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Education and the Police Professionalisation Agenda: A Perspective from England and Wales



This chapter provides selective commentary on the developments of police learning and education from 1945 to the present time. It describes the role of police services in developing skills and knowledge for officers while commenting on the gradual move to outside providers. The engagement between universities and police services in providing education for officers is described and the different approaches adopted are discussed. Finally, the chapter discusses the consultation around higher education accreditation, and the various considerations in relation to serving officers and future recruits.
Tong, S. and Hallenberg, K.M. (2017) Education and the police professionalisation agenda: a
perspective from England and Wales. In: Rogers, C. and Frevel, B., eds. Higher Police Education: An
International View. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 17-34
Abstract: This chapter provides selective commentary on the developments of police
learning and education from 1945 to the present time. It describes the role of police
services in providing skills and knowledge for officers while commenting on the
changes to police practice, and the gradual move to outside providers. The
engagement between universities and police services in providing education for
officers is described and the different approaches adopted are discussed. The
professionalisation agenda provides the framework for considering the initiatives
involving graduates, police services and universities introduced by the College of
Policing. Finally, the chapter discusses the recent consultation around higher
education accreditation and recognition for police officers and the various
considerations in relation to serving officers and future recruits.
Police training/education in England has been, quite rightly, described as fragmented, problematic
and unnecessarily complicated (Bolton, 2005). It has remained an insular practice until relatively
recently, hidden from the education world and in the periphery of the police world, taking place at
many different levels and often lacking a clear responsibility or interest group. Furthermore, due to
the changes wrought by reviews and reforms most recently the organisational restructuring
prompted by the Neyroud Report (2011) and the subsequent establishment of the College of Policing
the training arrangements have been in an almost constant state of flux. Police education/training
is not a homogeneous practice but covers various types of approaches and levels of skills/knowledge,
each with their own concerns and needs (Southgate, 1988a).
Training and education of police officers depends on how the police role is perceived. The purpose of
policing (the ‘police mandate’) is more complex and ambiguous the closer to the point of practice it is
discussed (Thacher, 2008), its orientation changing over time (Kelling & Moore, 1988). What most
approaches to defining police and policing ignore, Reiner (2010) argues, is the way in which policing
reflects the broader social, cultural and economic conflicts and inequalities something academic
education has the potential to address by contextualising policing for those who practice it.
This chapter will provide an outline of the development of police education and training within the
police, before moving onto the more prominent role of universities. The chapter will focus on the
developments of police-university partnerships before describing the ‘professionalisation agenda’ and
outlining potential challenges for policing in professionalising the workforce.
Historical context
“At police schools, policemen learn from policemen what policemen have learned from
policemen.” (Reitz, 1988: 33; translated and cited in Jaschke & Neidhardt, 2007: 314)
At the establishment of the public police in 1829, and for a long time after, the training provided was
minimal and largely drill-based. After all, there was little need for it: the work consisted mainly of foot
patrol and occasional riot control, and the turnover was great (Martin & Wilson, 1969). However, as
the complexity of the work increased, so did the time and effort spent on training. Establishment of
specialised departments, including the Criminal Investigation Department in 1878, led to
corresponding training courses particularly in the large urban forces (ibid). After the First World War,
the Desborough Committee started to standardise conditions of service and elevated police’s
economic and social status something Martin and Wilson (ibid: 37-8) speculate to have been “a
conscious attempt to put police work on a more professional footing.” Notably, one of the Committee’s
recommendations was that the “system of training and education be improved and assimilated
throughout the Police Service” (Home Office 1919-1920). While such changes were slow in coming,
police training during the period nevertheless saw an increased co-operation between forces and
investment particularly in specialist training courses, e.g. detective training centres opening in Hendon
and Wakefield in 1936 and a couple of years later in Birmingham (Martin & Wilson, 1969). Interest in
the command level training also began in the inter-war years with the establishment of the Hendon
Police College in 1934 (ibid). Despite the initial attempt being short-lived (the College was shut prior
to the Second World War), it inspired the founding of the Police College in 1948; the first national level
training project providing command rank courses (ibid; Lamford, 1978).
