The Direct Entry Inspector programme application window opens on 7th January 2019 at 10.00am and closes on 18th February 2019 at 11.55pm. The application form can be accessed here. Candidates are advised to visit the website of their selected Force for further information on eligibility and the process prior to applying. Should you not be able to find the answer to a question you may have please email us. Please first review the 2019 Application Form and Eligibility Criteria Candidate Overview download. If applying to MPS, GMP or WMP Forces please review this document .

Please note that you can only apply for one programme and one force in any recruitment year.


If successful, candidates will be asked to attend the National Assessment Centre. Any candidate unable to attend the National Assessment Centre will, unfortunately, be unable to continue the process.

Assessment Centre

You’ll need to attend this for three consecutive days. On day one, you’ll need to register and attend a briefing at 8pm. On day two, you’ll attend a full day of assessments. On day three, you’ll attend a half-day of assessments, which will finish at 1pm. Again, you’ll need to choose from the available dates on a first come, first served basis. If you can’t attend, unfortunately, you’ll be unable to continue in the process.

All the assessment centres will be held at one of the College of Policing sites.  


The aim of the National Assessment Centre is to measure your suitability for the programme, including your potential to reach senior levels in the police service.

At every stage of the process, you’ll be assessed against our Competency and Values Framework. It’s a framework that supports all policing professionals by setting out nationally recognised behaviours and values. At assessment stage, you’ll be tested up to Level 3 of the framework, across six competency areas and against four behaviours.

Who are the Assessors?

All our assessors are trained in the principles and skills associated with the objective and fair appraisal of others. Assessors also receive training in the specific exercises used at the centre. Teams are made up of service assessors (from a UK force) and individuals who have equivalent managerial experience of the level being assessed from outside of policing.  

How do you determine if I am successful?

Once all the exercises are finished, your overall performance is considered. If you reach the requisite standard, we’ll recommend that you go on to the Direct Entry Inspector programme. The final decision will only be made once you’ve completed all the exercises and your performance on each exercise has been evaluated.

If successful, you’ll then be matched to your chosen force in the first instance. Forces will then decide if they want to conduct an interview or introduce a further selection stage, before offering a place to a candidate.  

What's the process?

Stage One

Complete the online application form, demonstrating the relevant competencies.

Stage Two

Completed applications will be sifted by your selected Force. Successful applicants will be recommended for National Assessment Centre attendance to further demonstrate their skills against the core competencies.

Stage Three

If successful, you’ll be invited to the Direct Entry National Assessment Centre, the final stage of the selection process.

Stage Four

Candidates who are successful at the National Assessment Centre will then be considered by their chosen force for appointment.

Application timeline - 2019 Entry

Application Window
7th January - 18th February 23.55 hrs

Force Paper Sift
19th February - 12th May

Candidates Recommended for Assessment Centre
13th May

Assessment Centres
18th June - 29th June

Conditional Offers to Candidates
15th August

Notice Period / Force Vetting / Medical
16th August - 17th November

Programme Start
18th November