"I’m grateful to have met so many great officers who have each taught me so much in a short amount of time and have definitely made friends for life.

I’m looking forward to getting stuck in on CID and I’m excited to see what the next year holds."

As a Degree Holder we are offering an exciting opportunity to enter our Fast Track to Detective Program. After initial Police training and after reaching key milestones you will take up a Trainee Investigator role before embarking on enhanced investigative training and specialist attachments to develop the investigative mindset.

Detectives are responsible for investigating serious and complex crimes and manage a range of investigations through to their conclusion.

It's true, the role can be challenging and you will need to be resilient, but it is one of the most rewarding jobs out there. Throughout this period, candidates will receive the highest level of training and support.

This programme fast tracks new joiners through core policing modules before embarking on enhanced investigative training and moving into a Trainee Investigator role.

This is a work-based programme, supported by on and off the job learning.

Candidates will be required to undertake the National PIP 2 programme that requires Trainee Investigators to pass the National Investigators Exam which is an exam designed to ensure individuals have the right knowledge, understanding and application of relevant law and procedure to perform effectively as a detective.

Once candidates have passed this exam, they will complete PIP 2 Training Course/s and continue to work towards becoming a substantive accredited Detective Constable.

This programme results in a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice.


The person

We are looking for a diverse group of applicants to join South Wales Police; people who have the attributes and dedication to become a detective.

South Wales Police particularly welcomes applicants from under- represented groups.

This new entry route represents a fantastic opportunity for talented and skilled individuals to join the police force and then move onto a detective pathway.

You will require the competencies and values needed to be a detective; but you will also need to demonstrate the following attributes:

  • Resilience
  • Methodical/inquisitive mind-set
  • Tenacity /Determination
  • Attention to detail
  • Ownership
  • Ethical decision making

"My first year with SWP has flown by and has been such a good experience! I have been lucky enough to experience a variety of departments and each team has made me feel so welcome."

To be eligible to apply for the pathway you must hold a degree, in any discipline. You must also meet the SWP eligibility criteria.

Once you join South Wales Police you will commence a two year probationary period during which you will undertake further practice based learning and assessments in order to demonstrate your competence for the role.

The role

As a detective you will work on a wide variety of crime including serious and complex cases and support the most vulnerable in society. A detective’s career is varied and the challenges of the role are matched only by the rewards; namely detecting crime and supporting the people of South Wales.

Areas of work include:

Criminal Investigations Department (CID)

Our Criminal Investigation Department handles incidents such as serious assaults, serious sexual assaults, robbery, burglary and major property thefts. They deal with serious incidents and progress investigations to their conclusion.

On successful conclusion of this program, you will be eligible to apply for a specialist detective post and it is possible to transfer to different units over the course of your career.

The following are examples of specialist areas of investigations -

Public Protection Units (PPU)

Public Protection Investigators investigate Child Sexual Exploitation, Child abuse and vulnerable adults who are at risk.

Organised Crime Unit

Our Organised Crime Unit proactively investigates Organised Crime Groups (OCG's) residing both inside and outside the South Wales Police Force area, which impacts upon the communities of South Wales.

Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT)

The Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) are a centrally based team who investigate individuals in South Wales who use the internet with the intention of accessing, possessing and distributing indecent images of children. 

Major Crime Investigations Team

The Major Crime Investigation Team are responsible for the management and investigation of the most serious and complex crimes including Suspicious Deaths, Murder, Kidnap and Extortion.

Cyber Crime Unit

The Cyber Crime Unit are responsible for the investigation of all cyber dependent crime within the South Wales Police force area.

Economic Crime Unit

The Economic Crime Unit investigates the most complex, significant and high profile cases of fraud within South Wales, working in partnership with local, national and international forces, counter fraud agencies and public and private sector bodies.

"Everyone has been very welcoming and keen to pass on their experiences and knowledge which I know will benefit me in the long run. I am excited for what the future has in store and continue my progression towards CID."

Further professional training may be required when starting to work in any of these specialist units and when the time for promotion or specialisation is right; you will find SWP a supportive employer and we will provide the opportunity for your aspirations and ability to be recognised.

Our unique Talent Management Programme is new for 2020, offering additional development routes for exceptional officers.

A career path for detectives exists up to the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent.

