4. Training

From your very first day, you'll start your foundation training, building on your existing skills and picking up all of the policing knowledge you'll need to become a Scotland Yard detective.

Whilst intensive and challenging, the training prepares you for what you'll face, and there's a lot of knowledge to cover. Which is why, if you're successful, we ask you to prepare for the course by doing some pre-reading. You should have undertaken 80 to 90 hours of pre study from the Blackstone's Student Handbook. You will need to obtain these study books at a cost of approximately £25.

You will be asked to confirm that you have undertaken this pre-reading prior to joining. That way, you can start with the foundation of knowledge you'll need for the course, and be able to pass the knowledge assessments which take place during your foundation training.

There will be a knowledge check exam two weeks into the foundation course that will allow us to see that you have the understanding required to proceed.

Your 20 week foundation training is a mix of classroom-based training, practical application of skills and assessments to ensure you understand and are retaining the knowledge. It will also include three periods of coached patrols - familiarisation visits to operational police buildings, exposure to the work your uniform colleagues undertake and working with CID and Safeguarding teams – putting your initial learning into practice on your borough.

Once the 20 weeks training is complete, you'll join your borough and put your skills and knowledge into practice - serving Londoners by investigating crime. As you do this, you'll have the support and coaching of an Investigative Coach who has prior experience of working as a detective and is there to support your development.

During this time on your borough, you will also be studying for the National Investigators Exam (NIE). You must pass this exam if you are to progress to the more advanced detective training course and ultimately to become a detective.

The NIE is a multiple choice examination that tests your knowledge and application of law and procedure. Questions will test your understanding of four areas:

  • general principles, police powers and procedures
  • serious crime and other offences
  • property offences
  • and sexual offences

The NIE is preceded by a 12 to 14 week study period. You will have two attempts to pass the exam. Throughout, you'll have access to the support you need to successfully achieve the qualification, including study aids, online knowledge tests and an online forum.

The Blackstone's Police Investigators Manual is the official syllabus material for the NIE. You will need to order and pay for the Blackstone's Police Investigators Manual yourself, although if you pass the National Investigators Exam (NIE) you can apply to have the costs reimbursed. You will need to obtain this study book (in addition the Blackstone's Handbook) at a cost of approximately £80.

Upon successful completion of the National Investigators Exam, you'll then receive further training, building your skills as an investigator. You'll then re-join your borough, and put these skills in to practice by investigating more complex crimes.

You will successfully complete a workbook evidencing your acquired skills and competence for both Professionalising Investigative Programme 1 and 2, accredited by the College of Policing.

Your investigative coach and detective colleagues will be with you every step of the way whilst you become accredited to the right level, and through to the point where you are confirmed as a detective and pass your probation requirements (normally happens within two years).

On confirmation as a substantive detective constable you'll have the opportunity to build your experience within your borough. After a further 12 months on your borough you will have the opportunity to move into a variety of roles including specialist teams, whether that's for homicide, counter-terrorism, cyber-crime, child protection or one of numerous other exciting career possibilities. There may also be opportunities to try for promotion too.