Commissioner welcomes introduction of non-degree entry route for Surrey Police officers

The Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend said Surrey Police will be able to attract the very best recruits from a wider range of backgrounds after it was announced today a non-degree entry route will be introduced for those looking to join the Force.

The Chief Constables of Surrey Police and Sussex Police have jointly agreed to introduce a non-degree route for new police officers ahead of a national scheme being launched.

It is hoped the move will open up a career in policing to more candidates and to candidates of more diverse backgrounds. The scheme is open immediately for applicants.

Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend said: “I have always been clear in my view that you do not need a degree to be an outstanding police officer. So, I am delighted to see the introduction of a non-degree route into Surrey Police which will mean we can attract the very best people from a wider range of backgrounds.

“A career in policing offers so much and can be enormously varied. One size does not fit all, so nor should the entry requirements.

“It is important of course that we equip our police officers with the right knowledge and understanding of their powers to protect the public. But I believe those key skills to becoming an excellent police officer such as communication, empathy and patience are not taught in the classroom.

“The degree route will be the best option for some but if we truly want to represent the communities we serve, I believe is it crucial we offer different pathways into policing.

“I believe this decision opens up much greater choices for those wishing to pursue a policing career and will ultimately mean Surrey Police can provide an even better service for our residents.”

The new scheme will be called the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP+) and is designed for applicants with or without a degree. The programme will provide recruits with a blend of practical ‘on-the-job’ experience, and classroom-based learning equipping them with the skills and experience needed to meet the demands of modern policing.

While the route does not lead to a formal qualification, it will remain a requirement to achieve operational competence by the end of this period.

Student officers currently studying for a degree have the option to the transfer to the non-degree route if they feel, in consultation with the Force’s training team, that it’s the best option for them. Surrey Police will introduce this as an interim route for new recruits until a national scheme is established.

Speaking about the IPLDP+ programme, Chief Constable Tim De Meyer said: “To offer choice in how to enter policing is so important, if we are to ensure that we are inclusive and can compete in the employment market for the very best people to serve alongside us. I know that many will join me in wholeheartedly supporting this change.”

Surrey Police is open to recruitment for police officers and a range of other roles. Further information can be found at and future police officers can apply for the new scheme here.

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