Why join South Wales Police?

South Wales Police brings together thousands of people with the same aim – to keep South Wales safe. South Wales Police has a proud history. It includes Cardiff, the capital city of Wales and it serves 42% of the population of Wales. Each year our area also attracts an estimated 25 million visitors and stages some 200 major events.

If successful, you will be joining one of the best performing forces in the UK and we are getting busier. 

As a force we are investing heavily in the latest technology and the welfare of staff and officers. South Wales Police have been at the heart of many major events - the Champion’s League, NATO and the Olympics are just some of the events that we’ve hosted here in South Wales in recent times. 

Join and help us be the best at understanding and responding to our communities’ needs.





Application Process

The application process mirrors that of the Degree Holder Entry Programme PC process with the addition of an assessment focused on Detective competencies:

  1. Online Application process - including proof of eligibility
  2. Online assessment tests including the BSQ and SJT tests
  3. College approved assessment process (currently online assessment centre)
  4. Detective focused selection process.
  5. Pre-employment checks including fitness test, medical, references, drugs and Biometric tests and vetting.

Please note, we are currently closed for applications. Check back soon for further updates.


Detective Programme

How much will I get paid?

The pay is the same as the DHEP PC programme.


What benefits are provided?

A full list of benefits can be found on this page.


Will I need to pass any exams?

Yes, all candidates will need to pass the academic requirements of the programme.

This is a degree holder course which results in a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice.

In addition candidates will need to pass the National Investigators Exam covering relevant legislation. A pass is required to achieve accreditation as a detective.

Support will be provided for all exams and assessments, although study will be required as well in your own time.


Will I be wearing uniform?

Yes, during the initial training. The programme requires successful candidates to develop core policing knowledge and skills in a uniform response policing role.

Following this period smart business attire will be required (provided at individual expense). But please note as a police officer you may be deployed or asked to work in uniform if the organisation requires.


What does the training entail?

There is no doubt that this is a demanding and rewarding programme. You will undergo an intense 2 year training programme, during which time you will complete mandatory training such as personal safety and first aid training alongside academic learning via a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing in conjunction with University of Wales Trinity St David.

You will have up to 26 weeks in initial police learning before a response policing attachment where you will be required to achieve independent patrol status. You will be expected to sit the National Investigators Examination at or around the 9 month point when you will be deployed into an investigative role within the South Wales area.

You will complete your more specialised investigative training in year 2 and are required to complete and submit a portfolio of evidence to achieve detective accreditation.


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 real commitment to help the vulnerable.

Other key criteria are listed on our website.



What does the application process look like?

We appreciate that the application process can be lengthy and will take several months. However, it’s this rigorous approach which ensures we select people who will make great detectives.


What about academic qualifications?

Applicants are required to have a degree.


I don’t have a degree can I still apply?

Unfortunately you can only join via this Detective Pathway if you are able to evidence completion of a UK or non-UK degree.

If you do not have a degree, why not consider joining our Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) or becoming a Police Community Support Officer?

Additional eligibility are the same for all police officer posts.


If I have a disability, can I still apply?

Yes. We welcome applications from people with disabilities. Adjustments will be made to selection processes and/or the working environment, provided it is reasonable in all circumstances to do so.

If you consider yourself to have a disability, please inform us of the type of reasonable adjustments you might need to assist you in participating in the recruitment and selection process.


Can adjustments be made if I have a neurodiversity related condition e.g. dyslexia?

Candidates with a neurodiversity related condition, e.g. dyslexia, can request reasonable adjustments during the assessment process.


I already have an application in to become a police officer, can I apply to both?

Unfortunately not. You need to choose which route is the most appealing to you and apply for only that route.  Our systems will flag up any duplicate applications and will lead to rejection from the process.


I have recently passed the National Assessment Centre while applying to join another force. Can these results be used in my application to South Wales Police?

Yes, as long as you undertook the full SEARCH or Day One assessment/Virtual Assessment centre and reached our required pass level.

You will still need to complete the remaining elements of the SWP assessment process.


My question is not answered in these FAQs how do I get in touch?

Email any further queries you have to:



How will I be contacted throughout the process?

Primarily we will contact you via the portal on our e-recruitment site so you need to log in frequently and regularly check your emails (including your junk folder).