30 March 2014
Last updated at 02:37
A move to fast-track external recruits into senior policing roles for the first time is about to come into force in England and Wales.
A second fast-track scheme for some graduate recruits will enable them to rise from constable to inspector in three years.
PM David Cameron said the move would make the force more open and diverse.
For 180 years the normal way to enter the police has been to join as a constable and rise up the ranks.
The rank of chief constable is to be opened up to applicants from overseas
‘Talented and experienced’
The College of Policing, the professional body for policing, announced the recruitment schemes and said they would bring in “people with more diverse backgrounds and new perspectives”.
The direct entry programme is aimed at recruiting 20 “experienced leaders” from the private, public and charity sectors to join as superintendants, the college said.
There are approximately 800 superintendents in England and Wales. The officers have operational responsibilities for local divisions and major investigations.
On the graduate scheme, some 82 recruits can expect to earn £47,000 after three years when they become an inspector.
“Schemes like these will enable talented and experienced people from a range of backgrounds to bring new ideas and a fresh approach to policing,” Mr Cameron said.
“We have already slashed red tape and cut bureaucratic targets, this is about opening up policing culture by making the workforce more diverse.”
He said he wanted every force in England and Wales to use the schemes.
On the direct entry scheme, Policing Minister Damian Green added: “This is the first time that chief constables will be able to recruit talented and motivated leaders from other walks of life, who can bring a wide range of experience and expertise.”
The move was recommended by Tom Winsor in his review of police pay and conditions.
But the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, has previously insisted external candidates should not be able to enter the force above the level of constable.
Applications are due to open in April or May with the first recruits from both schemes starting before the end of the year.