Do you have the ambition, determination and vision to accelerate into the senior ranks of the police service?
If so, Direct Entry Superintendent may be the role for you. The Direct Entry scheme is an 18 month programme which equips the most talented individuals with skills, knowledge and experience to operate at a Superintendent level.
Although exciting, intense and varied, being a police officer is not a 9 to 5 job. It involves potentially long shifts, unpredictable hours and working in high risk situations - you will be expected to tackle danger head on while other members of the public turn away. The role of a Superintendent will also require you to make critical decisions and manage serious risks. You will have to justify and account for your actions to ensure you're working ethically, proportionally and to the standards expected.
The 18 month programme will be a blend of classroom elements, delivered by the College of Policing and operational training and development in Essex Police. Candidates will be supported to learn what it takes to become a police officer and to quickly put that into practice.
The Direct Entry scheme is now closed however for further information please view the College of Policing website - www.leadbeyond.police.uk
Craig Saunders was the first Direct Entry Superintendent and joined Essex Police last year. Craig has shared his thoughts about his experiences so far.
What factors influenced your decision to join the Direct Entry programme and the police service?
My passion lies with public service and making a difference, and I’ve always had a strong interest in policing. Having worked in central government departments throughout my career, I always felt I could make more of an impact elsewhere. The police service provides a real opportunity to make a tangible difference to people’s lives and to the communities we live in, a huge motivating factor for me. On top of this, the police service offers specialisms and unique opportunities to work in environments that you can’t find elsewhere, it really is different every day and I feel privileged to be a part of Essex Police.
What do you think will be the main benefits of joining the police, for you?
The continuous ongoing professional development and an opportunity to use my skills in an environment where it makes a difference. Another huge benefit is the opportunity to meet and learn from some incredible people with a vast range of experiences.
What skills do you think you need as a direct entry superintendent?
People and communication skills are fundamental, as is patience and the ability to keep a clear head when the pressure is on – Decision making skills under pressure and at times of uncertainty are crucial. Modern leadership skills, focused on the workforce and improving motivation/morale from a different perspective. Finally, and possibly most importantly, a real sense of humility to enter a complex world and learn from those around you.
How are you finding the Direct Entry Programme?
The recruitment process was quite rightly very tough, in all it took around 9 months from first application to starting on the programme and involves multiple competency based interviews, and a 3 day assessment centre which really tests your skills. The programme itself is very busy, there are a lot of long days in classrooms and its often a lot of time spent away from home, especially in the first 12 weeks. It is all absolutely necessary though and incredibly interesting, laying the foundations to help bring my existing leadership skills into a policing environment. The trainers at the College of Policing are all fantastic and really make the learning as enjoyable as they can. I a m just about to start my first in-force rotation where I will be working on a PC rotation in Basildon for 12 weeks, and I can’t wait to put the classroom training into practice on the streets, and to learn the challenges that our officers face on a daily basis.
Essex Police is a fantastic force to work for, since joining I have been supported every step of the way by police staff and colleagues of all ranks. I have been made to feel welcomed into the Essex Police Family and I am really pleased to be starting my police career here.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of applying to join the Direct Entry programme?
Go for it! There is no other job like it and I haven’t looked back! You have to be sure you can make the commitment, not just to the 18 month programme, but also to the recruitment process itself. It’s tough, it’s long, and it’s draining, but it’s worth when you get there. Be prepared to give it your all and you will be rewarded with a fantastic career. If you are motivated by making a difference to both your staff and the community, then this is a career for you.