How to Become a Police Constable

Find out more about the journey to becoming a Police Constable.

Training & development

How you'll grow

We want you to have the best preparation possible for your future career as a police officer.

Your first two years is a probationary period. This is the opportunity for you to develop the skills and experience it takes to become a fully-fledged Police Constable.

This diagram shows how your learning and development will start with the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) and continue throughout your probationary period.

2 year Probatory Period begins.

  • STAGE 1 - CKP

    The foundation for your policing career and an essential first step in your training.

    Equips you with an understanding of policing and police law - and a recognised national qualification.

    Enables you to demonstrate some of the critical decision-making skills required for the job.

    Completing the CKP will give you an invaluable understanding of policing and police law. It will also help you develop the decision-making skills that are so important to Police Constables.

    The course content covers a range of topics to prepare you for police training. Everything from how to use police powers fairly - to supporting the victims of crime - to undertaking investigations.

    The CKP is such a vital first step in your training. It gives you a comprehensive grounding in policing and police law - and provides a seamless link into the Met's police training for new recruits.

    You also get a valuable insight into the critical decision-making skills required in frontline policing

    What you'll learn about

    Using police powers in a fair and just way.

    Neighbourhood policing, and the social and community issues involved.

    How to respond to incidents and provide initial support to victims and witnesses.

    Searching premises and searching individuals - and taking part in planned policing operations.

    Interviewing witnesses and suspects - and supporting victims.

    How you'll learn

    300 hours of study including 80-100 hours taught.

    E-learning & self study.

    Presentations, group discussions, tasks & exercises, role plays.

    How you'll be assessed

    Tests.

    Open-book assignments.

    Closed-book assignments.

  • STAGE 2 - Met Foundation Training - New Starters Course

    The 12 week foundation training that begins on your start date.

    Builds on the core knowledge gained in the CKP, compliments not duplicates the content.

    Puts the legislation you've learned into context, linking it to police powers and responsibilities.

    What you'll learn about.

    Protecting Officer Safety.

    Providing Emergency Life Support.

    Maintaining Public Order.

    Counter Terrorism.

    Dynamic Risk Assessment.

    Operating our IT systems.

    How you'll learn.

    Instructor training and presentations.

    Group/individual exercises and role play.

    Practical tasks that reinforce learning.

    How you'll be assessed.

    Observation of interactions and role-plays.

    Exams throughout to test knowledge.

    Reviews of written work and documentation.

  • STAGE 3 - Coached Patrol & Police Action Checklists

    The chance to put your CKP and Course training into practice.

    Experience real policing, on patrol alongside experienced officers.

    Demonstrate your new skills and knowledge in live situations.

    What you'll learn about.

    Interacting with the public.

    Participating in investigations.

    Dealing with reports and incidents.

    Filling out key documentation.

    How you'll learn.

    Coaching & mentoring.

    Observing experienced colleagues.

    Undertaking real police duties yourself.

    How you'll be assessed.

    Continuous supervision when you're on patrol.

    Assessment of your skills in real life situations.

  • STAGE 4 - Probationary Policing

    On concluding Coached Patrol successfully, your initial Met Foundation Training is complete.

    Start your role as a probationary officer in a borough police station.

    Prove that you have the talents to work on your own - and gain Independent Patrol Status.

    What you'll learn about.

    Playing a full Constable's role in responding to incidents and investigating crime.

    Working independently and using your initiative in policing situations.

    The full expectations and responsibilities of community policing.

    How you'll learn.

    Practical, hands-on experience of tackling crime in local communities.

    Coaching and following the example set by colleagues.

    Formal continuation training.

    How you'll be assessed.

    Continuous assessment of your performance in the role.

    The Student Officer Record of Competence, measuring attainments and ability.

    Performance Development Reviews with your supervisor at 6, 12 and 18 months.

  • Your Goal: Confirmation as a Police Constable

    Your final review takes place after 2 years as a probationer.

    Your Student Officer Record of Competence is assessed and a report is produced.

    Meet the standard and you will be confirmed as a Police Constable on appointment.


Probation - the insider's guide



  • "There's lots of work on the legislation, it's really important that the law sticks in your mind."

  • "It feels good when things click into place - when you learn how to apply the legislation and take the right decisions."

  • "You're eased gently into the role. We started with a traffic patrol - stopping drivers and talking to people."

  • "It feels good whenever you see an incident through. There's nothing quite like charging someone who has clearly committed a horrible crime."

  • "The first time I saw my reflection in a shop window, on patrol, I felt incredibly proud."

  • "Every day you're learning something new."

  • "There are good days and not so good days during probation. But it only takes one moment, one little experience to remind you exactly why you want
    to be a PC."

  • "When you're off duty, and you hear the police sirens in the distance, you feel a little tinge of pride."

  • "Even in the probationary period, you're given the opportunity to identify and set up an operation."

  • "I was pleasantly surprised at the courses you could do during probation. I've just completed the Police National Computer Training."

  • "You get to visit and learn about specialist teams, to help you think about your career direction after appointment."

  • "There can be lots of community engagement - going into schools, businesses, hotels. Meeting pillars of the community. Daunting at first, but fun when you're
    used to it."

  • "The more experienced officers are always there as a safety net - they ensure you don't get into danger."

  • "The first two or three times on patrol, you watch how your colleagues do things. Then they gradually let you take more control."

  • "You get to build up your record of dealing with different incidents. Missing persons, domestic abuse, theft etc."

  • "There's lots of work on the legislation, it's really important that the law sticks in your mind."

  • "It feels good when things click into place - when you learn how to apply the legislation and take the right decisions."

  • "You're eased gently into the role. We started with a traffic patrol - stopping drivers and talking to people."

  • "It feels good whenever you see an incident through. There's nothing quite like charging someone who has clearly committed a horrible crime."

  • "The first time I saw my reflection in a shop window, on patrol, I felt incredibly proud."

  • "Every day you're learning something new."

  • "There are good days and not so good days during probation. But it only takes one moment, one little experience to remind you exactly why you want
    to be a PC."

  • "When you're off duty, and you hear the police sirens in the distance, you feel a little tinge of pride."

  • "Even in the probationary period, you're given the opportunity to identify and set up an operation."

  • "I was pleasantly surprised at the courses you could do during probation. I've just completed the Police National Computer Training."

  • "You get to visit and learn about specialist teams, to help you think about your career direction after appointment."

  • "There can be lots of community engagement - going into schools, businesses, hotels. Meeting pillars of the community. Daunting at first, but fun when you're
    used to it."

  • "The more experienced officers are always there as a safety net - they ensure you don't get into danger."

  • "The first two or three times on patrol, you watch how your colleagues do things. Then they gradually let you take more control."

  • "You get to build up your record of dealing with different incidents. Missing persons, domestic abuse, theft etc."