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Police Community Support Officer

Police Community Support Officer

On a police community support officer apprenticeship course, you’ll work as part of the neighbourhood policing team to help deal with and prevent crime.

Because your role as a police community support officer differs from that of a traditional police officer, you will wear a different uniform than your regular police constable colleagues. However, you will be issued personal protective equipment such as a stab vest, high visibility jacket, and police radio. You will be the visible and uniformed presence of the service in the neighbourhood.

As an apprentice, you will learn to form and foster cross-group collaborations (particularly community cohesiveness and the concepts underlying diversity and inclusiveness).

You will be expected to support communities in resolving issues, problems, and concerns that may or may not be related to crime or events, such as a badly lit road in a housing estate that makes older citizens feel vulnerable or young people congregating in residential areas at night.

What you’ll learn

On a police community support officer apprenticeship course, you’ll learn to:

  • Develop strong working relationships with key organisations, multi-agency partners, and members of the community through creating, promoting, and sustaining communication channels.
  • Communicate effectively, considering the diverse needs of different situations, individuals, organisations, and communities, including those who may be victims, witnesses, or vulnerable people, and foster diversity and inclusion via their communications.
  • Provide early support to disadvantaged individuals and assess their needs for further aid, including instructions on how to get such assistance.
  • Collect, organise, and report information and intelligence from various sources to aid law enforcement and maximise police effectiveness.
  • Contribute to the development, planning, and implementation of preventative and problem-solving policing approaches to local concerns and issues, as directed by their line managers and community-based Police Constables, including assisting in reviewing, analysing, and sharing the outcomes of evidence-based initiatives.
  • Work together with partner organisations or as part of a multidisciplinary team to improve, relieve, and address community issues, problems, or concerns.
  • Provide an initial response to occurrences (as required) in compliance with legal and organisational standards and the scope of their responsibilities, including appropriate planning (e.g., traffic flow management techniques) for replies based on an analysis of all relevant information at hand.
  • Help victims and witnesses during police events, including advice on identifying and securing additional support (or seeking sources on behalf of individuals) and post-incident aid, as well as giving any necessary follow-up assistance.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • Depending on the employer, but likely A-levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level before taking the end-point assessment.
  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Pass a fitness test
  • Pass a medical check
  • Pass enhanced background checks

Assessment methods

The End Point Assessment consists of two distinct assessment methods: 

  • Professional Discussion 
  • Presentation of Community–Based Problem–Solving Assignment

Duration and level

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Level: 4 – Higher Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship standard

More information about the Level 4 Police Community Support Officer Apprenticeship standard can be found here.

Apprenticeship end point assessment

For more information about the End Point Assessment Process, please read the Institute of Apprenticeships’ information page.

Updated on October 2, 2022

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