Police Constable Degree Apprenticeships (PCDA)

Image of two officers with words 'Join Us' in between

West Yorkshire Police recruits Police Officers periodically throughout the year. When our recruitment process is open, we advertise this on our website. Early expressions of interest can be made here.

Due to our police service being under-represented by people from an ethnic minority background, we accept applications all year round from these under-represented groups. This is in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As of the last equality report, only 9% of our officers are from an ethnic minority background, but 23% of people in West Yorkshire are from these communities.

Applications from people from an ethnic minority background are processed through to the interview stage, but then held until recruitment is opened for everyone. We will always employ the best person for the job, who meets the required standard during both at the assessment and during the interview process, regardless of how they describe themselves on their application form. Enabling people from an ethnic minority background to apply early does not give them an advantage in the application process it simply provides us with more opportunity to attract talent from a pool of applicants who reflect the diverse communities we serve.

We are currently accepting applications from people from our under-represented groups. If you are from an Ethnic Minority background click here to apply.

If you are not from one of these groups please keep checking this page for future recruitment opportunities - or keep an eye on our social media channels.

We are currently recruiting for the Police Constable Entry Programme (PCEP) - Uniform route. Please look at the information about these options carefully as you will not be permitted to change routes once an application has been submitted.


About the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship

This route is for people who want to be a Police Constable through a three-year Integrated Degree Apprenticeship. Further details on this can be found via the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Learning website.

Salary : This has a starting salary of £28,551 per annum increasing to a minimum of £30,957 after two years and £46,044 after six years if you remain at Police Constable rank, (subject to performance).

Becoming a Police Officer through this apprenticeship entry route allows you to earn a salary whilst you learn policing skills with West Yorkshire Police and Leeds Trinity University.

Few jobs can be more rewarding than that of a Police Officer. From day one, you’ll be helping to fight crime and protect the public, making our communities safer and feeling safer.

It’s much more than blue lights and fast cars. It’s protecting vulnerable people when they need you most. It’s working in partnership to tackle serious and organised crime and it’s making critical decisions that will change lives forever. You will investigate a wide range of crimes such as burglaries, violence against women & children and other assaults, going that extra mile to ensure the best chance of securing a conviction.

We are looking for exceptional individuals who are hardworking, enthusiastic and keen to learn the skills necessary for the challenging role of a police officer and we have an exciting opportunity to recruit new officers on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship.

You may wonder - ‘Why are new recruits offered an apprenticeship to train to become a Police Constable?' An apprenticeship is really just a work-based learning programme and this a great way of gaining the knowledge skills and behaviours to become a competent officer. In reality, police training has always been an ‘apprenticeship’ in approach, blending classroom training with operational, on-the -job learning; it has just never been called that.

You may also hear many people say that you do not require a degree to be a good Police Officer, but this level of education provides you with the ability to think critically, solve complex problems and fully understand the context of evidence-based policing. This is so important in policing today’s modern society with the many complex challenges that brings.

This Degree Apprenticeship entry route is not for everyone, and it does require commitment and hard work, but the rewards are worth it. You, and we, are investing in your future.

With the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship programme, you will be working in a uniformed role for the first two years and during that time you will be taught all the relevant knowledge and skills by both teaching staff at West Yorkshire Police and our partners, Leeds Trinity University (LTU). In the third and final year you may be offered the opportunity to specialise in conducting investigations for serious and complex crime or working in community policing.

Over the three years you will work towards an End Point Assessment and on successful completion of this you will be awarded a BA Hons in Professional Policing Practice by LTU. During this time, you will be fully supported to achieve success by both the Force and the University.

We also offer two alternative entry routes - Police Constable Entry Programme (PCEP) - Uniform and Police Constable Entry Programme (PCEP) - Detective, which don't work towards a degree but cover the same curriculum and operational work-based learning over the first two years.  Please consider all options carefully before submitting your application.


Programme Structure

You will complete the initial 19 week classroom-based training at the West Yorkshire Police Training Complex at Carr Gate, Wakefield. After this time, you will then move to work within one of the five operational policing districts in West Yorkshire (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds or Wakefield) where you will apply your knowledge and skills in the workplace, building on your operational competence.

The first ten weeks at district are spent in a tutored period, working with an experienced Police Officer mentor. It is during this period that you will assessed on your ability to work independently, policing our communities, but with the support of your colleagues.

You will spend further periods at LTU to build your knowledge and skills and will then return to district to apply this learning and continue to gain operational experience.


What do I need to apply?

To be considered for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (or any other Police Officer entry route) you will need to have the following qualifications and be able to evidence these by uploading your certificates to your application.  Failure to evidence your qualifications at the application stage could prevent your application from being progressed.

To apply you must : -

  • Be 17 years old or over. There is no upper age limit. You can start the application process if you are 17 years old, but you must have reached 18 to be appointed as a student officer.
  • Have a Level 2 / GCSE (A*-C or 9-4) or equivalent qualification in both English Language and Mathematics.
  • Have a Level 3 qualification within the meaning of Section 3 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 or equivalent (i.e. two A/AS Levels Grade A to E, GNVQ/NVQ Level 3, BTEC Level 3 or equivalent), ideally with a minimum of 80 UCAS points or be a serving Special Constable or PCSO having attained independent patrol status. You can check your qualification UCAS points here.

    If your Level 3 qualification does not meet the minimum UCAS points, completion of a 1000 word essay would need to be undertaken as part of the selection process, for consideration of suitability, by Leeds Trinity University. 

    If you do not hold a Level 3 qualification but can demonstrate having the qualifications and/or experience as detailed in Police Regulations 2003, Regulation 10, Annex BA (i.e. you are currently working as a PCSO) then consideration will be given to your application. In this instance, you will need to complete a 1000 word essay, as above.
  • Be a British Citizen, or an EU/European Economic Area (EEA) National, Commonwealth Citizen or Foreign National with Indefinite Leave to Remain or Settled Status and no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.
  • Be eligible to join an apprenticeship.
  • Have no criminal convictions (minor offences will be considered on an individual basis).
  • Not have served any time in prison or youth detention (if you have a criminal conviction, it may lead to your application being rejected – we will take into account the date, nature of offence plus evidence of good character since the offence).
  • Meet our attendance standard.
  • Be able to pass the job related fitness test.
  • Comply with the Force tattoo policy. View the Force Policy on tattoos in the Dress and Personal Appearance Policy.
  • Pass the police vetting checks.
  • Holding a full manual UK/EU driving licence by the time of formal offer will be an advantage.

Click here for further information about the eligibility criteria.


Selection Process

Our expectations are high and if your application is shortlisted you will undergo a rigorous recruitment process commencing with the National Police Assessment Process to measure your skills to become a Police Officer. An in-force, values-based interview will then follow. If you are successful in all elements of the recruitment process you will undergo a series of pre-appointment checks to include a medical assessment, fitness test and security vetting before a job offer is made.

The application process can take up to 12 months, depending on the applicant.

In return, you will receive first class training, an excellent salary and pension benefits, and become part of a large Police Force which brings fantastic prospects in terms of career development and future promotional opportunities.


More information


Page last reviewed April 2024.