation by programme completion.

A workforce that reflects our communities

Our ability to build trust, understand problems and support our communities across a range of policing matters, relies on us having a workforce that is reflective of our communities and all the unique individuals that exist within them. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity within our workforce and to eliminating discrimination.

We are very keen to encourage applications from those that have never considered policing as a career. Representation within our workforce from black and minority ethnic communities and females is currently much lower than we want it to be; by improving this we will be better able to serve our local communities and our work place will benefit from all the differences in thinking, points of view, and approaches that diversity brings.

In order to achieve this we are proud to pursue a policy of ‘positive action’.

For further information and to register for this scheme please click the button below.

Positive Action

Recruitment Process

Registration and Eligibility Screen
This screen checks your eligibility in line with the national recruitment standards. You will be advised at the end of the questionnaire if you have met all the eligibility criteria and then able to progress to the behaviour styles questionnaire.

If you are referred as a result of any of your answers, a member of the recruitment team will contact you to let you know the outcome.
Behaviour Styles Questionnaire
This questionnaire invites you to review a number of statements and indicate which statement you completely agree with or completely disagree with on a sliding scale.

In order to progress to the next stage, you must pass the behaviour styles questionnaire. At the end of this questionnaire you will be advised of the result and a feedback report.
Situational Judgement Test
If you have passed the behaviour styles questionnaire you will be asked to complete the situational judgement test. This is the final stage of the online process.

You will be presented with a number of different situations that you might face as a police officer with a choice of different actions that might be taken. You will be asked to identify which action will result in an effective or counterproductive outcome.

You will be provided with a feedback report and if you are successful, you will then be invited to complete an application form.
Reasonable adjustments and Accommodations
Every request for a reasonable adjustment or accommodations is considered individually to reflect the understanding that every individual has unique requirements.

In determining any adjustments the force follow the guidance provided by the College Of Policing election & Assessments policy on accommodations and reasonable adjustments.

If you require an adjustment to the recruitment process in relation to a Specified Learning Difficulty e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, supporting information in the form of a medical or specialist’s report which provides information regarding your disability/the difficulties you experience should be submitted with your application form.
Application Form
You will be required to complete the national application form following the online testing section and attached any relevant documentation.
Awareness Event
This is an opportunity to attend an online event where you will be able to hear from members of the recruitment team and experienced detectives and find out more about the recruitment process and the role of a Detective Constable.
Online Assessment Centre
Following submission of your application you will be invited by email to complete the College of Policing online assessment. This online process 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. You can find out more about the CVF here .

The video below will give you a step by step guide of what to expect from the new College of Policing’s virtual assessment centre. Once you have watched the video please ensure you read all of the steps below.

Click to see the video

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)
This test measures your ability to choose the appropriate action in situations similar to those you are likely to face as a police constable. This test will measure your judgement and ability to make effective decisions against the CVF. Approximate time to complete: 30 minutes.

Stage 2 – Competency-based video interview
Candidates who pass stage 1 are invited to take stage 2 immediately. You will be asked 5 questions about how you have dealt with specific situations in the past. This is your opportunity to provide some examples of the key competencies and values that are important for police constables. You can use examples from both your work and your personal life.

You will have five minutes for each questions.

Candidates are provided with one minute preparation before each question. Approximate time to complete: 35 minutes.

Stage 3 – Written exercise and briefing exercise
Written exercise – Candidates will be provided with written materials outlining a scenario in the community.

They will have various sources of information and will be asked to provide typed written responses to their sergeant in relation to the issues contained in the materials. This exercise lasts approximately 50 minutes.

Briefing exercise – Candidates will be presented with a short brief of a community-based scenario and they will have time to prepare their responses to key questions. The scenario will evolve and additional information will be presented to the candidate for them to consider and respond to.

Candidates’ verbal responses to the questions will be recorded. This exercise lasts approximately 60 minutes.

How will you give me my results?

Stage 1: Situational judgement test
The result will be communicated to you immediately through the online platform. If you pass, you will be asked to take stage 2 immediately.

Stage 2: Interview
The content will be reviewed by a qualified assessor. Your result will be communicated to you via email.

Stage 3: Written exercise and briefing exercise
Both exercises will be reviewed by a qualified assessor and your result will be communicated to you via email.

Force Interview
If successful at the Assessment Centre you will then be required to complete an online force interview. This will be a structured interview with a panel of interviewers consisting of Police Officers and Staff.

The interview is expected to last up to 30 minutes. The questions in the interview are aimed at exploring your values and motivation to join as a Constable, these will be structured against the role profile for a Police Constable based on the Competency Valued Framework.

We will also take Biometric Vetting samples and you will be required to complete a fitness test (due to social distancing alternative methods are being adopted. The Recruitment Team will advise of what is required as your application progresses).
Fitness Test
The police Job Related Fitness Test (JRFT) is a critical component of the recruitment and deployment of police officers. The core rational for the test is to ensure that prospective police officers have a minimum level of fitness to be able to undertake personal safety training. The fitness test is benchmarked against the aerobic demands of Personal Safety Training (PST) and comprises of an aerobic shuttle run test (15m Multi Stage Fitness Test – 15m MSFT at level 5:4).

