How Teesside University is raising the bar

The drive towards a more professional police service can be linked to sweeping legislative changes with over 50 parliamentary bills since 1997.

The Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP) fundamentally changed the way that new police recruits are trained. It aims to strengthen police accountability and modernize the workforce.

The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has recently published a 'stock take' of the IPLDP and its recommendations include a review of the current pre-entry schemes and developing guidance for higher education institutions on the delivery of suitable qualifications. More particularly, Skills for Justice (SFJ) is developing a framework and curriculum for policing that can be used by education institutions across the UK, ensuring that potential students can study full time, part time and by distance learning. It is also developing a foundation degree curriculum that provides evidence of skills of competence prior to entry to the police as well as a curriculum that directly links to the National Occupational Standards for new police officers. Now that SFJ has a clearer idea of what Forces want it will examine mechanisms for learning beyond the IPLDP especially where the police service might wish to develop higher level skills for its most capable officers.

Representatives from universities, including Teesside have recently joined together to form a Higher Education Forum to develop greater consistency in the training provided to police officers for pre and post entry courses. The Higher Education Forum for Learning and Development in Policing, created by SFJ and NPIA is intended to establish common
minimum standards for those institutions or police services which are, or who intend to deliver the IPLDP. It might be argued that this will generally extend the existing partnership arrangements as well as providing scope to further expand the policing programmes at Teesside University, which has earned the reputation as an expert and as a lead in the delivery of policing and criminal justice programmes.

Indeed, the Foundation Degrees in Police Studies and Professional Policing and the
BSc (Hons) Crime Scene Science have recently been accredited by SFJ. The 'skills mark' endorsement provides employers and police forces with the reassurance that a programme has been quality assured and that the University is part of a national framework.

Currently Teesside University is examining ways of providing opportunities for Officers to participate in accredited learning through accredited inhouse courses, bespoke courses, accredited prior learning (APL), work-based learning and access to related under-graduate
and post-graduate programmes. This approach to learning should be attractive to both the police service and students. To the police service because it is business driven and to students because it provides a pathway and insight to the wider criminal justice system and it enhances the context and richness of the learning experience. It also provides a
flexible work specific opportunity to gain recognized, transferable qualifications.

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