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Course Overview

The Policing Professional Body the College of Policing are changing the standard of education required by new police constables, police officers make difficult decisions which impact the public every day. They face complex problems, often in dangerous situations, with growing demands from digital investigation and vulnerable people. 

The new programme recognises constables operate at a level where they take personal responsibility for decisions in complex, unpredictable environments and will equip successful candidates for the demanding role protecting our communities and bringing those who break the law to justice. 

The 3 year (360 credit) BSc (Hons) Degree in Professional Policing Practice (Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship) is aligned to the College of Policing’s national curriculum for the role of Police Constable. Apprentices will complete this qualification, alongside working as a serving Police Constable for Cheshire Constabulary. Cheshire Constabulary is licenced by the College of Policing to deliver this nationally recognised Degree Apprenticeship qualification.

Why study the Degree in Professional Policing

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.  Cheshire Constabulary offer a competitive starting salary of £23,586 (which is the same starting salary rate of non-Apprentice Police Officers new recruit). 

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.

Entry Requirements

It is a requirement under the government funding rules that an apprentice must have the right to live and work in the UK, must be in employment, paid at least the legal minimum wage and have a written and signed agreement for the apprenticeship with their employer.

The minimum duration periods for an apprenticeship set in each Apprenticeship Standard, is based on an apprentice working a minimum of 30 hours per week. Where the apprentice works fewer than 30 hours, the minimum duration of the apprenticeship must be increased on a pro-rata basis.

Funding for the apprenticeship is provided through the ESFA. All candidates must be employed in a role related to the subject matter of the Degree Apprenticeship and be sponsored by their employer. In this case the apprentices will be employed as police constables and will receive a salary from Cheshire Constabulary.

In order to be accepted onto the BSc (Hons) Degree in Professional Policing Practice programme, Apprentices must have been interviewed, assessed and offered a position by Cheshire Constabulary, as a police constable.

Apprentices will be recruited by the police force as their employees (according to current national recruitment policy which may be subject to change). For the current standards see the College of Policing website

Selection Criteria

Applicants will firstly complete a competency based application form, which will be assessed by representatives from Cheshire Constabulary and then shortlisted in partnership with a representative from the University of Chester. The selection criteria for the PCDA has been set by the College of Policing and are in line with the Police Regulations 2003 Act.  

Both the University of Chester and Cheshire Constabulary will assess candidates according to the programme entry criteria below:

    Age requirements

    Applicants must have attained the age of 18 years, as can be seen on the Police Could You website.

    Nationality requirements

    Applicants must, be a British Citizen or a citizen from the European Economic Area, or a Citizen of another country, resident in the UK, free of restrictions or have an indefinite leave to remain.  All applicants must provide proof of their nationality. There will be no provision for direct recruitment from abroad, as per the police Regulations.

    The Vetting Code of Practice and the Cabinet Office Security Policy Framework requires a minimum period of 3 years residency in this country, so that meaningful vetting checks can be undertaken.  This requirement is also identified in the relevant College of Policing guidance on the recruitment of police officers and special constables.

    Convictions

    All apprentices will undertake vetting prior to an offer of employment.

    Applicants should be transparent and include any crime, caution, road traffic offence, speeding ticket etc. There are some offences that will lead to mandatory rejection, offences committed as an adult or a juvenile which resulted in a custodial, suspended or deferred sentence and sentences served at a young offenders’ institution or community home; or the applicant is a registered sex offender or is subject to a registration requirement in respect of any other conviction.

    If an applicant declares any of the following convictions or security-vetting checks reveal them, the application will be rejected:

    • offences of domestic abuse
    • offences of dishonesty, corrupt practice or violence
    • offences where vulnerable people were targeted
    • offences motivated by hate or discrimination

    Offences dealt with by way of fixed penalties for minor motoring offences should not in themselves be a barrier to recruitment unless the applicant is a persistent offender.  Each case will be considered on a case-by case basis.

    Financial status

    Applicants will have their financial status checked prior to offer of employment.

    Applicants with outstanding County Court judgements, who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, will be rejected. If an applicant has discharged bankruptcy debts, they will need to provide a Certificate of Satisfaction with their application.

