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University to work with five forces to provide officer education.

From left, Professor Peter Vaughan, director of strategic projects, policing and Security at USW; Helen Martin, academic subject manager for policing and security at USW; Professor Julie Lydon, vice-chancellor of USW; Professor Jonathan Crego, who developed the Hydra Minerva system used to train police officers at USW; head of school Dr James Gravelle; and Hannah Coombs, academic manager for operational policing

From left, Professor Peter Vaughan, director of strategic projects, policing and Security at USW; Helen Martin, academic subject manager for policing and security at USW; Professor Julie Lydon, vice-chancellor of USW; Professor Jonathan Crego, who developed the Hydra Minerva system used to train police officers at USW; head of school Dr James Gravelle; and Hannah Coombs, academic manager for operational policing

Date - 22nd May 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle
9 Comments9 Comments}

 

New police recruits are heading back to the classroom to gain landmark qualifications as educational institutions bid to “further professionalise” the service.

More than 2,000 student officers across a geographical area that covers a fifth of the UK will find themselves in the vanguard of joining a learning programme geared to meet the “challenging requirements faced on a daily basis”.

Chiefs see a defining era where newcomers join a “profession with a more representative workforce that will align the right skills, powers and experience” as the University of South Wales signs contracts to provide specialist education to new officers across five forces.

Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dyfed-Powys forces will have the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship and postgraduate Degree Holder Entry Programme delivered by specialists in USW’s policing and security department, in collaboration with force trainers.

The agreements will see a total of 2,214 officers from across the four South West forces start their study with the university, which, along with the existing partnership with the Welsh force, geographically represents around 20 per cent of Britain.

Apprentice PCs and graduate student officers will join their force incrementally throughout the year, with approximately 400 starting the programmes annually.

Earlier this year, USW became the first university in the UK to have its training for graduate police constables validated, through a collaboration with Dyfed-Powys.

The partnership also recognised its undergraduate degree course for operational police constables, establishing USW as one of the first universities in the UK to gain the same recognition. 

Following a lengthy and rigorous approvals process, both the Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice and the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing Practice were granted accreditation by the College of Policing.

The approvals are the result of moves to “professionalise” those who enter the force as constables, through the Policing Education Qualifications Framework.

The new framework – developed by the College of Policing as a standardised national structure that sets minimum education qualification levels for the service – aims to reflect the complexity of what officers do, with growing demands from digital investigation and vulnerable people, and recognise their achievements.

It also requires all new entrants to be degree-educated for the first time, and applicants for senior posts may need to demonstrate Masters level education.

There are three different routes into the profession: A degree-level apprenticeship, which officers will complete during their probation; a graduate programme for officers who already have a degree, also to be completed during their probation; and a pre-join undergraduate degree in professional policing, which will be a traditional university course completed prior to applying to join the police service.

USW – with campuses at Cardiff, Pontypridd and Newport – has a long history of delivering police education, having taught a Police Sciences degree for the past 15 years. This has now evolved into the College of Policing’s recognised pre-join degree.

“I am proud to say that USW is currently the only university in the UK to have partnered with multiple forces to deliver these landmarks qualifications, across both England and Wales,” said Professor Peter Vaughan, director of strategic projects, policing and security at USW.

“This provision establishes USW as one of the largest and leading apprenticeship providers in the country, placing the University within the top quartile of higher education institutions.

“Moving forward as market leaders, we look forward to working closely with the College of Policing and our partner forces to further professionalise the police service, realising the ambition of the PEQF.”

As a major public policy think-tank, USW is a powerhouse in applied research used to shape major decisions – offering independent advice to government, industry and employers across the UK.

In March some 90 candidates from forces in Gwent and South Wales were welcomed into the new framework with Gwent Chief Constable Julian Williams enthusing over a red-letter day for policing – with the start of a new training programme for officers joining a career that is “exciting, highly challenging and rewarding”.

Training for the 75 South Wales and 15 Gwent recruits will be split between core police officers at a location in Bridgend, while also studying for their respective qualifications with the support of framework partner – the University of Wales Trinity St David.

