Direct Entry Inspector Programme

The issues faced by today's police service call for fresh ideas and new ways of working. The Direct Entry Inspector Programme offers the training and support you need to make the transition to an operational leader in the police service. It is for exceptional individuals with proven leadership and management skills who want a challenging and rewarding career.

You will lead briefings and review incidents as they come in, allocating resources as well as responding immediately to critical situations. You will need to assimilate complex information quickly, make sound decisions and direct your team in response to numerous demands. You will also be at the forefront of change, needing to think beyond the constraints of current ways of working.

Training and support

The programme is designed to attract highly talented applicants from outside the police service and equip them with the operational competence and strategic understanding required for the role of inspector.

You will undertake rotations at the ranks of constable, sergeant and finally inspector before completing the programme.

You will be given everything you need to progress and shown how to put that learning into practice. Each candidate is supported with:

  • mentors
  • tailored personal development plans
  • exceptional training delivered by experienced police officers and outstanding subject matter experts
  • on-the-job training with personal coaching and supervision


Candidates will be expected to demonstrate collective and adaptive leadership qualities, humility, innovative ideas and the ability to work in partnership with key stakeholders. You will also be required to meet the standard police officer eligibility criteria as follows:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be a British or Commonwealth citizen or an EU/European Economic Area national
  • have leave to remain in the UK indefinitely
  • have a full manual UK or EEA driving licence before receiving a formal offer of appointment or obtain it during the recruitment process
  • have two full A levels, grade A-E, or equivalent, or higher. Your application will be rejected if your highest qualification is lower than two full A levels or their equivalent.
  • not have served any period of imprisonment or youth detention
  • be in good health, of sound constitution and able to physically and mentally perform the duties of a police officer once appointed
  • not have piercings or tattoos which could cause offence
  • not have applied unsuccessfully within the last 6 months
  • live within 20 crow miles of two of our main police stations by formal offer of appointment. Consideration might be given to those living within 20 crow miles of one police station and up to 30 crow miles of another of our main police stations. A degree of flexibility is expected in terms of postings


The application window for Direct Entry 2019 is now closed. Thank you to everybody who submitted an application.

Visit the Direct Entry website to learn more about the programme or alternatively, contact Thames Valley Police Recruitment or the Direct Entry team with any questions you might have.