For further information and how to prepare for the fitness test please see the Job Related Fitness Information Guide.
Medical Suitability
A medical assessment will be carried out by our Occupational Health Support Unit. They will check the following:

  • BMI (Body Mass Index)
  • Eye sight test – see Appendices
  • Colour vision – see Appendices
  • Lung function
  • Hearing

You will be asked to complete a confidential medical history questionnaire. You are advised not to pay for your GP to sign these forms until you know you have been successful though the earlier stages. Depending upon your medical history, we may have to contact your GP/ specialist for further information.
Once you have been declared medically fit we will then progress your application to the next stage.
For further information on the national standards please see here.

Background checks
Vetting – The vetting process is entirely confidential and the outcomes (other than pass/fail) are not shared with anyone else in the organisation (including trainers, future line managers or fellow trainees) or anyone outside of the organisation (including family).

We will carry out security checks on you and your:
  • Spouse/Partner
  • Father
  • Step father/mother’s partner
  • Mother
  • Stepmother/father’s partner
  • Brothers/sisters (full/half/step)
  • Children/children of your partner (only those age 10 years and over)
  • Any other adult living at your a
  • ddress
  • Financial circumstances – applicants will have their financial status checked

These checks are carried out because Police Officers have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption.

Applicants with outstanding County Court Judgements (CCJs), Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) or who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, will be rejected. If you have discharged bankruptcy debts then you will need to provide a Certificate of Satisfaction with your application. At least three years will need to have passed since the date of discharge.

Applicants with cautions/convictions/reprimands, other than some motoring offences, may not be accepted.

References – We send reference requests to all your previous employers in the last 3 years. If you haven’t been employed for 3 years, we will ask for a character reference or an educational reference.

Drugs Testing – As part of the Vetting process you will be required to undergo drugs testing. All drug testing processes are entirely confidential and only the presence of illegal substances will be disclosed to the Force Vetting Unit (by the third party drug testing laboratory). Prescribed medication, including that for individuals with certain disabilities or individuals that may be transitioning, is not tested for in the process.


Applications can be accepted at the age of 17 but any appointment is from the age of 18.

There is no upper age limit for applying to the police service, but bear in mind that the normal retirement age is 60 years and that new constable recruits are required to undertake a two year probationary period for the DHEP or 3 years for the PCDA.
2UK Qualifications
Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)

In order to be eligible for this route you have to have previously achieved, or be obtaining within the next six months, an Undergraduate or Bachelor's Degree Level 6 with either an Honours Level Degree classification or an Ordinary Degree classification (not in Professional Policing Practice). A Master's Degree at Level 7 is also acceptable. Please note a foundation degree does not make you eligible for this entry route, however you may be considered for the PCDA route should you meet the above requirements.
3Overseas Qualifications
Students who have studied in a country that does not provide GCSEs are potentially exempt from the condition of funding where the overseas qualifications they hold are equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or grade C.

Institutions must get confirmation from the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) that the qualification is equivalent to GCSE grade 9 to 4 or A* to C. NARIC is the UK’s national agency responsible for providing information and opinion on academic, vocational and professional qualifications from across the world.

As well as confirmation from NARIC that an overseas qualification is equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or grade C, institutions also have to ensure that the student possesses the necessary competence in maths and English to achieve their programme. If the student needs additional teaching or support to function on their programme, institutions must include it in the programme. This kind of activity is eligible for funding and should be included in the planned hours.

Students who have achieved the International Certificate in Christian Education (ICCE) do not have to study maths and English, as the ICCE is equivalent to a standard pass in maths and English. When students have achieved an ICCE, institutions can record an exemption for holding an overseas equivalent qualification. They do not have to get the equivalence certified by NARIC.
Applicants must have resided in the UK for three continuous years immediately prior to application.
You can apply to become a Police Officer as long as you are an EEA National or a Swiss National.

Commonwealth citizens and Foreign Nationals are required to have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period.
6Driving Licence
All officers are required to have a full manual driving licence on appointment. You can apply if you have a provisional licence but any appointment is subject to achieving a full licence.
7Membership to BNP or similar groups.
You must not be a member, or have been, of an extreme political organisation such as a BNP, National Front or Combat 18 or similar organisations.
You should not have tattoos on your face, neck or hands, or any tattoos which could cause offence. If you have a tattoo you will be asked to provide a brief description and photographs of the tattoo. The nature, location, size, prominence and appearance of tattoos will be considered.

9Financial Position
Must not have any current County Court Judgements (CCJ) against you.

If you are the subject of an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) and can demonstrate at least 6 months of regular payments via a payment plan the force can assess this on a case by case basis.

If you have been registered bankrupt you may apply if it is at least three years since the date your debts were discharged.
10Other Applications
You're only able to apply to one police force/service at a time in accordance with the national recruitment policy. Your application will not be accepted if you have previously applied unsuccessfully, in the last six months at any part of the national process.