New officer recruits will now join either on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship or the Degree Holder Entry Scheme with the recently launched Police Degree Apprenticeship Consortium providing a ‘one stop shop’ solution which enables learners and employers to get the most out of the programme.

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This is great news, as the police remains one of the only public sector professions that hasn’t ‘professionalised’.

 

Social Workers, Nurses, Paramedics, Probation Officers all gain degree level qualifications through their training, yet Police Officers have been left in an unfortunate position that they could have received fantastic training and development opportunities but they leave the profession without a professional qualification, which is a barrier to moving into a similar level job.

 

I was speaking to a rather articulate bar man the other day, whom left the MET in his 50s and he is now pulling pints for a living.

 

I am sure that people will moan that ‘you don’t need a degree to be a copper’ and I am not arguing that you do. However, in the modern world training for professions should be aligned to a level 6 qualification, such as a degree.

 

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This is great news, as the police remains one of the only public sector professions that hasn’t ‘professionalised’.
 
Social Workers, Nurses, Paramedics, Probation Officers all gain degree level qualifications through their training, yet Police Officers have been left in an unfortunate position that they could have received fantastic training and development opportunities but they leave the profession without a professional qualification, which is a barrier to moving into a similar level job.
 
I was speaking to a rather articulate bar man the other day, whom left the MET in his 50s and he is now pulling pints for a living.
 
I am sure that people will moan that ‘you don’t need a degree to be a copper’ and I am not arguing that you do. However, in the modern world training for professions should be aligned to a level 6 qualification, such as a degree.
 

Hang on there, while I may agree with you some will be worried that by the time these officers have got their degrees they will have lost the ability to be physically robust and will have had all common sense removed.
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Hang on there, while I may agree with you some will be worried that by the time these officers have got their degrees they will have lost the ability to be physically robust and will have had all common sense removed.

 

I agree but would also add that this new entry scheme puts barrier in place to those wanting to change careers, people with life experience as oppose to academic qualifications and potentially those not mature enough at undergraduate age.

 

Academic ability is not a reflection of a persons ability to police. I was recently at a recruitment event for external applicants and the ones that shone through were those with genuine life experience. I spoke to a recent graduate and it was cringe worthy the amount of corporate nonsense he/she was coming out with. That is not going to help someone wanting to throw themselves off a bridge.

 

In contradiction I do think there is place for qualifications but I also think we should have a CPD programme.

 

I can’t help thinking that we (the police) are going to be detached from the public by recruiting in this way. I also think that people coming into policing view the role as something that it isn’t. The core role of dealing with bad people is still there and no amount of lectures or seminars is going to change that.

 

I expect quite a big uptake, especially for the degree entry route. Why wouldn’t a young person join, get a degree for free, get paid and then leave without any debt?

 

My force and others are constantly bleating on about leadership and putting on leadership workshops or qualifications. We don’t need a force full of leaders, in the same way that a football team does not need a side of strikers.

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11 hours ago, Reasonable Man said:


Hang on there, while I may agree with you some will be worried that by the time these officers have got their degrees they will have lost the ability to be physically robust and will have had all common sense removed.

Yet my admittingly anecdotal experience has led me to believe the best frontline officers currently making their way through the recruitment process now are those who have served in other public facing/law enforcement roles. 

A few ex-prison officers spring to mind immediately as being all around good cops, who understand their job, are willing to do the necessary when required and also are able to communicate effectively with people... Will these people go on to reach lofty positions at headquarters one day? I don't think they're interested in management at all and simply enjoy the job they're doing now. 

I think 'professionalising' or let's be real here implementing an academic barrier into policing just as has happened in other areas of public service isnt required and doesn't make a good police officer. 

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The bit I feel strongly about is the inference that degree educated people are less likely to make good cops than those without such qualifications.
Also what a great opportunity for those of us who joined with only a clutch of O Levels (GCSEs) to get a level 6 qualification. Something to help the individual when they move outside of policing.

