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Questions over impact of police degrees on special constabulary recruitment

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Volunteer officers group asks about new policies which College says is still being drawn up.

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The widespread and longstanding practice of people becoming specials with the hope of then joining the regulars could come to a halt with the introduction of the College of Policing’s new routes into policing.

While much attention has been given to debating the concept that future police officers will either need to have degrees or be hired as apprentices, one less considered side effect is that the attraction of joining the special constabulary may decrease.

Chief Officer Nigel Green, chairman of the Association of Special Constabulary Chief Officers, told PoliceOracle.com that it has recently been confirmed that specials will not be able to be counted as apprentices.

This would mean those who serve as specials with the hope of becoming regulars would have to be taking a degree at the same time, or they would be unable to make the transfer.

He said: “This will disadvantage a lot of professionals and we believe it's an unintended consequence of the way the rules have been written.

“We’ve asked the Home Office and Department for Education [who are in charge of the national apprenticeship levy] to look at it and the College have also agreed to look and see if there needs to be some support arrangements for those people who are specials of the more traditional entry type rather than having to be a graduate.”

The College of Policing says its future entry plans are still being worked out.

A spokesman said: “The College is currently reviewing the implications of the policing education qualifications framework, in particular the new entry routes into policing at constable level, in the context of training for the special constabulary.

“We will continue to work closely with colleagues in the specials and other policing communities to ensure future learning and assessment will enable the special constabulary to maintain, develop and enhance its professional practice alongside that of the regular service.

“This work is in the early stages and further details will be published in due course.”

It is anticipated that those on new police training degrees may have to serve as specials while they take the course.

View on Police Oracle 

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Another brilliant and considered plan - can you imagine a real business meeting where they make a radical proposal and DONT consider its consequences on the business! Is this a good example of the imaginary world where police managers fantasise they are really operating like a business!

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Why would specials be counted as apprentices though? And why would being hired into an apprentice scheme make them less likely to join? They essentially have to redo any record of competence anyway to pass their probation. I don't see how it becomes substantially different, other than the fact the starting wage will no doubt take a further shafting if they can call you an apprentice constable.


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It comes from the COP so enough said.  Also "Chief Officer Nigel Green, chairman of the Association of Special Constabulary Chief Officers, told PoliceOracle.com that it has recently been confirmed that specials will not be able to be counted as apprentices"  Association of Special Constabulary Chief Officers, since when did they try and make policy, and why.

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ASCCO aren't making policy for the CoP. They're in liaison with the CoP to try and make sure that a wider range of views are taken into account.

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So specials who want to become regs are going to have to be studying for a degree at the same time (unless they already have one)  if they want to progress to the regs is that right?

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I read it as them being unable to be an apprentice whilst a special. If however they're unable to be hired as apprentices at all, then that would seem a silly policy, which would actually put a special in a worse position than any MoP with regards to joining full time.


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