If you are successful at the Assessment day and at vetting, you will be booked on one of our training programmes to start when it is convenient for you.

Phase 1

Introduction evening

The induction evening is your first opportunity to meet your new colleagues, and the staff who will lead on your training.

During the induction evening you will learn what is expected from you during the training and what you can expect from your trainers. You will also be given your timetable, student ID and vehicle pass.

Initial training

A blended learning programme which includes online self-learning, webinars and classroom training. Initial training runs over an anticipated eighteen-week period which will include weekday evenings and weekends (Note: free time/leave will be built into the initial training period.)

The initial learning phase will provide the theoretical knowledge and understanding of practical skills and behaviour needed for a new special constable to conduct a safe and lawful accompanied patrol. You will be assessed appropriately before you can go out on patrol with an experienced officer, so that you can gain practical experience of what you have been learning. During this phase you will also receive personal safety training.

Accompanied Patrol Status

On successful completion of phase one learning (and personal safety training). You will be deployed to Community Policing Teams across Wiltshire and Swindon to begin operating at Accompanied Patrol Status (APS). This is the stage of professional development at which you go out on patrol with an experienced officer. During this time, you will demonstrate basic operational skills in a safe and lawful manner.

At the beginning of this phase, you would be expected to mostly observe real incidents as your experienced colleagues handle them. As you gain more exposure and confidence, you would then be expected to begin to apply and demonstrate basic policing skills from phase one learning under direct observation.

Directed Patrol Status

While on accompanied patrol you will have the opportunity to demonstrate competence in your role.  You will be expected to collect evidence of your competence in an operational competence portfolio. Your evidence will be assessed by a tutor to determine if you can carry out your role with a degree of independence, safety and lawfully under supervision.  Once evidence has been gathered against all relevant assessment criteria you will reach Directed Patrol Status (DPS), which is unique to the Special Constabulary.

While DPS indicated an assessed level of competence, it does not equip you to be fully independent, you will only be deployed in a supervised or managed environment, either on your own or as part of a team.

It is estimated that on average, a special constable can achieve DPS in 18 - 24 months.  A special constable can remain at DPS level or you can choose to progress to the next phase


Your attestation takes place at the end of Phase 1 learning. (before APS).

It is the moment you stand up in front of family, friends, colleagues and chief officers to take the oath of office of the constable. All police officers and special constables must be formally attested before a Justice of the Peace.

At this point you will become a fully warranted police officer.

Phase 2 Learning

During this phase, special constables revisit core policing principles and can undertake more advanced learning in one or more of the five areas of policing practice:

  • Response policing
  • Policing communities
  • Policing roads
  • Information and intelligence
  • Conducting investigations

Qualified Special Constable

Once you have successfully completed phase 2 learning in your chosen area(s), you will need to demonstrate competence in that area. This is done through further work-based assessment and collecting more evidence in the OCP - this time against specific criteria that are relevant to qualified special constable.  Again, the evidence will be assessed and if it meets the criteria, you will become a qualified special constable.  At this point training is complete and you will be can be deployed independently to your chosen area of policing.

It is estimated that, on average, a special constable would be able achieve qualified special constable in their chosen area of policing within four to six months after achieving directed patrol status

If you want to become a regular police constable, or to have parity with independent patrol status, you will have to complete the phase two learning and provide evidence of competence against the relevant criteria in all five areas of policing practice.

If is estimated that, on average, a special constable would be able to achieve qualified special constable status across all five areas of policing practice within two years following DPS.

Other Key information

All the learning in SCLP is aligned with the first year of the three-year Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) or first year of the two-year Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) for Degree holders. If a special constable wants to become a regular police constable, their learning and experience as a special constable will be taken into account, so that they will not have to duplicate any learning that they already completed. Please see the Wiltshire Police recruitment pages to find out more about the Wiltshire Police Constable new entry routes.