Direct Entry

What Direct Entry is all about

West Yorkshire Police is proud to be supporting the Inspector Direct Entry programme. Run by the College of Policing, the pioneering programme will bring refreshing new perspectives, skills and experience into the police service to deliver policing which is professional, efficient and capable of dealing with the growing pressures of today and beyond. 

The Direct Entry Inspector programme is for exceptional individuals with proven leadership and management skills who want a new challenge and rewarding career. The programme has been designed to deliver robust and comprehensive training to ensure that, on completion you will be a highly competent uniformed operational Inspector, able to make a positive impact on policing and your community.

No prior experience of policing is necessary to join the Direct Entry programme. The programme is a blend of classroom learning delivered at regional training centres and operation training in your local force. You will spend about 80 per cent of your training working on operational rotations learning first-hand what policing is all about.



The role and responsibilities of the Inspector

Policing is constantly adapting to changing needs, so we’re always looking for exceptional, fresh, innovative, future-focused individuals. It’s likely that you’ll join us from a completely different background to policing, so your perspectives will be invaluable. A forward-thinking, creative leader, ready to put bold solutions in place, coming in directly at the rank of inspector, you’ll use your strategic experience to work positively with the community, partners and policing teams.

Inspectors are managers leading on the front line. They are decision makers at the scenes of major or critical incidents and crime initiatives. It is an operational role with a strategic outlook. Inspectors are often in charge of a duty shift consisting of constables, sergeants, and police staff, assessing dynamic risk, attending management and coordination meetings and making sure that decisions taken are implemented practically.

Responsibilities include:

  • Directing, planning, organising and authorising the work of police officers and police staff, assessing risk, making dynamic decisions, allocating work and monitoring performance.
  • Providing strong frontline leadership.
  • Taking responsibility for managing critical and major incidents.
  • Reviewing systems, procedures and practices, in order to introduce improvements.
  • Making best use of resources.
  • Working in partnership

In this critical operational role, you’ll be on the front line of crime initiatives, providing leadership and making decisions during major incidents. Day to day, you’ll lead and supervise constables and sergeants, using resources and managing budgets in the best way possible. Always working to the highest standards, you’ll challenge existing practices, creating positive outcomes for the community, West Yorkshire Police, as well as your own development. Confident at building partnerships and leading effective organisational change, you’re also a creative thinker, dedicated to long-term, strategic improvements.

Inspectors need to be able to identify, manage and mitigate risk and make fast time decisions in potentially life threatening situations. They will also take responsibility for the management of major incidents, making best use of resources, leading teams of police constables, sergeants, PCSO’s, police staff and partner agencies.


YouTube Video - Inspector Mark Gamlyn - West Yorkshire Police


How we police

West Yorkshire Police serve approximately 2.2 million people living in one of the five metropolitan districts of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. The physical area, of some 2000 square kilometres or 780 square miles, contains the West Yorkshire conurbation and a network of motorway and trunk roads which allow easy access to and from other population centres.

The Force area is very varied combining busy cities and towns with quiet villages and picturesque rural locations. People are equally varied and represent a diverse range of ethnic cultural and economic backgrounds.

For this reason, the policing is delivered from 5 separate police districts, providing most of the day-to-day policing services performed through the county. There are also teams of specialist police and support staff personnel based at headquarters and at various other locations around the Force.

The overwhelming majority of police officers are engaged in operational duties that contribute towards the community safety for the people of West Yorkshire.



We will consider applications from people over the age of 18 (at the time of application) but please be aware that while there is no upper age limit for appointment it should be borne in mind that the compulsory age of retirement for a police Inspector is 60 years and 65 years for a Superintendent.

We typically expect candidates to have a Level 6/7 qualification but will also consider applicants who can demonstrate equivalent level experience.

The police need to ensure that adequate and satisfactory vetting is undertaken for all applicants. Police forces require a three year checkable history and due to difficulties often faced with gaining vetting checks from overseas, to the extent required for those who have been resident in the UK. This could mean applicants may need to have resided in the UK for a three year period prior to application.


Applicants will also need to:

  • Have no criminal convictions (minor offences will be considered on an individual basis)
  • Meet our attendance standard
  • Be able to pass the job related fitness test
  • Comply with the Force tattoo policy

While the focus of the programme is to attract individuals with exceptional leadership skills from outside policing, you will still need to take on the responsibilities of being a police officer.


Application and selection process

The application window is currently closed.

Applications are centrally collated by the College of Policing and then shared with West Yorkshire Police.

West Yorkshire Police conduct a selection process based upon the Competency and Values Framework (CVF). The selection process will consist of a shortlisting exercise and interview. Candidates successful at interview stage will then attend the College of Policing’s National Assessment Centre.

Should more candidates pass the Assessment Centre than there are places available in West Yorkshire Police, the highest performing candidates shall be selected. This will be done using the scoring outputs from the interview and Assessment Centre.

Look out for the blue Apply button in the left corner to apply


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Diversity, Equality and Inclusion

We are committed to attracting diversity at all levels of the organisation.  Ensuring that we have staff with different experiences and perspectives, who come from a wide range of communities, will support us to increase our skills and abilities and help us to continue to develop a more inclusive culture.

As part of our Diversity, Equality and Inclusion strategy, we use Positive Action as a tool to help address under representation within our workforce.

Positive Action

Positive action is a range of measures, allowed under the Equality Act 2010, which can be taken to encourage and train people from under-represented groups to help them overcome disadvantages in competing with other applicants. Positive Action is not about giving some people favourable treatment and lowering standards just because of their protected characteristic; it is about getting everyone to the same starting line and still employing and promoting on merit. We treat all applicants fairly and in accordance with current legislation.  

Find out more about diversity, equality and inclusion.

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Page last reviewed December 2020

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