    Fitness and Medical Requirements

    They must pass a fitness test consisting of a 15m multi-stage shuttle run (bleep test) to level 5.4 (3 minutes and 40 secs).

    Applicants must also satisfy the current medical requirements where individuals are assessed in terms of ability based on the role, functions and activities of an operational constable and their fitness to work. Advice is also given on potential accommodations for disability; each case is considered on an individual basis.

    The medical requirements include height and weight to ascertain the applicant’s BMI, hearing, eyesight and urine tests, drug test, lung capacity tests and previous medical history is scrutinised by the occupational health nurse.

    Tattoos

    Visible tattoos are unacceptable if they reasonably could be interpreted as discriminatory or offensive and/or indicate attitudes or views inconsistent with the College of Policing’s Code of Ethics and the Standards of Professional Behaviour.

    Careful consideration will be given by Cheshire Constabulary on application, to any tattoo on the neck, face or hands, in deciding if it is acceptable. This includes considering the size, nature and prominence of the tattoo.

    Tattoos are not acceptable if they:

    • Could cause offence or be construed as inappropriate to members of the public or colleagues is not acceptable and must be covered.
    • Undermines or detracts from the dignity, authority or professional image of the Force is not acceptable and must be covered, such as tattoos which include swear words or naked person/s.
    • Where there is any doubt, police officers or police staff members will ensure tattoos remain covered, e.g.; tattoos considered unacceptable on the lower arms must be covered by a long sleeve shirt.
    • are garish or numerous or particularly prominent, i.e. on the hands, neck, face or fingers
    • could cause offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or invite provocation
    • includes tattoos that are rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, violent or intimidating
    • Tattoos that display unacceptable attitudes towards women, minority groups or any other section of the community, or alignment with particular groups, which could give offence to members of the community, are unacceptable. Candidates must have no affiliation to groups such as BNP/Combat 18, English Defence League or the National Front.

    References

    Satisfactory references must be obtained from the candidate’s previous employer, educational establishment and a person nominated by the candidate, before an offer of employment can be made.

    Additional requirements

    Driving Licence - Applicants must possess a full UK manual driving licence

    Applicants must not have a live application form at any stage of the police constable recruitment process with another Police Force.

    Applicants must not have applied to become a Police Constable and been unsuccessful at the interview stage with Cheshire Constabulary in the last six months.

    Any additional entry requirements specific to the recruiting force. See Cheshire Constabulary website.  

    In addition, for Welsh learners they must undertake an initial and diagnostic assessment of essential skills using WEST (Wales Essential Skills Toolkit) in Communication, Application of number and Digital Literacy.

    If you want to join the Police Service of England and Wales as a police constable, you must be successful in a number of recruitment stages. One of these is the Police SEARCH® Recruit Assessment Centre

      Apprenticeship Requirements – Functional Skills

      • Successful completion of the apprenticeship also requires the apprentice to hold ‘transferable skills’ qualifications (Functional Skills in England, Essential Skills in Wales) in English and Maths at Level 2 (GCSE grade C/5 or above) for England, and Communication and Application of Numbers, for Wales, or equivalent prior to taking the EPA, where they do not hold it on entry for England and prior to completing the programme for Wales. Funding is available (see ESFA guidelines or Welsh Government Funding).
      • Applicants who do not have Functional Skills Level 2 (in England), Essential Skills Level 2 (in Wales), or GCSE grade C/5 or above in both English and Maths, will be required to pass these qualifications with the required grade, before the end of Year 3 of the programme.
      • Apprentices will not be able to do the End Point Assessment or be awarded the Degree in Professional Policing Practice, until you submit evidence of having obtained these qualifications.  Should you not gain the Level 2 Functional Skills qualification (or equivalent), then Cheshire Constabulary will consider a range of options which could ultimately result in the Apprentice being dismissed from service under Police Regulations (Reg. 13 Police Regulations 2003)

      If you are invited to interview, you would have been advised whether it was identified from your application, if you need to undertake Level 2 Functional Skills qualification(s). At the interview stage and you will have been advised at interview about taking advantage of the free service offered in collaboration with the University of Chester Partnership College, where you will be given the opportunity to obtain these qualifications through this agreement.

