What You Can Expect From Us

Rewards and Benefits


The starting salary on commencing service as a PSNI trainee will be £19,383.

Pay scale for trainees/constables recruited after 1st September 2014

Pay Point With effect from 01/09/2015
On commencing service as a PSNI trainee £19,383 (a)
On commencing service as a probationary PSNI constable £22,668 (b)
2 £23,694
3 £24,729
4 £25,758
5 £27,819
6 £31,971
7 £37,626

  • (a) All trainees enter at point 0 and remain on point 0 until attestation/graduation.
  • (b) At attestation/graduation trainees become constables and move on to point 1.

Pension Scheme

Officers who join the Police Service of Northern Ireland through the recruitment process and who are members of the Police Pension Scheme (PPS) 1988 in NI and 1987 in GB or the Police Pension Scheme 2006 and do not have a break in service will remain in that Police Pension Scheme until the date awarded to them by their previous police service under the 2015 Police Pension Reforms provided they make contact with the Police Service of Northern Ireland Pensions Branch prior to joining the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Those officers re-joining or joining the Police Service of Northern Ireland for the first time will be required to join the Police Pension Scheme 2015. This is because membership to PPS 1988 is closed to new members from 5 April 2006. Officers will be able to transfer their pensionable service into the 2015 scheme. Previous service in either the PPS 1988 scheme or the PPS 2006 scheme can also be transferred upon receipt of application to transfer.


As a new recruit to the Police Service of Northern Ireland you will participate in the Student Officer Training Programme (SOTP). At present, this mainly takes place at the Police College, Garnerville. However, on occasion, you will have the opportunity to attend other college sites around Northern Ireland for the required delivery of some training. The programme lasts for 22 weeks in total. Its aim is to prepare trainees fully for the rigours of operational policing. Students will have the opportunity to experience first-hand the working pattern of a police officer as the training involves undertaking shifts and weekend working.

More information on the SOTP can be found on page 7 of the Guidance for Applicants.

Online Learning

To help prepare new students, ample training is provided before commencing the SOTP. All recruits will be required to undertake and successfully complete approximately 25 hours of eLearning material within 4 weeks prior to entering the Training College. As you progress through this material you will cover topics such as Human Rights, The Code of Ethics set by the Policing Board for a police officer in NI and the National Decision Making model (NDM) which is a model that assists a police officer with their decision making process. You will be tested on the content covered in each topic and you must achieve the required pass mark.

Induction Weekend

Before entering the College, you will be invited to attend an Induction Weekend. The purpose of the Induction weekend, is to introduce you, as a potential new Student Officer to the training environment at the Police College of Northern Ireland, Garnerville. 

During the weekend you will receive presentations from a number of speakers who will explain aspects of your training and life as a police officer in Northern Ireland on a day to day basis. These presentations include Personal Security, Professional Standards Department, Occupational Health and Welfare and the Police Federation (your union). 

In relation to your training in the College you will meet the Sergeant in charge of your course and your Single Point of Contact.  These officers will explain what will be expected from you and the support services in place to assist you to complete the 22 week initial training programme. There will also be inputs from trainers attached to Personal Safety and Firearms training as well as Physical and Health Educations (PTIs). 

During the weekend you will be measured for your uniform and other police equipment. 

You should find the weekend informative and helpful, and it will provide an opportunity for you to ask those last minute questions you may have before commencing your challenging period of training and subsequent life as a constable in the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Probation Period

If successful in the SOTP programme and formally attested as a constable into the Police Service of Northern Ireland, you will have two years as a probation period, during which you will be continually assessed. Probationer constables must successfully pass all relevant assessments before they can be confirmed in the rank of constable. After this, there are opportunities for training in both specialist and general areas of policing and for promotion.

Career Progression

If you join the PSNI, you will be joining as a constable. Most of our officers are at Constable Rank and this is the level in which we have the greatest need. As constables are the backbone of the Police Service, they have the most opportunity to make a difference with the public and in the local communities in which they work.

You will benefit from personal development and training throughout your career with PSNI, with the potential to develop a variety of skill sets ranging from working with young or vulnerable people to conducting detailed investigations, from analysing data to organising events in the community. The rank structure offers opportunities for hierarchical progression for those who demonstrate exceptionally high levels of performance.

PSNI recognises that its staff are its greatest asset. Each member of staff whether police officer or police staff, operational or non- operational, contributes to the service provided through Policing with the Community. The success of PSNI depends on having the right staff with the right skills and abilities. Every rank and grade carries particular responsibilities; to the people we serve; to the people we lead and to our organisation.

Constables who have satisfactorily completed their 2 year probationary period and have been confirmed in the rank are able to apply for specialist posts. Some of these include:

  • Constable Tactical Support Group (TSG) - To provide an efficient, effective and a high quality approach to policing demands in the PSNI with specialist capability in the area of ‘Search’ and Public Order.
  • Close Protection Officer (CPU) - To provide Close Protection to persons requiring armed police protection.
  • Constable, Crime Operations Department - Receiving, assessing and distributing information to enable investigations and prosecutions in allocated crime such as murder, terrorist offences, organised crime and sexual offences.
  • Constable, Dog Handler - To utilise police dogs to prevent and respond to crime and disorder.

Work-life Balance

Your career in the PSNI will undoubtedly be a fulfilling one. However, the nature of police work means that it can be stressful.

The PSNI values its people and respects that your decision to join us could bring strain on your personal and family life. To alleviate some of that strain the PSNI aims to support its people at all times of their career.

We are committed to developing ways whereby our employees may be able to benefit from schemes such as Career Breaks and Flexible Working that encourage a positive work-life balance.

Career Breaks and Flexible Working Hours

Serving members of the PSNI may apply to take a career break or breaks up to a maximum of 5 years during their employment with the organisation. Taking a career break can be a way of enhancing your personal and professional development. The availability of career breaks is dependent upon operational needs.

The term flexible working includes reduced hours working, job sharing and alternative working arrangements such as term time working, annualised hours and compressed hours. It is however important to bear in mind that Flexible Working can only be facilitated where the proposed working pattern compliments the service delivery demands of the role. Job sharing has also been introduced. It is important to bear in mind that all of these options can only be facilitated within certain roles.

Social and Sports Clubs

As a member of the PSNI you will also have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of social and sporting pursuits in your spare time if you wish. Enjoying such pursuits with colleagues and their families helps foster an unrivalled sense of team spirit and camaraderie which will afford you the opportunity of experiencing more than just a job, but a fulfilling new way of life.

This includes access to the impressive facilities of Newforge Country Club located in Lagan Valley Country Park in Belfast. This Country Club has developed a reputation as a top quality venue for general recreation and even for functions and special occasions. Newforge Country Club is also home to the Athletic Association, which was established in 1928, and is where the majority of the PSNI social and sporting clubs are based.

Newforge Country Club hosts a variety of businesses offering services for members (often at preferential rates), including Travel Agency Services, Car Sales, Insurance Services, Independent Financial Advice, Conference / Wedding Facilities and a Gift Shop. The Country Club also has a well-equipped Leisure and Fitness Club offering therapy and spa services, as well as sports pitches for football, rugby, cricket, bowling and hockey.

PSNI Officers are automatically entitled to become members of Newforge Country Club. You will be able to avail of the modern and comfortable recreational facilities and will be encouraged to socialise with family, colleagues, and retired members in the relaxed and friendly surroundings.

Further details of the facilities on offer at Newforge Country Club and some information on the social and sports clubs within the PSNI can be found here.