Aspiring superintendents are more mature and come from a range of backgrounds, says chief.
Avon & Somerset Constabulary Chief Constable Nick Gargan said he had seen several promising individuals already and believes the initiative offers significant potential.
CC Gargan, who has been a strong advocate of direct entry, is introducing both the superintendent programme and the fast track to inspector scheme at his force.
He added: “We have had 54 internal and external applications for this initiative – the direct entry to superintendent does not close until May 9 and so far we have seven applicants.
“The fast-track scheme has attracted interest, including from members of the Special Constabulary and police staff – the direct entry people have tended to be more mature and from a range of backgrounds.
“Among them there are one on two people that have been on fast track schemes elsewhere in the public sector and there has also been interest from those who have served in the military.
“However, we must see how they all fare through a very challenging selection process.”
The closing date for applicants aspiring to the fast-track initiative was April 24.
As previously reported, the direct entry and fast-track initiatives were both taken forward by the government after being recommended in Tom Winsor’s review of pay and conditions.
Under the fast track scheme, candidates will undergo a year as a constable before being promoted to sergeant as they enter a period of study and becoming an inspector if they complete the course.
It is envisaged that the superintendent scheme will attract gifted individuals from other sectors and they will spend 15 months on an intensive training programme.
While the inspector scheme has seen significant interest, chief officers and police and crime commissioners have been more lukewarm about the superintendent initiative.
Greater Manchester Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy and his West Midlands counterpart Chris Sims have been among those who have declined to take up the opportunity – stating that there is already significant internal talent awaiting promotion.
Some law enforcement analysts have also voiced concern that successful direct entry superintendents could also be attracted to the private sector if their career is not enriching enough.
From Police Review