Detective Entry FAQs | Norfolk Constabulary

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Detective Entry FAQs

This page aims to provide basic information in response to frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not addressed, please direct your query to [email protected] or read our Direct Entry Detective Constable brochure



What does the job of detective entail / what will I be doing?

The role of Detective Constable is to protect the public by undertaking investigations into serious and often complex crimes. This involves all aspects of the investigative process including (but not exclusively), dealing with victims, dealing with witnesses, attending scenes, collecting and preserving evidence, identifying and arresting offenders, interviewing, creating case files and attending court.

It is anticipated that all successful applicants will be actively involved in investigating a varied range of criminality dependant on the department in which they are placed.

Investigations Department (CID) – Staff are expected to deal with residential burglaries, serious assaults, domestic abuse, robbery, fraud, theft, drug trafficking and stalking offences. In addition detectives are frequently engaged in unexplained death and high risk missing person enquiries.

Safeguarding – Staff are expected to deal with serious sexual offences, rape, honour based abuse, child sexual exploitation and human trafficking,

All staff will be supported through these investigations in the initial stages moving towards independence and more complex cases (multi offender crimes, organised crime groups and conspiracy offences as experience grows).

Additional opportunities to apply to specialise in areas such as for example major investigation, surveillance, intelligence and counter terrorism will arise after satisfactory completion of a 2 year probationary period.

To obtain more information or discuss the role in more detail with serving officers, please contact [email protected] 

How can I prepare for a possible assessment/interview?

There are a number of ways to prepare for the assessment process

  1. Speak to officers who have recently joined the organisation and seek their views as to the process and their experience of it.
  2. Speak to officers that currently work in the world of investigations as Detective Constables and seek their views as to the process and their experience of it.
  3. Refer to the Suffolk Constabulary web site to gain an understanding of the organisation its structure and its aims.
  4. Be aware of current affairs, particularly those that would have relevance to or place demands on the Police service.

What sort of people are you looking for?

We are looking for highly motivated individuals with a strong investigative mind set, good communication skills and a positive desire to help the vulnerable and support the community.

Other key assets are enthusiasm and commitment, attention to detail, tenacity, confidence and the ability to complete tasks accurately and to a deadline.

There are numerous occupations both within and outside of the police service which involve people having transferable skills and qualifications of relevance to the modern detective function. Examples of such professions would include

  • Accountancy and financial services
  • Information Technology
  • Health and social care services
  • Legal and criminal justice (CPS, probation)
  • Private sector investigations
  • Public sector investigations (HM Customs and Revenue, Trading Standards, security services)
  • Higher education (particularly criminal justice relevant courses)
  • Police staff investigators and special constables

Please note this list is not prescriptive and we are open to applications from all backgrounds.

What sort of fitness requirements and physical attributes are needed?

Multi-stage Fitness Test

This element involves running along a 15 metre track to a series of audible beeps. The beeps, during the course of the test, get progressively faster. You will need to have reached each side of the track before the next beep sounds.
Pass: Run to level 5.4 (Approximately 3 1/2 minute)

You will also be required to complete and pass personal safety training in order to fulfill the role, this will include physical confrontation training.

What if I have a previous conviction?

Convictions/cautions/penalty notices will not automatically prevent you from appointment. However if the matter was within the last five years most forces will not accept your application. Individual circumstances will be considered depending on the circumstances and the nature of the offence.

What must you declare?

  • Any conviction (includes motoring offences such as speeding)
  • Any police caution/Penalty Notice for Disorder
  • Spent convictions
  • Any involvement in any criminal investigation that did not lead to prosecution
  • Applicants who have existing County Court Judgments (CCJs) outstanding against them should not be considered.

What reference or vetting checks will be carried out?

There a number of checks that are undertaken prior to coming into the organisation as a Police Officer. These include:

  • Vetting to RV (Recruitment Vetting) level. This process will also consider your immediate family and any unrelated co-residents;
  • Two satisfactory employment references;
  • Medical screening;
  • Completion of the Force Fitness Test; and
  • Biometric Screening – this includes taking finger prints and a DNA sample.

Any age restriction?

The minimum age restriction is 18 and the maximum restriction is 57. All new recruits have to undertake a 2 year probationary period.

What about academic qualifications?

Level 3 qualification gained in England and Wales, within the meaning of the Education & Skills Act 2008 e.g. 'A' Level/ AS Level,

National Diploma, National Certificate, Level 3 NVQ or City & Guilds, Access to Higher Education Diploma or an academic or vocational qualification gained outside of England or Wales which is considered to be equivalent to a Level 3 qualification.

If you have gained a qualification and are unsure whether this equates to a Level 3 please check via UK NARIC -

What does the training entail?

There will be an initial training phase as an introduction to policing equipping candidates with their basic policing skills (this will last 10 weeks)

This initial training will cover key legislation, police powers and procedures as well as personal safety, first aid and equipment training.

Following this foundation course there will be a 13 week period of being tutored in response policing to consolidate learning from basic training and provide you with an understanding of operational policing requirements and context. This will be followed by 4 weeks attachment dealing with detainees in the Custody Investigation Unit (CIU).

You will then be provided one to one tutorship with a trained Detective Constable either in an area CID or safeguarding department.

There are three additional requirements to achieve accreditation as a level 2 Investigator (Detective Constable)

  1. Maintain a portfolio of work (‘one file’) to show capability across relevant skill area
  2. Pass the National Investigators Exam (NIE a multiple choice knowledge test relating to the role of an investigator).
  3. Attend Initial Crime Investigators Development (Detective Constable’s) Course.

Will I be wearing uniform?

Yes during the first 23 weeks of training – which is comprised (10 week foundation course and 13 week supported patrol)

Will I need to pass any exams?

Yes all candidates will need to pass basic knowledge checks during initial training

In addition candidates will need to pass the National Investigators Exam covering relevant legislation. There are regular opportunities to do this and a pass is required to achieve accreditation as a detective.

The pass mark for this exam is currently 55.7%

Support for this exam will be provided by way of 5 days paid study leave and the free provision of all of the approved study material.

How much will I get paid?

The starting salary for police officers is £24,780 with pay increments every 12 months to a maximum of £41,130 at seven years of service.


When and how will I get paid?
You will get paid monthly by automatic credit to your bank or building society account.


Pension scheme
Norfolk Police participates in the National Police Pension Scheme.

Will I have to work shifts?

At this time Investigators work day and late shifts generally between the core hours of 0800 and 2300. However as a warranted officer, shifts and roles could be changed based on operational necessity. The force also operates a CID night car function which requires all Dc’s to participate on a very limited rotational basis.

Is there a shift allowance in addition to the salary listed?

There is an additional ‘unsocial hours allowance’. This applies where officers/detectives work 8pm to 6am (so a maximum entitlement of 10 hours).

This is paid at 10% of hourly rate.