What to expect

Life as a probationer

Your first two years as a probationer constable will be filled with new and challenging experiences.  There’s a lot to learn, but we’ll support you all the way. 


Your initial training period lasts 16 weeks and during this time you’ll be given the tools you need to do the job.  There’s a lot of law and procedure to learn in the classroom, but it’ll be broken up by role plays and practical sessions to really make sure you understand everything fully. 

Most recruits need to revise the subjects in their own time at home as well, but your trainers and classmates will support you.   It’ll be intense, but you’ll come out of it with the essential skills and knowledge that you need to move forwards.  And not only that - sharing this experience with your classmates can build strong relationships that last well into your future career. 

After 16 weeks of hard work comes the passing out ceremony, where you’ll be presented with your certificate of attestation by a chief officer.  This is a special moment for you and your classmates as you share your success with friends and family – definitely one for the photo album! 

You’ll then take a one week Welsh course and three weeks of driving training, before moving on to the tutoring stage.

Other than two pre-scheduled breaks, you can’t take any time off during this initial stage – even if you’ve already booked and paid for a holiday.  Please bear this in mind if you decide to apply.


Once you’re deployed to your new patch, you’ll be mentored by a tutor constable for ten weeks. 

You’ll be out on patrol, dealing with real people and situations for the first time.  You could be investigating a series of burglaries on one shift, then dealing with pub kicking out time the next.  You’ll build up skills such as diffusing difficult situations and taking statements.  And one thing’s for sure…you’ll never forget your first arrest. 

At the end of the tutoring stage we’ll decide whether you’ve achieved the required standard and are ready to move on.  If you’re not quite there yet, your tutor constable will work with you to improve the areas that aren’t quite up to scratch. 

Independent Patrol

Working by yourself for the first time is a real test of everything you’ve learnt so far.  It’s a chance for you to trust your instincts and put your skills into practice.  It might seem daunting but we have faith in you!  You’ve got everything you need, and of course you’ll have the help and support of your colleagues, who have all been through it themselves. 

Ninety weeks after starting your initial training it’s time for your final review…pass this and at two years you’ll be confirmed in the rank of police constable by the Chief Constable.  Congratulations! 

What will I earn?

Your starting salary will be £23,586. 

What hours will I work?

You‘ll work a 40 hour week on a shift pattern.  NWP operates a number of different shift patterns designed to meet force and divisional operational requirements.

Do I need to be able to drive?

You do not need to hold a full driving licence when you put in your application, but you must pass your test and get a full license before we can offer you a position.

"I love how when I start my shift, I have no idea what awaits me around the corner! I also really love the sense of solidarity and belonging you get in this job – we really are a Policing family."

PC Jess Trew

Career development

Once you’ve successfully passed your probation period you have a number of options. 

Continue as a Constable

You can carry on at this rank - that’s absolutely fine with us.  As you’ll know after two years, it’s such a varied role that no two days are the same – there’s no risk of getting bored!  

Gain extra skills

You could also gain extra skills and qualifications while remaining a Constable.  There are opportunities to learn about subjects as varied as evidence gathering, protester liaison or Taser, which you can then use alongside your daily work.  Depending on your combination of skills you could add Family Liaison Officer, Tactical Adviser, Search Officer or many more roles to your professional record. 

Move up the ranks

You might be itching to challenge yourself by moving up to Sergeant rank.  If so, you need to get studying.  The National Police Promotion Framework is a four step process for constables seeking promotion, involving a three hour legal examination and work based assessment.  If you pass all four stages, then as well as gaining a promotion you can add a professional qualification in police management to your CV. 

Move into a specialist role

Got a particular interest that you’d like to focus on?  Watch out for vacancies in specialists units such as CID, Roads Policing, Firearms or Cybercrime.  There’s a lot of competition for these limited places, so consider requesting a professional secondment beforehand to get some insight and learn whether it’s for you.