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I don't understand what people are complaining about. There's a way into policing for everyone that way, whether graduates or not. And they will all end up with a degree. 

The only issue I have is to call it "apprenticeship" as it may put off the more mature applicants. 

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3 hours ago, Reasonable Man said:

The bit I feel strongly about is the inference that degree educated people are less likely to make good cops than those without such qualifications.
Also what a great opportunity for those of us who joined with only a clutch of O Levels (GCSEs) to get a level 6 qualification. Something to help the individual when they move outside of policing.

Do you not see it as simply another example of having a degree for the sake of having a degree? 

My mother commented on this when she 'had to' study for her nursing degree despite having years upon years of service within the NHS as a sister. 

What was the point? There wasnt one. She didn't learn anything new or groundbreaking she had to have the degree if she wanted to progress. 

This is exactly the same as far as I can see, it devalues the entire system. 

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Do you not see it as simply another example of having a degree for the sake of having a degree? 
My mother commented on this when she 'had to' study for her nursing degree despite having years upon years of service within the NHS as a sister. 
What was the point? There wasnt one. She didn't learn anything new or groundbreaking she had to have the degree if she wanted to progress. 
This is exactly the same as far as I can see, it devalues the entire system. 

I heard it said throughout my career that you can do 30 years as a cop and you come out with loads of experience but nothing ‘on paper’. For those who are happy to retire and not work again, or work in an unskilled role, then fine - don’t bother trying to get any qualifications that may help you in the future.
No one knows what the future may bring and if someone finds they have to or would like to leave policing in their 30s or 40s isn’t it good that they have something ‘on paper’ that will give them a lift into some other employment?
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I agree but would also add that this new entry scheme puts barrier in place to those wanting to change careers, people with life experience as oppose to academic qualifications and potentially those not mature enough at undergraduate age.


How is it a barrier to entry?

Everyone does the same training. However, the framework that they undertake it in varies in terms of whether someone ends up with a graduate or post-graduate level qualification at the end of it.

If anything, the blended approach allows both graduates and non-graduates to enter the police service and remain as peers regardless of which stream they enter under.

I am scratching my head as to why anyone would think it’s a bad idea that new Officers end up with a degree level qualification at the end of their initial period of training and development?
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I’m still yet to hear a valid argument for NOT moving towards graduate policing.

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I’m still yet to hear a valid argument for NOT moving towards graduate policing.
There aren't really any decent ones. I'd say that for the in-service people doing degrees they're in a significantly better position than medics who have to fund their own training and development, or indeed teachers etc etc.

They come out with a degree, and some work exoerience too!
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I’m still yet to hear a valid argument for NOT moving towards graduate policing.

 Absolutely!

 

As Beaker said above, people don’t need to be graduates to enter policing- unlike becoming a Paramedic, Nurse, Teacher or Social Worker.

 

If anything, the new model is less of a barrier to entry than other professions.

 

Sadly, dinosaurs see this and think ‘graduate policing’ means applicants need to be graduates. They don’t understand that the new system will reward people with a qualification (that has parity with other graduates) for training and development that Officers have historically done but got no recognition for in terms of receiving a qualification.

 

It shouldn’t just be about entry level development. For example, the new qualifications framework for Paramedics means that those whom want to ‘specialise’ can undertake postgraduate certificates, diplomas and Masters degrees in order to progress.

 

With each one they gain they become a specialist Paramedic (earning more money) before they ultimately qualify as a Consultant Paramedic.

 

Why should PCs, SGTs and INSPs not be able to undertake specialist training and development within a post-graduate framework that gives them both a qualification and additional pay?

 

There are many talented Detectives, for example, whom have taken pride at operating at DC level for their entire career but whom are specialists in fraud or sexual offences, for example. Why shouldn’t they be able to study for and earn Masters level qualifications through undertaking the training and development that they would have otherwise done but get a pay rise and a post graduate level qualification?

 

It would help retain Officers who don’t want to climb the greasy pole.

 

 

 

 

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