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PCDA Programme ranked in top 100 Apprenticeship List

Chief Constable Sarah Crew and Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford congratulate new officers at their PCDA graduation ceremony

Our Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) programme has been ranked 75th in the Department of Education’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Providers list, in recognition of the outstanding commitment we provide to our apprentices. We were one of only five police services to be included. 

PCDAs were introduced as a new route in to policing in 2019. We were one of the first police services to roll them out, partnering with the University West of England (UWE) to deliver the academic classroom-based theory and learning. This allowed us to focus on delivering the practical on-the-job training the new students needed, while working closely with our UWE colleagues to make sure the learning was well supported.

Due to the increase in funding provided by the Police Uplift Programme, we’ve welcomed over 820 new students on their apprenticeship journey since 2019. So far, 211 of our earliest recruits have celebrated their graduation, with over 600 student officers currently working towards completing their three-year degree. Our PCDA officers are employed as officers from day one – spending 80 per cent of their time on the frontline, learning from experienced officers.

Louise Hutchison, Chief Officer People and Organisational Development, said:

“I’m incredibly proud of how hard teams have worked across the organisation to support the attraction, recruitment, training and development of these officers.

We’re proud to have been recognised for our achievements with our PCDA programme, working in partnership with UWE. This listing is also recognition of the hard work our apprentices put in throughout their apprenticeship, to be the difference and serve their communities with pride.”

Peter Clegg, Head of the School of Social Sciences at UWE, said:

“UWE Bristol is very pleased that Avon and Somerset Police has been recognised in this way. We are proud to be in partnership and the strong links we have established at all levels feed into a strong student experience, high quality officers, and a dynamic and collaborative working relationship.”

PC Lee Jones joined as an apprentice in 2020, having previously worked as a social worker. He successfully graduated earlier this year and now works in Response in Yeovil. He said:

“I joined the police as I’ve always wanted to make a difference and I’ve always felt the need to put others first and help people. It’s the best job in the world.

“I was initially hesitant when I first applied, as I was never very academic at school. However, it was the best choice I made, there was so much support available.”

PC Paige Weaver is a current student on the course and joined in 2022. She said:

“I felt so proud putting my uniform on for the first time, it felt like a massive achievement to be able to say after all the hard work and emotions I had put in to get there, I could now fulfil my dream of helping to protect the public.

“As soon as I put my uniform on, I knew I wanted to be the best officer I could, and hopefully become a role model to others, especially the younger generation.”

We’re currently open for applications for our PCDA programme. Could you start a career like no other? Find out more here: Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship | Avon and Somerset Police