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Chief inspector

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

Annual Salary

£42,000 to £63,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

44 to 46 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; attending events or appointments

Future employment

There will be 3.4% more Chief inspector jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • assess intelligence information
  • develop policing policies and tactics
  • plan the best ways to carry out operations and investigations
  • work closely with communities and professional partners
  • manage staff performance
  • review law enforcement operations
  • take charge of the response to major incidents in your area when they happen

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

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

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

If you're an existing police officer, you can apply for fast-track development through the ranks. You can also apply for a 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 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.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

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

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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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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