The recruitment of large number of ex-servicemen after the Second World War and the growing
investment in training resulted in establishment of dedicated District Training Centres (DTCs) in 1946
(Martin & Wilson, 1969; HMIC, 2002). It standardised the recruitment training and moved it away from
local forces to a few regional training centres (Martin & Wilson, 1969), mirroring the wider trend
toward centralisation brought by the beginnings of the welfare state. The curriculum was laid down
by a committee of Chief Constables and teaching methods modelled after those used in the military
(HMIC, 2002). For example, Mathias (1988: 101) describes the probationer training at the
Metropolitan Police Service as “training for the masses, mass produced”; teacher-centred, knowledge-
based, done in a traditional classroom setting and completely from the point of view of the police
The post-war period saw increasing specialisation and labour division among the police. By mid-1960s,
policing reoriented itself toward “technology, specialisation, and managerial professionalism” (Reiner,
2010: 79) and the practice of visible patrol, the ‘bobby on the beat’, began to decline as walking the
streets was not seen to represent value for money (Bolton, 2005). Instead, the officers “retreated into
vehicles, disappeared behind screens and disengaged with the public” (ibid: 89) resulting in a decrease
in public confidence. Many officers no longer viewed policing as a lifelong career, and while they
received more training compared to the industry standards at the time, it was of little value outside
the service and became a strain on the manpower capacity (Martin & Wilson, 1969). Already the 1960
Royal Commission had lamented the poor educational standards and lack of graduates within the
police, and overall the recruitment and training were deemed inadequate for the complex and
changing social context of police work (Reiner, 2010).
The late 1960s and early 70s were characterised more by “the demand for change, the response to
change and the understanding and handling of change” rather than any one event in particular
(Mathias, 1988: 102). Rise of counter-culture, anti-war and anti-apartheid demonstrations
contributed to a renewed politicisation of policing (Reiner, 2010). The developments inside the
organisation saw an increased number of female officers, growth in public and private transportation,
and advancement in information, surveillance and investigative technologies and techniques. As a
result of expansion of state schooling and mass media, the public became more educated and
demanding. To survive, it was no longer enough just to get better at the old things; it was necessary
to ask difficult and fundamental questions about the very purpose of the organisation (Argyris &
Schon, 1974; cited in Plumridge, 1988).
This was reflected in training at all levels. For probationer training the 1973 Home Office Working
Party recommended a shift away from legislation and drill towards ‘public relations’, whilst prompting
the creation of Central Planning Unit, first of many such agencies aimed at centralising training design
and delivery. The decade also saw the full integration of female officers into police ranks and active
recruitment of ethnic minority officers (Mathias, 1988). Introduction of ‘Social Skills Training’ heralded
an official recognition that police work went beyond law and procedure (ibid) and aspects of social
psychology, sociology, public administration and communication studies started to be incorporated
into the recruit training (Bull & Horncastle, 1988) and the senior management courses at Bramshill
Police Staff College. There, the training fell into two distinctive categories of ‘academic’ and
‘professional’, the former concerned with wider understanding of society and taught mostly by civilian
instructors, the latter consisting of courses on policing skills, tactics and strategies by police trainers
(Lamford, 1978). Interest in incorporating ‘best practice’ from the management world outside the
police grew gradually (Plumridge, 1988), at the same time as the officers on Bramshill scholarships to
universities were returning to service and starting to ask some fundamental and uncomfortable
questions about the way things were done (e.g. Young, 1991).
In the 1980s, the police service experienced something of an identity crisis. Neither the organisation
itself nor the society at large seemed to agree on what the role of the police should be (Brown, 1983).
The ‘Brixton Riots’, the subsequent report by Lord Scarman (1981) and the continuing inner city
disturbances throughout the country brought home the shortcomings in training and preparation both
at recruit and command level (Butler, 1988). For the former, the second inspection of probationer
training (MacDonald et al. 1987) brought a comprehensive revision of content and introduction of
race relations training, workplace learning, and tutor constable scheme. At the same time, the
procedural changes from the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the greater emphasis on the
need to take the views of local communities into account when making policing decisions had to be
incorporated. The philosophy of police training in the 1980s was characterised by active student
centred approach, introduction of computer-aided learning, equal emphasis on practical skills and
theoretical knowledge, external consultation and multi-agency approach (Lightfoot, 1988; Mathias,
1988). For senior management training, the pressure from the Home Office meant the Bramshill
College was unable to meet the demands directly and some of the training was devolved to local forces
(Plumridge, 1988). The increasing financial restraints of the public sector put emphasis on operational
effectiveness, value for money, identification of policing priorities and political accountability (Butler,
1988). It also resulted in what Butler (ibid) calls a ‘siege mentality’ among the police senior
management, who was often more focused on making excuses than creating opportunities for
improved service; part of which should have been investing a strategic plan for training and raising it
higher on the agenda.
In the 1990s initial police training was still delivered at District Training Centres (Wood & Tong, 2009).
DTCs were police only establishments where several forces would share training arrangements with
police trainers delivering training usually over a 15-week period. Some DTCs were former military
training establishments and thus still characterised by discipline, military type drills, focus on fitness
as well as learning law and procedure. These training centres did not share training with other public
services and were organised on a regional basis across the country. In 1999, Janet Foster supported
the idea of Graduate entry in her evidence for the Home Affairs Committee on Police Training and
Recruitment. In her submission, Foster (ibid) argued that training should not be a ‘self-contained
activity’ (Southgate, 1988b: 233), that there should be more use of external expertise and that
independent and reflective learning should be encouraged. Little changed and Her Majesty’s
Inspectorate of Constabulary (2002) argued in their ‘Training Matters’ Report that police probationer
training was no longer fit for purpose and recommended the introduction of accreditation and
qualification frameworks, links with further and higher education, alternative training delivery options
and continuous professional development. This report was closely followed in 2003 by a BBC
documentary entitled the ‘Secret Policeman’, a covert investigation conducted by uncover reporter
Mark Daly on police training (BBC, 2008). Daly joined the Greater Manchester Police and attended
Bruche National Training Centre in Cheshire, revealing extreme racist views and behaviour among
some recruits. The programme resulted in ten of the police officers involved resigning while twelve
more were disciplined and three police trainers were removed. The documentary came only four years
after the MacPherson Inquiry (1999) when the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Condon,
accepted his police service contained ‘institutional racism’. This Inquiry was one of the most critical
reviews into British policing and it appeared on the evidence of the documentary that a lot more still
needed to be done to reform the police. These events and reviews continually raised questions around
the way in which the police were recruited, selected and how and where officers were trained.
Indeed, the last decade and a half has seen an increasing focus on professionalising the police,
particularly through education. The next section charts the changing relationship between the police
and higher education, from which the more recent developments have stemmed.
Engagement between universities, graduates and the police service
The co-operation between police and academia in England has a long history, though it has been
relatively slow to develop (Wood & Tong, 2009). It began with the establishment of forensic science
services in the inter-war years, and the opening of the Metropolitan Police College in 1934, thanks to
the efforts of then Commissioner Lord Trenchard who aimed to develop senior leaders within the
service (Martin & Wilson, 1969; Browne, 1956). The College advocated a scientific approach to training
and was aimed to attract (primarily middle-class) applicants with higher educational background, such
as a university degree or a civil service qualification (ibid; Critchley, 1967). The institution received
constant criticism and was abandoned in 1939 without much opposition as the Second World War
broke out (ibid, Martin & Wilson, 1969).
The educational landscape of England changed in 1963 with the publication of the Robbins Report on
Higher Education, as a consequence of which some professional training (e.g. in engineering,
accountancy, and architecture) moved into universities and colleges. However, the police remained
unaffected with their separate training establishments. Nevertheless, the concerns over police
legitimacy during the 1960s increased focus on training and education as a potential answer (Lee &
Punch, 2004) and with some forces turning to universities as a potential solution. For example, Essex
Constabulary sent officers to university to do fulltime degrees from 1967 onward (ibid) whilethe
Bramshill Scholarship Scheme had started a year earlier in 1966, providing university education
opportunities for management level officers. 1968 saw the beginning of the police Graduate Entry
Scheme (ibid), which has continued under different names and formats ever since.
However, organisational attitudes to higher education were slow to change. Officers who attended
university in the 1960s and 70s often recount a response that was puzzlement at best, and open
derision at worst (Lee & Punch, 2004; Punch, 2007). Young (1991) describes officers’ experiences of
being deliberately cut off, socially and professionally, and when returning to work being assigned to
less demanding roles than they had held prior to their stint in the university. Young himself, who
worked as a plainclothes detective in a drug squad before his anthropology degree, was assigned to
Bridewell (a central prisoner lock-up) as a uniform inspector upon his return. This he saw not just as a
reintegration to ‘working in the real world’ but also as a clear reassertion of control.
Nonetheless, links with higher education grew steadily. The Edmund-Davies 1978 pay awards
encouraged more graduate applications to the police in 1980s (Reiner, 2010). By the following decade,
the poor reputation of the police service and tensions with communities resulted in calls for ‘reflective
practitioner’ officers, able to diffuse situations peacefully and build positive relationships with
members of the public (Beckley, 2004). Academia seemed to offer solutions and Reiner (1994)
describes the period as one of ‘happy rapprochement’. Arrangements started to be formalised. For
example, in 1996 the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge credited the Strategic Command Course
offered at Bramshill.
Although there were a small number of university providers delivering policing degrees to police
officers from the 1990s onwards, this increased from 2001 as more universities began delivering
policing undergraduate degrees aimed at people aspiring to join the police. Before this, individuals
wishing to obtain a degree before joining the police typically selected criminology, criminal justice or
law degrees or programmes with no overt connection to policing. There were no formal qualification
requirements to become a police officer. The fulltime ‘pre-service’ degrees were soon followed by a
few examples of police services sending their probationer police constables to universities for their
initial training while gaining higher education accreditation. Partnerships were established between a
number of universities with their local police services but there was a lack of national coordination.
Universities engaged with police education joined together with the creation of the ‘The Higher
Education Forum for Learning and Development in Policing’ in 2009. The members consisted of
universities across the country, hosting annual conferences focusing on various issues relating to
police education and training. The Forum is used to exchange ideas and practices between universities
and police services, promoting university based police education and supporting the College of
Policing professionalisation agenda (discussed below).
The partnerships between universities and police services developed in different ways. Hallenberg
(2012) described the academia-police relationship as one that increased in terms of frequency, moving
from engagement with individual officers through to organisational engagement and emphasising the
importance of hierarchy in relationship building:
1. From rare to routine - The interaction between academia and police developed from a rare
occurrence to something far more routine, as a consequence of the increasing number of
graduate entrants and links with higher education institutions.
2. From individual to organisational In the past academic education was encouraged and
supported for some officers in some forces. However, the current approach is far more
organisational; police service as a whole is linking up with higher education in a systematic
manner and starting to build the supporting infrastructure for academic police education.
3. From top end only to all levels of the organisation The relationship between police and the
academia tended to exist mostly at the higher level of the organisation, e.g. consulting
relationships with senior academics, or command level courses. Now, the changes are
bringing academia closer to the experiences of police officers at all levels of the organisation.
At the same time the ‘terms of engagement’ between police and higher education Institutions can
reflect different arrangements and responsibilities between organisations including the police,
universities, further education colleges and the private sector. Savage and colleagues (2007)
presented the following models as reflecting the developing arrangements.
1. Scholarship model (Higher Education ownership): This model reflects programmes that are
designed, quality assured (also subject to Quality Assurance Agency regulation) and delivered
by universities. It will depend on the university concerned how much consultation occurs with
police services in terms of curriculum development and student volunteering opportunities
but this will not affect the ‘ownership’ of the degree or the students. A typical example of this
model would be fulltime undergraduate programmes aimed at students pursuing a police
career after graduation but can also involve programmes aimed at serving police officers
where the university maintains control on curriculum and delivery.
2. Partnership model (Joint ownership): The partnership model reflects a relationship between
universities and police services where there is a shared ownership of curriculum design and
delivery and where students are subject to both police (code of ethics) and university (student
code of conduct) regulations.
3. Contract model client/contractor (Police ownership): Police services construct a tender
inviting education providers to submit a bid for training or education contracts. These tenders
can invite applications from universities, further education and private sector education
providers. The contract determines the conditions of services provided and can be as narrow
or as flexible as police service requires.
These models of can overlap. A contractual model can facilitate a partnership model of practice where
a police service works closely with a university and both institutions mutually recognise different
combinations of these models. The Neyroud (2011) and Winsor (2011) reports were significant in their
influence in energising the police professionalisation agenda. The reports not only raised issues
around current training but also argued for a professional body to be created. The new police
professional body, the College of Policing, was introduced in 2013 and brought a new dynamic to the
above models by leading on issues relating to standards and consistency among providers. Holdaway
(forthcoming) describes these develops not only as ‘The re-professionalisation of the police’ but also
points to the development of ‘A new dynamic landscape of police regulation affording a central place
to professionalism…’.
The increasing number of universities offering policing degrees acted as drivers for a serious attempt
at professionalisation while the government widening participation policy encouraged higher
numbers of graduates in society more generally. The Neyroud and Winsor reports and the
establishment of the College of Policing also contributed to the development of direct entry scheme
at the level of Inspector and Superintendent. The direct entry scheme is a national scheme providing
18 months of training aimed at recruiting candidates from other sectors to bring ‘organisational and
operational skills sets’ from different contexts (College of Policing, 2016a). Although educational
qualifications are listed as desirable they are not required, subject to local variation in requirements.
Currently, the numbers are low with further cohorts planned. Another initiative, ‘Police Now’, is a
national programme that started in the Metropolitan Police aimed at ‘exceptional’ graduates. The
programme reflects similar principles used in the ‘Teach first’ (teaching graduate programme) and
‘Frontline’ (social work graduate programme) in understanding social inequality, commitment to
social change in communities and providing innovative leadership with communities (Spencer, Lloyd
& Stephens, 2014). The two-year programme is still in its early stages with first cohort accepted in
2015 but recruitment has seen increases in the appointment of female and Black, Minority and Ethic
(BME) candidates (Police Now, 2014). These reviews and initiatives have been paving the way for
change in the police service in both the way police are recruited and how they learn.
The developments in relation to partnerships with universities and entry schemes for graduates are
not only aimed at leadership but also the role of police constable. Although innovative, these
developments have been lagging behind those in other public sector organisations (ambulance
service, nursing, probation and social work) where higher education level accredited training and
education are established routes to qualification in various roles. The College of Policing recently
introduced a consultation in relation to developing a Police Qualification Education Framework
(PQEF). The three options the consultation document considers are (College of Policing, 2016b: 5):
‘1. The establishment of a qualifications framework for policing, working in
partnership with the higher education sector to set minimum education levels by
level of practice or rank.
2. The development of opportunities for existing officers and staff to gain accredited
and publicly recognised qualifications equivalent to their level of practice or rank.
3. The development of initial entry routes which involve self-funded undergraduate
programmes, police-force funded graduate conversion programmes for
graduates in other disciplines, and higher level apprenticeships (HLAs)’.
The proposed entry routes reflect similar entry routes to established professions seeking
accreditation for a professional role. Option 1: accepted named degrees for particular professions
(law, education, social work and paramedics) are established with quality assurance involving
professional bodies. Option 2: Programmes recognising previous experience or Advanced Professional
Experiential Learning (APEL) allowing experienced professionals to receive academic credits for
professional learning that can be demonstrated, usually allowing a programme of study to be
shortened. These programmes are established in policing but also in other areas where universities
apply APEL to their programmes. Option 3: the conversion programme follows examples mentioned
earlier in relation to ‘Teach First’ and ‘Frontline’. Graduates who have a degree that does not provide
the content of the profession they wish to join, can elect to do a short course that recognises their
generic graduate skills and abilities and provides content to reflect the skills and knowledge required
for their professional roles. This latter option also facilitates the use of apprenticeships which would
allow aspiring police officers to join the organisation without a degree but accredit learning to degree
level during the training and operational practice.
The consultation marks a bold attempt from the College of Policing to catch up on the slow change
towards professionalisation experienced before its creation. The consultation attracted over 3000
responses, with those in favour (46%), opposed (32%) and undecided (21%) on the proposal. The
concerns that were raised about the PEQF proposal included; future access to the police and
appropriate representation, time and financial concerns in obtaining qualifications for current officers
and the importance of experience and practical skills as an appropriate indicator for suitability rather
than a degree (College of Policing, 2016d). Among the responses from the College of Policing, a
greater emphasis on the apprenticeship route into the policing with an emphasis on work place
learning has been put forward (College of Policing, 2016d).
Challenges for professionalisation and change
The challenges to introducing professionalisation in the UK are multi-layered. Providing consistency,
accrediting a range of learning, changes in police leadership, funding cutbacks, reduction in police
training capacity and technological changes in policing and society are some of the issues confronting
the push towards professionalisation (Tong, forthcoming). The issue of delivering consistent training
across 43 police services has long been an obstacle various national police training bodies have
struggled with (HMIC, 1998; 2000; Foster, 1999). The College of Policing also acknowledges this:
Policing does not currently have consistent, national education levels for all policing roles
or ranks which reflect its current and future challenges, or an entry level qualification that
would be considered commensurate with that of a profession. There is wide ranging,
variable and inconsistent practice in terms of the implementation, assessment and
accreditation of initial police education across the 43 forces. While some forces have
already developed foundation or bachelor degree entry programmes, others deliver
training to the appropriate level but do not require or enable officers to achieve the
externally accredited Diploma qualification. Consequently, some officers have no
recognised accredited qualification (College of Policing, 2016c).
Consistency can be particularly problematic with 43 police services, each with different Police Crime
Commissioners (PCC) and chief officers and services that may have different approaches to police
work and different local problems requiring a variety of solutions and skills. Similarly, the English
higher education landscape is diverse and stratified, including research intensive universities as well
as more teaching focused institutions, some recruiting internationally, others acting more as local
education providers. Furthermore, cuts in policing have had an impact on the reduction of training
resources within police services with real estate sold off and experienced trainers/educators reduced
in number. Providing consistent levels of training and curriculum nationally also presents challenges
to localisation and governance in responding to local needs and accountability. Changes in police
leadership have resulted in a change of priorities in some forces from learning and development to
operational demands. Building expertise in training divisions and developing learning and
development structures that are sustainable takes a long time to establish but can be removed very
quickly. In times of austerity, when operational demands are increasing in the context of less available
resources, training resources are often the first to go.
Police training and education are inextricably linked to practice. As Southgate (1988) argued, training
should not be isolated but linked to organisational change and development. Changes in policing are
not necessarily proactively reflected in training curriculums and can take time to be recognised.
Similarly, it is difficult to predict the future role of the police and the areas of responsibility that the
institution will continue to command (Tong, forthcoming). In what is now termed ‘the fourth industrial
revolution (Floridi, 2014) the police will not only have to contend with changes of how they will need
to operate but also how to police societies using rapidly changing technology (Tong, forthcoming).
This includes, for example, drones, driverless cars, retina scans for identification in police stops, body
worn cameras, artificial intelligence, big data, various forms of automation and police robots.
Technological solutions and devices relevant to policing are predominantly researched and developed
in the private sector. Technical knowledge and skills in using and manipulating technology are not
traditionally developed in police training centres. As police work becomes more specialised and the
manner in which crime is committed changes, new technologies will present new questions in terms
of community safety and criminal opportunities. The police will need to ensure that they are able to
identify the skills and knowledge base of future police officers and specialists required to address
these challenges.
The landscape for police education in England, and its relationship with the higher education sector,
has been one of continuous reorganisation. Effective education is dynamic and proactive, reflecting,
interrogating and providing a leading voice in the changes and debates in the society in which it takes
place and which it ultimately serves. The anticipated changes wrought by the College of Policing and
the proposed PEQF will shape the trajectory for the police and higher education collaboration for years
to come.
They reflect the continued professionalisation agenda, which has gathered momentum since the
creation of the College of Policing in 2013. Influential reports (Neyroud, 2011, HMIC 2002) have paved
the way for opportunities for universities and other providers to play a key role in the delivery of
education and accreditation of police learning. At the same time, the role of police research in the
College of Policing plays an important part in developing police practice.
As the police education curriculum is developed for various entry routes and qualifications for
advancement there will be changes in negotiating the most appropriate approach. On the one hand,
it will useful for the police service to have content that is practical and allows officers to do their jobs
effectively and accredited accordingly. On the other, content that helps officers understand local
community and social issues, the ability to analyse problems, and develop criticality are crucial to the
challenges officers are facing now. These are established graduate skills that are required for degree
qualification awards. The balance of professional and academic knowledge/skills is important in
developing effective curriculum. Debates around appropriate curriculum will be important for
effective practice and credibility in the professional and academic world which future police officers
will inhabit. Such debates also need to involve officers currently in the service with a recognition of
the learning and training they have already attained.
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... In recent years, professionalisation has become a critical discourse [1][2][3][4] for the development of police forces in the United Kingdom. As a result, moving away from traditional training programmes towards more formal higher education programmes has been seen as a way of progress to develop professionalism within the police force [5]. ...
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This chapter outlines the historical development of police education in the United Kingdom, more precisely in England and Wales, and highlights new strategies and planning for the professional development of the police. There is a plethora of research carried out regarding professionalism in policing to meet the needs and challenges of the twenty-first century. Considering the recent developments in police education and training, this chapter mainly discusses three newly introduced routes for recruitment and education of police constables under the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF), namely Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP), and Pre-Join Degree (PJD). Higher education institutions (HEIs), in partnership with the police forces, are providing professional qualifications for policing as a graduate level profession. Though they have made remarkable progress in developing police education programmes, they are facing various challenges in implementing the qualification framework. This chapter also explores pedagogical aspects of police education including the effectiveness and contrast between different forms of teaching and learning. While featuring the challenges and prospects of the new police education programmes, this chapter also outlines different aspects of partnership for delivering these professional qualification programmes.
In Chap. 5 we reinforce the breadth of activities and illustrate the different professional and other stakeholder partnerships and relationships universities engage in to respond to this growing twenty-first century phenomenon, by developing teaching, training, research, and knowledge exchange initiatives and programmes. More importantly we examine how the ‘voices’ of the vulnerable are being articulated since the COVID 19 pandemic outbreak. In particular, we investigate the extent to which universities are aware of, or indeed have instigated any specific policies and practices to ensure that they effectively fulfil their societal responsibilities in this expanding area of activity. The importance of professionalisation features as an crucial link between universities, professional groups, and the vulnerable.
Research addressing the relationship between Higher Education (HE) and police officers tends to fall into one of three camps. First, that which explores the relationship between police institutions and academic institutions, second, those which explore the appropriateness of the HE setting for the delivery of police-specific knowledge, and, finally, research which investigates the impact of police higher education engagement upon police officer attributes and practice (Brown. 2018. Do graduate police officers make a difference to policing? Results of an integrative literature review. Policing: a journal of policy and practice, policing, 1–22. doi:10.1093/police/pay075). Thus far, little research has discussed the impact HE has on the relationship between officers and the police organisation. This research, derived from interviews with 31 police officers who undertook in-service degrees, explores police officers’ engagement with HE study and the consequent changes to their perception of their relationship with the profession. This is contrasted with the relatively unchanged structural and cultural expectations the organisation places on officers regardless of their newly acquired graduate status as reported in the extant literature (Hallenberg and Cockcroft. 2017. From indifference to hostility: police officers, organisational responses and the symbolic value of ‘in-service’ higher education in policing. Policing: a journal of policy and practice, 11 (3), 273–288). The discrepancy can be explained through the recent scholarship on public sector isomorphism and the police’s transformation into a hybrid organisation (Noordegraaf. 2015. Hybrid professionalism and beyond: new forms of public professionalism in changing organizational and societal contexts. Journal of professions and organization, 2, 187–206), as well as the competing knowledge paradigms within policing (Williams and Cockcroft. 2018. Knowledge wars: professionalisation, organisational justice and competing knowledge paradigms in British policing. In: L. Huey, and R Mitchell, eds. Evidence-based policing: an introduction. Bristol: Policy Press, 131–141). Importantly, however, the current paper takes this discussion deeper. It argues that the police’s unique role in serving not just the public but also state interests inevitably shapes and constrains the process of professionalisation, the relationship between the police and HE, and officers’ ability to use knowledge and skills gained through HE study.
This article updates and extends a literature review by Paterson on the attributes said to be brought to policing by graduate officers compared to their non-graduate counterparts. A number of methodological shortcomings in the research as well as criticisms levelled at various bachelor degree courses means drawing definitive conclusions is problematic. Overall, it seems policing or criminal justice degrees confers no particular advantage; rather, it is the experience of university per se that is important. Whilst too early to say what benefits the present Police Education Qualification Framework devised by the UK’s College of Policing will yield, current research is unable to confirm unambiguously that values associated with higher levels of education may bring improved policing outcomes.
This article reflects upon the development of the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) in England and Wales and considers the implications it will have for policing degrees. Given the topic, the article is primarily forward-looking, but it draws upon the experiences of having worked closely with police for over 20 years in designing bespoke policing degree programmes. It is offered as an opinion piece. The PEQF represents a significant step change in the development of police training and education. In particular, it places tertiary education at the centre of all aspects of learning within the police organization. The article welcomes the PEQF as a significant opportunity to develop our understanding of police practice. In particular, it provides an impetus to explore ways of embedding learning and assessment within operational police practice. However, this will require both investment and a substantial change programme to ensure that police services have the appropriate infrastructure to support tertiary levels of learning and assessment. It will also require a cultural shift within both universities and police organizations. Most importantly, if the PEQF is to fulfil its potential, police services will need to embrace, promote, and enable reflective practitioners and become reflective practices in the fullest sense. If this is achieved, I argue, the policing degrees of tomorrow will be radically transformed for the better.
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Recognized as an International Leader in the development of Police Academic Collaborations, the Scottish Institute of Police Research has had a key role in contributing to evidence-based approaches in policing, supporting a strategic approach to innovation, as well as, contributing to education, professional development, and organizational learning. The aim of this article is to examine the particular relevance of this partnership in shaping both the recent professionalization and educational agenda of policing in Scotland. It will critically explore these collaborative efforts, particularly in relation to the development of Higher Educational Routes into the service and suggest that while there are benefits to this partnership approach, a co-operative rather than collaborative style emerged in this specific case study. The potential reasons for this co-operative approach as well as the implications for the development of Higher Education routes for police officers in Scotland will be discussed.
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This paper will explore the 'police professionalization agenda' and provide a brief outline of the 'Police Qualica-tion Education Framework' (PEQF) administered by the College of Policing (CoP) in the United Kingdom, discuss the art, craft and science as a platform for evolving professionalization in policing and nally consider the future of policing with advances in technology. I will argue that the police service not only needs to consider how technology will aect the roles and activities of the police but also the impact on the communities that the police serve.
