Student Officer

24 Month Probation

The entire two year probationary period – Recruit Training Programme – is designed to develop your practical policing skills and is broken down into three phases.

Phase one – Recruit Training Course

During your first week you’ll take our recruit physical fitness test. This is to run a bleep test to level 5.4 which is the same as at the assessment centre. If you pass every aspect of this test, you’ll continue on this course.

You’ll be based at our specialist training centre for 21 weeks. Here, we apply the Knowledge, Understanding, Skills, Attitude and Behaviour (KUSAB) method of learning.

You will have:

  • Weekly knowledge checks
  • To complete case papers
  • A mid and an end of course pass/fail exam
  • To pass all mandatory training, including Track Safety and First Aid
  • Regular uniform parades and formal inspections by senior officers
  • Realistic role play exercises in a simulated operational BTP environment
  • A one week community placement, preferably in the area where you’ll be based

When you successfully complete this phase you’ll take part in an end of course ceremony.

Phase two – The tutor phase

You’ll be paired up with a mentor/tutor and go out on operational patrols together for eight weeks. During this time you’ll be able to put your theory into practice and take responsibility for documenting evidence of the core tasks that you’ve achieved. In fact, you’ll work through the Police Action Checklist to ensure that you are competent in every aspect of policing.

Then, when your assessor has confirmed your independent patrol status, you’re ready to move onto phase three.

Phase three – Operational Learning

During this 72 week phase, you’ll have to produce a portfolio of evidence that you have met all of the requirements for a QCF Level 3 Diploma in Policing Practice.

After 18 months, you’ll attend a final training and assessment programme that lasts for a week.

When you’ve completed this (and reached your 2 year point), you will have completed your probationary period.

Progressing though the ranks

To help you progress through the ranks we support you through exams, known as OSPRE for progression to sergeant and inspector. Our career development team prepares you for these and we also provide financial assistance with learning materials.


If you are interested in focusing on a specialty and joining one of our specialist teams, there are a broad range of fields and departments available to help you develop the unique range of skills, knowledge and experience you’ll need.

There are also opportunities for police officers to work in more staff-dominated fields such as Finance, HR and Strategic Development.