      Apprentices will be required to undertake an assessment of current abilities, before being offered a range of pathways including being able to take the examination as soon as possible, due to your diagnostic scores,  or choosing a bespoke educational plan to accomplish this qualification, by either undertaking face-to face learning or an online e-learning package. For more information regarding the University of Chester partnership provider for Functional Skills qualifications, please contact the Institute of Policing admin office (01925 534698) or email iop@chester.ac.uk

      If you do not already hold these Level 2 qualifications, it is essential that you take up the opportunity to pass these qualifications, as soon as possible. If you have not completed these qualifications before the start of the course, you will be encouraged to complete the Functional Skills qualification(s) within the first 25 weeks of the programme, whilst you have more time to do so, prior to being engaged operationally.

      University Requirements

      • GCE A Level: 104 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent. Typical offer - CCC/BCC
      • BTEC: BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM, BTEC Diploma - D*D
      • Irish/Scottish Highers: Grades BBBB
      • International Baccalaureate: 26 points
      • Access: Access to HE Diploma, to include 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Merit

      OCR:

      • OCR National Extended Diploma - Merit 2
      • OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – DMM
      • OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma - D*D*

      Admissions Equivalent Interview

      The programme welcomes applications from individuals with a wide variety of educational qualifications and those with non-standard qualifications, who have relevant work or life experience and who can demonstrate the ability to cope with and benefit from degree-level studies.

      We will consider on merit in discussion with the Cheshire Constabulary, students that do not have experience or qualifications at Level 3 (equivalent to A-levels).

      Prior to the interview stage of the recruitment process, it will have been identified if your current qualifications do not meet the standard entry requirements for the course. An Academic member of staff from the University will be a member of the interview panel and you may be asked additional questions by the academic member of staff. An academic equivalence interview sheet will be compiled from your response to the questions that are asked during the interview process.

      Extra Information

      Please note that we accept a maximum of 8 UCAS points from GCE AS Levels and that the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A Level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A Levels and BTECs/OCRs. 

      The University of Chester admissions policy for the BSc (Hons) Degree in Professional Policing Practice is in accordance with the University’s Admissions Regulations; and Equality and Diversity policies. The BSc (Hons) Degree in Professional Policing Practice seeks to recruit students from diverse educational and social backgrounds, who have the ability both to benefit from, and the motivation to complete the programme.

      Part-time provision

      Applications for Part-time working will be considered on an individual basis once the student officers has achieved Independent Patrol Status. They must be employed for a minimum of 30 hours a week in line with Institute of Apprenticeship’s (IfA) regulations.  Student officers undertaking the Degree Apprenticeship must be able to complete all the level 4 requirements, including tutoring for the first gateway assessment full-time. Where agreed part time working arrangements are in place, the student officer’s apprenticeship will be extended accordingly to facilitate this.

      Delivery of the level 5 and 6 modules better facilitate part-time learning for the taught phases, in which Apprentices would not be able to take less than half of each level’s module per year. The Police Apprentice will then have their probationary period extended on a pro-rata basis, but it is a requirement that the apprenticeship must be completed within 5 years of commencement.

      Award

      As of 2020, there will be three entry routes into policing, you won’t need a degree to get in but will have achieved one at the end of your training period:

      1. Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship – work as a police constable and study at the same time. Earn while you learn.
      2. Pre-join degree – if you want to study first, complete your BSc (Hons) Degree in Professional Policing Practice at your own expense and then apply to become an officer.
      3. Degree-holder entry – if you already have a degree in another subject (not necessarily related to policing), you will follow a 2 year work based graduate programme.

      The police constable curriculum has been updated, developed and expanded.

      It now reflects the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to face the complex issues that police constables must deal with every day, whilst equipping them with the resilience they will need to adapt to the ever changing role of a police officer. The BSc (Hons) Degree in Professional Policing Practice, which is a collaborative programme offered by University of Chester/Cheshire Constabulary, has been approved by the College of Policing.

      Contact us

      If you are interested in the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, please contact: