A consultation has been launched on “academic recognition” for police officers, a degree for future entrants and new policing apprenticeships
College of Policing CEO, Chief Constable Alex Marshall, said “this is the first time in British policing that a proposal has been put forward allowing officers and staff – if they wish – to be recognised for their existing skills.”
The proposals are also expected to save the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds a year by requiring new recruits to pay for their own training before joining a force.
For those that can’t afford it, there will be apprenticeships.
The three proposals being consulted by the College of Policing are:
Establish a qualifications framework for policing so that individuals can gain recognition that has meaning and credibility
Opportunities for existing officers and staff to gain accredited and publicly recognised qualifications for their existing skills, if they wish to do so
Develop three entry routes for new constables:
- undergraduate degree in policing
- graduate conversion programme
- higher level apprenticeships
CC Marshall added: “Police are functioning at graduate level now and we are letting officers and staff down by not recognising their value in the wider world of work so this is our chance to address this anomaly.
“When police sit around a table with colleagues in other sectors, such as health or probation, often we are the only participants without transferable qualifications.
“An educational qualification will not replace the empathy, compassion and common sense already in policing, but it will allow police colleagues to get recognised for the complexity of the job they do.”
After the College announced in November that all new recruits might need degrees by 2019, there was uproar and a fear it might put many people off joining or discourage people who could not afford – hence the introduction of apprentiships.
Mr Marshall added: “We know there have been concerns about academic qualifications putting off potential applicants which is why we are proposing a higher level apprenticeship where new recruits can earn while training and gaining their degree-level qualification.
“As part of implementation, the College would review funding for individuals including schemes for bursaries, scholarships, and loans for those with difficulty in accessing education or from disadvantaged or under-represented groups.”
Officers can respond to the consultation, which closes on 29 March 2016, through the College's http://surveys.college.police.uk/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=l6K0no91 – it will take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete.