Chief inspector

Detective chief inspector, DCI

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Chief inspectors manage operational teams in their districts like CID or neighbourhood policing, co-ordinating responses to major incidents.

Salary range: £57,000 to £59,250

How to become a chief inspector

You can get into this job through:

  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

Work

If you’re an existing police officer, you can apply for fast-track development through the ranks. You can also apply for promotion if you’re currently an inspector.

Direct application

If you’re a middle or senior manager working in commerce or industry, and have relevant skills and experience, you can apply for the Direct Entry at Inspector or Direct Entry at Superintendent programme. You’ll usually need a degree or postgraduate qualification to apply.

The programmes last between 18 and 24 months and offer the training and support you need to make the switch from your current job to an operational police leader.

After completing the training and with several years’ experience working at operational level, you can apply to become a chief inspector.

You can find out more about this from Lead Beyond.

More information

Further information

You can get more advice about becoming a senior officer through the College of Policing.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • customer service skills
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • leadership skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • assessing intelligence information
  • developing policing policies and tactics
  • planning the best ways to carry out operations and investigations
  • working closely with communities and professional partners
  • managing staff performance
  • reviewing law enforcement operations
  • taking charge of the response to major incidents in your area when they happen

Working environment

You could work at a police station or in the community.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience and further training, you could move up the policing ranks from chief inspector to superintendent, and on to assistant chief constable and chief constable.

You could also work for the security services, MI5 and MI6, Civil Nuclear Constabulary or Ministry of Defence.

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