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This paper argues the current exposition of police knowledge through the discourses of police science and evidence-based policing (EBP) leads to exaggerated claims about what is, and can be, known in policing. This new orthodoxy underestimates the challenges of applying knowledge within culturally mediated police practice. The paper draws upon virtue epistemology, highlighting the role that cognitive agency plays in establishing knowledge claims. We challenge the assumption that it is possible to derive what works in all instances of certain aspects of policing and suggest that it would be more apt to speak about what worked within a specific police context.
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Final report of the Review of Police Leadership and Training commissioned by the Home Secretary, Rt. Hon. Teresa May in 2010. Report was published in 2011
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The thesis explores the role of academic education in police professionalisation. Due to its high complexity, specialisation and status, detective work is well-suited for illustrating these developments and the practical and symbolic benefits they can bring to the police and policing as a whole. The overall approach of thesis is iterative. Literature from police studies and sociology of professions provides the conceptual and theoretical framework for the empirical data of 24 semi-structured interviews conducted with 14 police national training coordinators and local police trainers. The increasing academisation of police training and the formalisation of the police-academia relationships suggest police professionalisation has reached a tipping point. This is seen in the current investigative skills training in England and Wales, which is characterised by growing centralisation, standardisation, and emphasis on formalising the professional knowledgebase of investigations and policing – a trend which the Professionalising Investigation Programme exemplifies. While the police (including the investigative specialism) can be shown to display many of the qualities of professions, it has lacked the level of instructional abstraction characterising other professions, typically provided by higher education and, crucially, leading to externally recognised qualifications. Developing academic police education is not without its challenges, chief among them the perceived epistemological and cultural divide between the ‘two worlds’ of police and academia. A successful transformation requires careful consideration of the content and format of the arrangements, investment, support, acceptance and engagement from police, academia and government, and a simultaneous change to cultural dispositions (habitus) and internal and external structures (field). This is worth the effort as a number of practical and symbolic benefits of police academic education can be identified. It has the potential to improve the quality of service by deepening police knowledge and understanding and facilitating community-oriented approaches. More importantly, academic education bestows a rich cultural capital, strengthens and legitimises police expertise, market monopoly, and status in the eyes of the public, other professions and the government. It enables the survival of the profession, giving it the tools to prevail in conflicts over competence and the right to define and interpret policing and its social context. In summary, police professionalisation via academic education can be explained in terms of agency and structure both; as a deliberate occupational upgrading spurred by social and economic aspirations and aimed to reconceptualise and relegitimise policing; and as an inevitable reaction to wider changes and a deeper ontological shift taking place in the society.
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A recurring issue in the initial training of police recruits in England and Wales concerns the status of student police officers. This position paper engages with debates concerning this aspect of initial police training from a university perspective by reflecting on the experiences gained over a three and a half year period of delivering a Student Officer Programme (SOP), a joint collaboration between a university department and a UK police service. As such it should be read as a comment piece that aims primarily to stimulate debate. Although not an empirical research piece, the paper nonetheless engages with the experiences that have been borne out of the collaborative running of the SOP. The paper presents a philosophical analysis of one particular aspect of that experience, namely the tension that arises from the contradictory status of student police officers.
In this article contemporary police claims to professional status are analysed and related to a new structure of police regulation in England and Wales. It is argued that the notion of the police as a profession is not new and, unlike police and academic commentary, analysis of this subject should draw on sociological understandings of professions. The wider policy context within which claims to professionalization are made is also considered. A new, loosely coupled system of regulation has been developed in England and Wales. Policing’s professional body, the College of Policing, is central to this regulatory framework that has placed government at a distance from constabularies and police representative associations. Finally, some of the consequences of the hybrid system are considered and benefits of the framework of analysis proposed are discussed.
Who are we, and how do we relate to each other? This book argues that the explosive developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is changing the answer to these fundamental human questions. As the boundaries between life online and offline break down, and we become seamlessly connected to each other and surrounded by smart, responsive objects, we are all becoming integrated into an "infosphere". Personas we adopt in social media, for example, feed into our 'real' lives so that we begin to live, as Floridi puts in, "onlife". Following those led by Copernicus, Darwin, and Freud, this metaphysical shift represents nothing less than a fourth revolution. "Onlife" defines more and more of our daily activity - the way we shop, work, learn, care for our health, entertain ourselves, conduct our relationships; the way we interact with the worlds of law, finance, and politics; even the way we conduct war. In every department of life, ICTs have become environmental forces which are creating and transforming our realities. How can we ensure that we shall reap their benefits? What are the implicit risks? Are our technologies going to enable and empower us, or constrain us? This volume argues that we must expand our ecological and ethical approach to cover both natural and man-made realities, putting the 'e' in an environmentalism that can deal successfully with the new challenges posed by our digital technologies and information society.