There is no problem attracting potential recruits but the quality is dubious and people have wholly unrealistic ideas, they say.
A 16-week course, created by Calderdale College in co-operation with West Yorkshire Police, aims to help would-be officers develop personal and managerial skills.
Mohammed Menir, the college community education co-ordinator, said: "Many people who want to become police officers don't realise the skills they need, such as knowing how to deal with people generally in difficult circumstances.
"Or they let themselves down at interview because they don't reveal enough about themselves including the qualities a police officer needs."
Fifteen people, all over 18, have signed up for the first course, due to start in a month's time. It will cover assertiveness, building confidence, good communication, handling information and achieving police fitness targets. "These are all qualities which would be useful in most jobs if a student eventually decides not to join up," said Mr Menir.
A West Yorkshire police spokeswoman said: "It also gives people a realistic idea of what is needed for the job. We also want to encourage more recruits from ethnic minorities whom we hope would benefit from a course like this. "