Kāpiti College is one of three colleges in the Wellington region offering a Year 13 Introduction to Police Studies course to their curriculum this year.

The course, which offers 25 NCEA level 3 credits will now become an option for students at Kāpiti, Aotea and Mana colleges.

It will cover the context of policing in New Zealand, Mātauranga Māori and police, leadership in police, diversity of policing within the community, emotional intelligence and police and more.

In addition to the theory component, students will practice and be tested on the elements of the Physical Appraisal Test (PAT).

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The PAT involves a 2.4km run, push-ups, grip strength and a vertical jump and must be passed.

Upon successful completion of the course students will receive 25 NCEA Level 3 credits.

The year-long course also incorporates the content of the 12-week distance course required to be completed by all Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC) entrants — meaning they will not have to complete this separately as part of their police college application.

However, they will still need to meet the other entrance requirements.

While it will help students prepare to apply for RNZPC, completion of the NCEA course does not guarantee students a place.

"It's great to be able to engage with local police hopefuls at a school level," RNZPC's Acting Senior Sergeant Chris Kerekere said.

"This will provide a significant career pathway for those who are interested in policing and who want a taste of what it's all about.

"It'll help them understand what NZ Police is trying to achieve as well as being useful for the recruitment process, such as helping them train for the physical entry requirements."

Police and schools celebrated launching the course with a pōwhiri at the Royal New Zealand College on Friday.