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It varies from force to force. In the South East we use a colour coded permit system rather than a class system. Red, you can only drive and respond. Amber means you can be involved in the initial pursuit, Green means you can be involved in the tactical phase of the pursuit. That said we didn't used to have a class system. I got my class 4/ standard response course after 2 years and 10 months. Some got it sooner, some longer. I've been in the job nearly 18 years now and am a class 1 advanced driver. Best course ever. Get your self a copy of road craft and gen up on the Highway Code.