The Certificate was introduced in April 2012 so that police forces could recruit people who have an external accreditation. It was developed by the College of Policing, alongside Skills for Justice giving candidates an official qualification and allows future police officers to take responsibility for their learning. This aligns entry to policing more closely with other professions which require entry-level expertise. Currently the Metropolitan, Thames Valley, Cheshire, Surrey, and Hampshire police forces have made the achievement of the Certificate a mandatory Pre-join requirement for any applicant for the role of constable.
Successful achievement of the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing does not in itself provide any guarantee of recruitment as a trainee Police Constable. However, achieving the Certificate does show a dedication to joining the police service and it is also relevant to other roles within the criminal justice sector. Each police force within England and Wales sets out its own recruitment process and selection policy and entry requirements vary from force to force. Therefore students are strongly advised to check the specific requirements of their chosen force prior to undertaking study.