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“I never feel like I switch off from work”
A Trainee Detective from Nottinghamshire recently passed her Criminal Investigation Department (CID) exam after transferring from response. Here she speaks about her experience training to become a detective.
“I felt moving to CID would give me the chance to learn new skills and increase my knowledge of ways to investigate, as well as working with more departments. I also thought not working night shifts would benefit my sleep and improve my overall health and well-being.
“I understood as soon as I signed up to take the National Investigators’ exam that it’d require a lot of work due to the complex questions and history of the low pass rate. Before joining, I’d always heard that CID would require you to do a lot of overtime – and since joining I can agree; in CID there’s no one who will take the job on when your shift finishes. This has had a huge knock-on effect. I often found by the time I got home there’d be no time to revise. The role sometimes requires you to work on rest days if a job comes in, or you’re needed in court, which means losing a whole day to revise. For the past six months, I’ve used nearly every rest day I’ve had in order to revise, which has meant that mentally I’ve felt like I’ve been at work non-stop and this has had a huge impact on my mental health.
“It’s been hard balancing my work and home life. It feels as though when I finish my allocated shift I’m then going home to revise, so I never feel like I switch off from work. There is no work-life balance whilst training, which I think with the current climate where welfare and work-life balance is a big topic of conversation, is a real issue.
“To other trainee detectives, I’d say be prepared for a lot of work. It will take up a lot of your personal time and there’s little reward at the end of the process except for receiving a Professionalising Investigation Programme (PIP) Level 2 accreditation.
“Despite all of this though, the training has massively improved my knowledge of the law and the offences I’ll be dealing with daily, which has improved my confidence at work. Also, I’ll have a PIP Level 2 accreditation, which’ll open more doors of opportunity for me both inside and outside of the force.”
Anonymous Trainee Detective
Remember, your workplace reps are there for you should you need support and guidance.
You can find out more about the Police Federation National Detectives’ Forum here.