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New fast-track police degree for Nottinghamshire


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Nottinghamshire Police has created a programme with Derby University and the College of Policing that will see new recruits becoming 'cop ready' within two years.


Derby University

Date - 7th February 2020
By - Chloe Livadeas

Nottinghamshire Police has partnered with Derby University to provide the country’s first fast-track policing degree course, putting officers on the beat from the classroom in record time.

Derby University will now be the first in the country to offer an accelerated BA (Hons) in Professional Policing.

Potential recruits are required to join the force as a Special Constable whilst undergoing their studies, meaning they will be ready for patrol within the two years without having to do further classroom-based training.

Nottinghamshire has secured funding for 107 new recruits from this programme. Nottinghamshire’s Chief Constable, Craig Guildford said he would have been happy with any number in the positive.

This number is on top of the force’s own recruitment commitment of 175 officers by March this year.

The qualification does not guarantee a position within the force, but increases a candidate’s chances of securing a role. 

The force will also be reserving places for high performing Special Constables to undertake the national Police Officer Recruitment Tests while in year two of their degree studies. This will see officers commencing employment with the force almost immediately after graduation.

These plans are the result of a collaboration with the force, university and College of Policing.

CC Craig Guildford said: “Getting qualified recruits who are ready to take on the day to day challenges of the job is something I am passionate about.  

“We already accept graduates from the three year policing degree, this will add to the options available to those wanting to join our force. Being a Special Constable at the same time will give students invaluable practical insights into what it is like to work in Nottinghamshire Police, making them a standout candidate when applying for a role in the force.”

He went on to say: “I have no doubt this new approach will speed up getting fully trained officers out onto our streets and into the neighbourhoods where the public and I want to see them.“

“People will really notice the difference once they start.”

Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “I have made a commitment to getting more police officers into the communities we serve as this is what people have told me they want to see. This fast track degree course coupled with the Special Constable recruitment will see us having some of the best recruits in the country walking our streets in as short a time as possible.”

Professor Kamil Omoteso, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at the University of Derby said: “The programme adopts an innovative approach to learning responding to the needs of the force for flexibility in terms of delivery methodology. It will meet the academic requirements of the College of Policing as it integrates the knowledge skills and behaviours required by the degree into a flexible, coherent and cohesive programme in response to the needs of police forces.

CC Guildford said the efficiency of their recruitment was down to planning in advance and taking a risk by assuming “the cheque from the Prime Minister was in the post”.

He said they were hoping the course would be more appealing to older applicants, as it takes two years to complete instead of three.   

The force also hopes to encourage more applicants from a Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.

CC Guildford said: “This is an issue nationally. Our force is only half representative of the BAME community according to the last census, at 6 per cent compared to 11 per cent in the area.”

In relation to the College of Policing’s PEQF scheme, CC Guildford said: “As a profession we have to recognise that this is the direction of travel. This is 2020 and let’s smell the coffee. We owe it to our staff to professionalise their license to practise. It is important that we invest time in them.”

He added that it was important to remember that half the force’s entrants were graduates anyway.

Applications for the course is now open with studies expected to commence in September.

A full list of the numbers of extra officers for the first year of the 20,000 uplift promised by the government was published on the Home Office’s website in October 2019:

Police force areaFirst year recruitment target

Avon & Somerset137







Devon & Cornwall141






Greater Manchester347









London, City of44


Metropolitan Police1,369


North Wales62

North Yorkshire58




South Wales136

South Yorkshire151





Thames Valley183


West Mercia93

West Midlands366

West Yorkshire256


England and Wales total6,000

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Shock, horror. It was so simple when the Police Training Centres were in existence. 13 week course, 4 weeks in company and then you were ready and equipped for street duties. A further 2 week intermediate Course to hone knowledge and back on the street. Towards the end of the two years a further 2 week final course, Probation confirmed and back on the streets. So, in that first 2 years you were classroom bound for 17 weeks, and you were active working with the public for 87 weeks in that 2 year time. The only thing was that no one gave you a degree title at the end.

When it went to in force training then the officers were proactive with the public for around the same length of time.

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We had this for the past few years, think Merseyside and GMP are also part of it.  IIRC You had to be IP, have passed the degree and have a good disciplinary record.  They basically fill in the bits you don't have to do as an SC, and you're still given the 10 week tutor phase (at least here, other forces may differ).  I think it is a decent way of doing things.  Probably more sensible than the degree apprenticeship route, though no quicker.  I don't think we are doing it now because BTP took over the local policing degree.

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