Police Community Support Officers are an important part of the policing family. You’re the person out on the street providing a visible and reassuring presence, the eyes and ears of both the public and Northumbria Police. Our exciting PCSO apprenticeship programme is a chance to earn as you learn; we’ll equip you with the skills and confidence to engage with local communities, help to prevent crime and build valued relationships.
What’s involved in the Police Community Support Officer apprenticeship?
Our 12–15-month apprenticeship programme combines practical and theory-based learning. Your training will start with two classroom phases, lasting around 3 months, based at our Ponteland Station.
Following that, the remainder of your training will be in a Neighbourhood Policing team alongside experienced colleagues, where you’ll be fully supported in putting your classroom-based learning into practice as part of your operational duties.
Your learning will cover a wide range of community focused topics including safety training, emergency life support, communication, wellbeing, problem solving and safeguarding.
Once you’ve successfully completed all the elements of the PCSO qualification, you’ll be awarded a level 4 diploma in community policing practice. This leads to your end point assessment and achievement of your apprenticeship.
What does a PCSO do day-to-day?
Whilst on shift you will be conducting patrols and engaging with your local communities. PCSOs help to tackle crime such as anti-social behaviour, working to understand local issues and providing reassurance to the public. This may involve working alone, in a pair or in a team.
You’ll likely deal with problem solving issues like anti-social behaviour, vandalism, litter and parking problems. As no two days are the same – your shift could also involve:
- Attending public events
- Working with young people and local schools
- Collecting CCTV evidence
- Making house visits to gather intelligence
- Protecting crime scenes until Police Officers arrive
You will have large amounts of independence while on shift, targeting issues that you have identified, building key relationships with residents in your area, or being a visible supportive presence on the street. It’s a highly rewarding role where you’ll see the impact you can make on your local community.
What are we looking for in you?
We are looking for compassionate, caring, diplomatic and motivated individuals who are inquisitive with good listening skills. The ability to solve problems and not jump to conclusions about what is seen and heard is essential. This is a challenging and rewarding role which requires you to be resourceful and resilient, talking to the public and building trust. You have the chance to make a real difference within our varied and diverse communities.
As a PCSO you have different powers to those of a Police Constable. You will use your training, communication and interpersonal skills to deal with challenging situations in your communities.
As we’re a 24/7 service, you’ll need to be flexible to work day, evening and late shifts.
Make sure to read our eligibility criteria in full to check if you’re suitable for the role.
What will I be learning during my apprenticeship?
The key areas of learning within the apprenticeship programme are:
- Valuing difference and inclusion
- Maintaining professional standards
- Decision making and discretion
- Communication and teamworking skills
- Wellbeing and resilience
- Managing conflict
- Vulnerability and risk
- Problem solving and evidence-based policing
- Supporting communities and partnership building
- Dealing with minor crime
Alongside gaining the specific skills that will set you up for your role as a PCSO, we will also help you to build transferable skills that you can use throughout your future career.
What will I earn?
As a Police Community Support Officer your starting wage from day 1 of your training will be £19,374. This will rise up to £21,135.
On top of your basic salary, you’ll also be entitled to a generous shift allowance, which could add up to 20% to your take home pay.
We’ll also cover the cost of your study toward the level 4 Diploma in Community Policing Practice.
How will I be assessed during the apprenticeship?
Your knowledge, skills and behaviours will be continuously observed and assessed throughout the classroom phases of your apprenticeship programme by a variety of methods, including:
- Written assessments
- Multiple choice exams
- Role play scenarios
- Reflective accounts
During the workplace phases of your programme, you will build and complete a portfolio of operational competence, collecting evidence of your learning and how you’ve put it into action in on-the-job situations.
After successfully completing all classroom and workplace elements, you’ll be awarded a level 4 diploma in community policing practice.
To achieve your PCSO apprenticeship you will then undertake an end point assessment which involves a professional discussion, presentation, and question and answer session based upon a workplace community-based problem-solving initiative.
What hours will I be working?
Whilst in the classroom training phase, you will work Mon-Fri 8am-4pm based at our station in Ponteland.
When fully operational you will be working a range of early, day and late shifts – including weekends. You could be working up to midnight but PCSOs don’t work full overnight shifts. Once you have passed the initial classroom and workplace requirements, you have the option to apply for part-time hours or flexible working.
Will I have access to support during my apprenticeship?
You will be supported throughout your apprenticeship journey by experienced police officers and PCSO colleagues on your shift, as well as our training and assessment staff.
As a Disability Confident Employer, we welcome applications from those with visible and hidden disabilities and neurodiverse candidates. We can offer support from our in-house services including our wellbeing team, our Disability and Carers Association and our dyslexia support assessors.
What additional benefits do you offer?
Join us on a PCSO apprenticeship and you’ll become part of our policing family. It’s far more than just your average job, it’s a chance to become part of something that really matters and makes a difference to people’s lives.
From our on-site gyms and our sports and social clubs to our comprehensive mental health support, we’re committed to helping you to enhance your mental and physical wellbeing.
We offer up to 28 days annual leave plus bank holidays, as well as exceptional flexible working options such as term time only working, reduced hours or job sharing.
There are also plenty of opportunities for career development, and the experience you build as a PCSO could lead you into another role as a police staff investigator, a frontline police officer or even a detective.
The new you starts here
Click the icons below to find out about the stages to becoming a PCSO.
What you need to know
What you need to know