Vacancy Information

Being a detective is demanding, diverse and incredibly fulfilling. From cyber-crime, domestic abuse and child protection, through to homicide, high level drugs importation and serious organised crime; you will help solve some of the most serious crimes possible. Analysing the evidence, interviewing suspects, taking a case to court – you will uncover the truth and seek justice for victims.

If you’re a degree holder with the compassion to help build trusting relationships; the tenacity to see a case through from start to finish; the desire to get justice for victims and the emotional resilience to keep calm, yet confident, then a detective career could be for you.

This is an intensive course, which will require commitment and dedication to both serving the public and meeting the demands of the programme. In return, we promise a good starting salary, supportive working environment, great training experiences, opportunities for progression and, upon successful completion of your learning, a graduate diploma in professional policing practice.

There are a limited number of spaces on our 2023 Detective Programme and we anticipate high levels of interest in the opportunity. We recommend that you submit your application as early as possible as it may be necessary to close the recruitment window early.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for the role, you will need to:

  • Have successfully completed, and be able to evidence, a UK undergraduate degree (360 credits) in any subject. Applicants with non – UK degrees can be considered if their degree is recognised as equivalent by UK ENIC but will need to provide evidence of an acceptable English language qualification if their degree was not taught and assessed in English. Applicants that are graduating in the summer of 2023 are able to apply. You will need to upload evidence of completion of university modules to date when you apply. If you don't have a bachelors degree with honours you can apply for the PCDA which is open now.
  • Be aged 17 years or over on the day you submit your application. You must be 18 years or over to start in post.
  • Have lived in the UK for three continuous years, immediately prior to application
  • Have leave to enter or leave to remain and work in the UK for an indefinite period.
  • Have a full UK manual driving licence (by the time of appointment).
  • Not be a member of the British National Party (BNP) or other relevant organisations, such as Combat 18 or The National Front.
  • Not have tattoos which could cause offence.
  • Not have 6 or more penalty points on your driving licence.
  • Not have served a prison sentence.


The Role

The Detective Programme uses one of the new entry routes into policing – the Degree Holder Entry Programme. These entry routes recognise police officers operate at a level where they take personal responsibility for decisions in complex, unpredictable environments and help provide the skills and capabilities necessary for policing in the 21st Century.

Starting salary is £28,682 per annum (which includes £2,000 South East Allowance). You will be employed as a Police Officer from day one, gaining valuable experience of the role while studying towards your accreditation as a detective and your graduate diploma in professional policing practice.

Training will initially be at Sussex Police Headquarters in Lewes, where you will gain the fundamental skills and knowledge you need to succeed. You will then be posted to a division where you will spend a short period of time working within our Response teams. Following this you will then work in either Investigations or within one of our Safeguarding Investigations Units. Here you’ll apply what you have learnt and, with the support of your coaching and development officer, take on your first cases.

You will also be required to sit the National Investigators’ Examination; a multiple choice exam which is designed to ensure individuals have the right knowledge, understanding and application of relevant law and procedure to perform effectively as a detective.

The Recruitment Process

Stage 1: Application Form and Eligibility Checks

Stage 2: National Sift - Behavioral Style Questionnaire and Situational Judgement Test

Stage 3: National Assessment Centre - Written briefing and competency-based interview

Stage 4: Detective Assessment 

Stage 5: Pre-employment checks consisting of vetting, medical, biometric vetting and substance misuse testing and fitness testing.

We anticipate start dates from September 2023. Please be advised for the first 15 weeks of your training you will not be able to take any annual leave. 

Diversity Statement

We are only as good as our people. It's really important to us that our officers and staff can be themselves in the workplace and we know that as an organisation we'll grow from the variety of thinking, approach and skills that diversity can bring; all of which helps us to deliver a better policing service. We strive to ensure how we deliver our services, provide information and how we recruit is open and accessible to all.

We have a multiple staff support groups who help improve our understanding of minority issues and ensure they are reflected in our work. We are proud members of the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and Disability Confident, a signatory of the Race at Work Charter and aligned with the Armed Forces Covenant and the HeForShe movement.

We value the differences that people bring from all backgrounds and communities. Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, disability, social status or religious beliefs, we would love to hear from you.