Police Rank Structure

Here you will find information on the careers that are available within the UK Police Service.

Rank Structure

When you join the Police service you begin your career as a probationary police constable. You have to complete two years satisfactory Police service before you can be affirmed as a fully fledged Police Constable.

Every police officer in the UK is issued with a warrant number at their date of joining. This warrant number remains with them throughout their career and is visible on their shoulder epaulette up to and including the rank of sergeant.

In order to progress to the rank of Sergeant you require to pass police promotion exams, which test you further on your knowledge regarding Police procedures and law. After passing all the promotion exams you may then be considered for vacancies as they arise. A Sergeant requires to have a good knowledge of the Police service and be an experienced officer.

In order to progress through the senior ranks in the Police service it requires hard work and dedication to the job, often working long hours and continuing training throughout your career.

TYPICAL POLICE RANK STRUCTURE

The ranks within the police service are, in descending order of seniority:
Chief Constable (Most Senior Police Officer)
Deputy Chief Constable
Assistant Chief Constable
Chief Superintendent
Superintendent
Chief Inspector
Inspector
Sergeant
Constable
In the News
Chief attacks Tesco over Black Friday 'poor planning' 15:36, 28th November GMT
Senior police officers complain about having to 'bail out' the supermarket giant after large crowds created mayhem in stores.
Plebgate officers praised by judge and former colleague 13:00, 28th November GMT
PC Ian Richardson, now retired, goes on radio to say officers dismissed from Met should have kept their jobs.
OSPRE 1: Constable to Sergeant Week 10 11:54, 28th November GMT
In the tenth week of the series, we look at entry search and seizure and harassment hostility, stalking and anti-social behaviour.
Chief constable misconduct hearing may be public 11:58, 28th November GMT
Watchdog is beginning process to allow everyone to view Nick Gargan's case.
Staff 'put their backs' into 'outstanding' inspection report 07:00, 28th November GMT
Chief constable says he is basking in pride of his staff after being given two "outstanding" and two "good" assessments in inspection.
'Remarkable' success of scrapping targets highlighted 07:00, 28th November GMT
Change implemented at force after quality of service was said to be hindered, but staff association president warns of generation of leaders who only know how to manage using data.
PC Rowland: 'We must move on from Plebgate' 06:12, 28th November GMT
In statement read out on steps of High Court, officer who won "Plebgate" libel case says trial has been "very worst of times".
IPCC 'underspending' money on extra investigators 07:00, 28th November GMT
Chief executive's report reveals major concern over level of underspend in getting new people into the organisation as questions are raised over capacity for independent investigations.
Andrew Mitchell 'did call officer a pleb' 15:50, 27th November GMT
Long running "Plebgate" saga begins to be resolved in favour of police officer over Conservative politician.
New IT contract 'will save millions' 07:00, 28th November GMT
BT is announced as new provider for Devon and Cornwall Police, whose chief constable says contract allows for further integration with neighbouring force.