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
Custody death: Officers served with misconduct notices 14:57, 22nd October GMT
Five officers being investigated by the police watchdog as part of a probe into events prior to the death of a man.
Islamic State: The nature of the threat 12:01, 22nd October GMT
Dr Dave Sloggett examines the nature of the threat to the west and policing and security issues with preventing attacks posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Fiona Woolf: 'I'm not a member of the establishment' 07:28, 22nd October GMT
Chair of a national inquiry into child abuse denies her background makes her unsuitable for role.
Criticised force launches improved domestic abuse unit 06:00, 22nd October GMT
Bedfordshire Police came under national criticism for their "fragmented approach" to protecting victims.
'£35 million' cut for police force 06:00, 22nd October GMT
Fed Chair expresses concern as government which has pledged to preserve officer numbers says it will also make significant savings.
Staff pay differences 'highlighted by terms and conditions review' 06:00, 22nd October GMT
Re-working of 10-year-old police staff handbook will instigate historical claims over annual leave entitlement and officer and staff pay differences.
Life after the Job: Nevin Hunter 06:00, 22nd October GMT
Josh Loeb reports on the career of a man who carved out a policing niche dealing with wildlife crime.
'Being female is still holding some officers back' 06:00, 22nd October GMT
Survey reveals that 37 per cent of female superintendents believe that their gender has been a barrier to progression.
Chief inspector charged with making indecent images 11:24, 22nd October GMT
Essex officer suspended following charges relating to indecent images of children.
HMIC inspector joins inquiry into child sexual abuse 13:45, 21st October GMT
Home Secretary Theresa May has appointed HMI Dru Sharpling as a panel member for the independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation.