What to expect

Life as a probationer

Your time 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. 

Depending on which entry route you come into North Wales Police will determine how long your probation period is.

If you join via the degree apprenticeship route you will have a three year probation period in line with completing your degree. If you join via the Degree Holder entry route or the Pre Join Degree route, your probation will be two years.


Your training period will again depend on which entry route you join NWP. 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. You will be given plenty of academic support from both police trainers and university lecturers.

The entry routes for student officers on both the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship and the Degree Holder Entry Programme are very similar. Both routes will have an initial classroom training phase of 22 weeks, during which you will learn about various aspects of policing and be tested in Crime, Traffic and General Policing Duties. After your classroom phase, you will undertake a driving course, which will teach you the required road craft skills for your operational role. You will then be assigned to an experienced tutor and spend twelve weeks attached to a response rota, developing your skills as a Police Constable.

Throughout your probationary period, you will return to the classroom, either in North Wales Police or Bangor University to learn new skills and complete academic coursework and assignments.

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 can that - sharing this experience with your classmates build strong relationships that last well into your future career. 

After all your 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! 

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 twelve 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.

What will I earn?

Your starting salary will be £24,177. 

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.