Forty student police officers who started their training this week are the first in Wiltshire to receive new training.

The new police constable training programme has been set by the College of Police to standardise professional qualification levels for officers.

Wiltshire Police is teaming up with the University of South Wales to deliver the training, to be run from the police headquarters in Devizes.

The students arrives at police headquarters for their first day on June 29 for a brief, to pick up their IT kit and a welcome to Wiltshire from deputy chief constable Paul Mills and Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson.

Due to coronavirus, the first few weeks of the training will be online.

“Our course trainers have done a fantastic job getting the new training programme up and running online, working alongside our partners at the University of South Wales,” said deputy chief constable Paul Mills.

“I am proud to welcome the first students to Wiltshire taking the new apprenticeship degree or the graduate diploma and wish them well with their policing careers.

“The introduction of the programme heralds an important landmark in the continued development of policing in the country, with all new recruits now graduating with a degree level qualification in policing.

“We are on track for a significant uplift in police officer numbers over the next few years, with a further 120 students expected to start over the next 12 months.

“Increases in the Council Tax policing precept and additional Government funding means we can recruit, train and deploy even more officers to tackle crime and the issues that are really important to our communities.”

PCC Angus Macpherson, who began his working life as an apprentice with Hoover, sees the introduction of police degree apprenticeships as a real benefit to the force

He said: “When we talk about apprenticeships, I'm a firm supporter. The training programme is ambitious and will benefit our officers, the force as a whole and the communities they serve.

“It also serves to show that policing is a demanding job, requiring professional skills and knowledge.

Twenty-five of the new students are taking the degree apprenticeship and the 15 who are already degree holders will take the diploma course – all are warranted full time police officers from day one.

“During the initial 23 weeks training, they will study together in mixed groups, prior to joining community policing teams under tutorship to continue their academic studies, with protected learning time alongside being full time police officers.”

Police officer recruitment is unlikely to open again until early 2021 in Wiltshire, but expressions of interest are welcome on the Force's Talent Bank online.

Applicants must be 17 years or older at the time of application and 18 when they start training and there is no maximum age limit. For more information go to