Crown Prosecution Service

Crown Prosecution Service

Address: 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9EA




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose the CPS over other law firms? 
 ‘My interest has always been in crime and the CPS offers the most stable opportunity to work in criminal law’; ‘I am passionate about criminal law’; ‘the opportunities are vast with many different areas to go into’; ‘the work they do – we are the most important public service. I am philanthropic and had no interest in corporate/commercial law’; ‘it is renowned for its flexible working’ 
Best thing about the CPS? 
 ‘More support and more interesting and varied work’; ‘there is flexibility within the CPS which some law firms do not offer’; ‘the training contract is well organised with a planner for the two years handed out on the first day’; ‘you are left to your own devices to learn – the ability to shadow anyone at any time gives great scope to see everything’ 
Worst thing about the CPS? 
 ‘It would have been nice if there had been more trainees at the office I am in (but it has not tainted my experience in any way)’; ‘civil service limitations’; ‘office is a bit dated’ 
Best moment? 
 ‘Shadowing an HCA on a historic child rape case. The presiding judge was phenomenal and it was a real privilege to observe her handling of the case’; ‘court shadowing’; ‘writing a response to a skeleton argument from the defence regarding the imposition of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which was used and successfully argued by the advocate in court’ 
Worst moment?
 ‘My supervisor being on leave on my first day and not telling me’; ‘turning up late due to delayed trains to the induction event in London’; ‘hanging around Manchester Magistrates court because they wouldn’t give out any more badges to the CPS room within the court. I once waited 40 minutes to be given access to collect my belongings’

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Black Lightning – quietly pushing on, fighting for the little man

The verdict

  Our work

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, the Crown Prosecution Service works on all kinds of cases from fraud and firearms to public order and corporate manslaughter. As a prosecutor in the CPS you will be at the forefront of delivering justice for some of the most complex and challenging cases. The CPS has 14 areas that work closely with local police forces and other criminal justice partners to prosecute cases locally. The CPS also has three central casework divisions: international justice and organised crime division, special crime and counter terrorism division and the specialist fraud division. They deal with some of the most complex cases we prosecute and work closely with specialist investigators from a range of organisations, including the National Crime Agency, HM Revenue & Customs and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, as well as police forces across England and Wales.  

The verdict

Training at the Crown Prosecution Service ‘offers a career in criminal law like no other’. Many recruits are happy with their experience to date and the government service holds five Lex 100 Winner medals for living up to expectations, approachability and inclusiveness, to name a few. At the CPS there are ‘shadowing opportunities at every chance possible’ which provides ‘great scope to see everything’. Recruits reported having ‘significantly better exposure to work’ than their peers, and commented that the training courses, materials, and facilities such as the prosecution college are ‘excellent’. Trainees’ learning is further enhanced by working in an environment where ‘everyone is approachable and willing to help, advise and support’. The fact that ‘there is flexibility within the CPS’, with recruits able to ‘chose which firm to spend the secondment period’ and occasionally ‘work from home’ also pleased the solicitors-in-training. The offices being ‘a bit dated’ was something new joiners took issue with, as was ‘the fact there is little we can actually do until our second year due to insurance and necessary training’. Nevertheless, some trainees enjoyed ‘organising a secondment in the Coroner’s Court’ which had long been an ambition. Others recalled ‘shadowing a HCA on a historic child rape case where Her Honour Judge Landale was the presiding judge’ and ‘writing a response to a skeleton argument from the defence regarding the imposition of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order’. If you love criminal law and are looking to train somewhere with ‘interesting cases, good opportunities and an approachable team’ the CPS may be perfect for you.

About the CPS

Address:102 Petty France, London SW1H 9EA


Director of Public Prosecutions:  Max Hill QC

Other offices: East Midlands, East of England, Mersey-Cheshire, North East, North West, South East, South West, Thames and Chiltern, Wales, Wessex, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside. 

Who we are: The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

What we do: The Crown Prosecution Service is the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales.

What we are looking for: Good oral advocacy skills, and people who can present an argument in an ordered and structured manner. Good analytical and writing skills are also essential to the role.

What you'll do:Trainees will work with their allocated supervisor to gain experience of all areas of CPS work. Trainees also have access to secondments in other areas of law during their time training with the CPS.

Perks: 25 days' leave, rising to 30 days after five years’ service; eight bank holidays plus one privilege day; maternity, paternity and adoption leave; flexible working; interest-free season ticket loan; Cycle2work Scheme; employee savings including ticket discounts, shopping voucher discounts, holiday offers; Civil Service Pension.


Facts and figures

Total trainees:72

Trainee places available for 2021: TBC

Applications received pa: 1,700

Percentage interviewed: 3.41% of 1,700 applicants were invited to final interview


First year: £23,509 (national); £24,539 (London)

Second year: £23,509 (national); £24,539 (London)

Newly qualified: £32,958 (national); £34,722 (London)

 Application process

Apply to:Civil Service Jobs.

How: Apply through Civil Service Jobs

What's involved:Application form (including CV), verbal reasoning and Civil Service judgement tests, video interview, legal assessment, interview with presentation.

When to apply:

Training contract commencing 2021:TBC