Officers graduate from Degree Holder Entry Programme

The Constabulary’s first ever cohort of officers who joined the force by the Degree Holder Entry Programme, have graduated from their combined studies and operational policing work.

Earlier today (27 July), the force’s Chief Constable, Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner and UCLan’s lead for the Policing Education Qualifications Framework joined the 15 officers and their families at a graduation ceremony in Penrith.

The officers, who held a previous degree-level qualification, enrolled on a two–year academic programme in May 2020 to obtain a policing diploma whilst carrying out frontline policing duties.

All 15 officers are now fully operational as response officers.

Chief Constable Michelle Skeer, Cumbria Constabulary, said:

“I was delighted to attend today’s graduation ceremony which is a celebration of the efforts and work of each of these 15 officers.

“This was a proud moment for the officers themselves, as well as their family and friends.

“Combining academic studies for their policing diploma, whilst also carrying our operational policing roles, is challenging and it is credit to each of these officers for the way they have managed such demands.

“I would like to thank UCLan for their ongoing commitment, particularly the tutors who have supported these officers throughout their time so far with the Constabulary.

“These officers will now join the ranks of fully qualified response officers across the county in keeping communities safe.”

The graduation took place at a time where the county’s police force continues to offer opportunities for people to join as a police officer.

Chief Constable Skeer continued:

“We are looking for people who want to make a positive difference to people in our county. There are currently a number of entry routes available for candidates, with and without university degrees.

“Policing is a career like no other and if you are enthusiastic, dedicated and want to be part of one, big, inclusive team where you’ll make a difference every day, then I would strongly encourage you to consider joining us.”

Peter McCall, Cumbria’s Police & Crime Commissioner said:

“It was great to see our first group of Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) recruits graduate today, after two years of carrying out frontline duties whilst studying with UCLAN, to gain a Policing Diploma.

“The DHEP has enabled these graduates the valuable opportunity to gain hands on experience whilst furthering their academic qualifications, which is vital, as no two days in policing are ever the same.

“By offering a  variety of different entry routes for new recruits in Cumbria, we are developing a diverse force, with officers from a range of backgrounds and life experiences.

“The rewarding and satisfying role for new recruits in the force provides the opportunity to start a career that helps shapes their communities, keep people safe and make a real difference and I know, like me, the public will look forward to seeing them in action.”

Clive Tattum, who is the Academic Lead for the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) at UCLan, said:

“It has been fantastic to deliver this innovative new Degree Holder Entry Programme as part of the PEQF framework and to see the first students celebrating their well-earned graduation.

“UCLan has been a leader in the design and delivery of policing programmes within the higher education sector for the last 18 years.

“The step change within Policing Education Qualifications Framework from police training to the higher education experience is a really exciting time for all involved. Cumbria Constabulary is an excellent force and we are looking forward to developing our partnership even further to ensure the people of Cumbria continue to receive a first class service from their police officers.

“It is worthy of note that all of these recruits after an initial period in their first year were involved in frontline policing as they simultaneously completed the programme’s demanding operational and academic requirements. This is a really tough ask and the officers are to be congratulated on successfully completing the programme . I would also like to recognise the hard work and commitment of all the staff involved in the development and delivery of the DHEP, they have done an excellent job.”

Recruitment is open now. For more information on the role of a police officer and the numerous entry routes, please visit

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