New way to join the police as a PC

Police Constable Entry Programme (PCEP) mirrors three routes already available


The College of Policing is launching a new way new to join the service as part of the ongoing work to improve standards and broaden the appeal of becoming an officer.

The Police Constable Entry Programme (PCEP) mirrors the other three routes already available into policing, by equipping new PCs with the skills needed to be on the frontline.  

PCEP will formally launch on 1 April 2024. At the same time, the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme IPLDP route will be de-commissioned.

The new way to join the service complements existing entry routes which include the:  

  • (pre-join) Degree in Professional Policing (PPD)
  • Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)
  • Degree-Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)

Each force decides individually which routes it uses when recruiting new PCs, and the training for all entry routes has been improved to equip officers with the skills needed to meet the complex policing challenges faced today, whilst contributing to a positive policing culture.

Officers will learn on the job about how to tackle traditional crimes such as burglary and public order, as well as focusing on investigating modern crimes such as fraud and online offences.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, College of Policing CEO, said: “It is essential that policing has consistently high standards for new officers regardless of their route into policing. Our new route will bring training for those officers who do not wish to gain a degree to the standard the public rightly expects.

“The Police Constable Entry Programme will complement the existing three routes into policing, and deliver another way to join the police. The range of routes will ensure there is a way into the service for those of all backgrounds and experiences. This can only be a good thing for the future of the service.

“All of the routes into the service now have a clear focus on operational policing. The new training route will mirror existing programmes by preparing officers to fight crime out on the street, as well as investigating more complex crime like fraud to secure justice for victims.

“Becoming a police officer is a hugely rewarding career. It opens up opportunities to develop personally and professionally, whilst making a positive difference to your community. 

“There are various ways to join the police to best suit you and your experience. Applications from people of all backgrounds, cultures and experiences are welcomed.” 

More information about the entry routes is available on the College of Policing website.



Contact Information

Andrew Gold

Senior Media Officer

College of Policing