Student officers begin Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship

Policing recruits start their apprenticeships at Staffordshire Unviersity.

The apprentices started at Staffordshire University this week

Educating and training new officers to meet the demands of 21st Century policing is a key part of our civic contribution to improving society and quality of life in Staffordshire and beyond.

Nick Howe, Director of the Institute of Policing at Staffordshire University

An exciting new route to becoming a police officer launched this week as student officers at Staffordshire Police begin their Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA).

Entry into the police service is changing nationally with training for officers being developed with the demands of modern day policing in mind. Policing will now follow a similar pattern to nursing and other public service careers, where new recruits will learn on the job as an apprentice. Students will split their time between practical learning and study as they work towards a degree in professional policing practice which will develop the next generation of police officers.

Staffordshire Police has entered into an innovative and strategic six year partnership with Warwickshire Police, West Mercia Police, West Midlands Police and Staffordshire University, who will deliver the course and qualifications for the four forces. In Staffordshire the degree will be funded by Staffordshire Police via the national apprenticeship levy. This allows student officers to earn a degree ‘on the job’, with a starting salary of £21,000 which avoids building up any tuition fee debt.

Chief Constable Gareth Morgan from Staffordshire Police said: “Police officers face many complex challenges, with new and emerging issues which require officers to make daily decisions that impact on communities. Policing offers a diverse, demanding and rewarding career, which can make a lasting and positive difference to people’s lives.

“This new route into policing is designed to equip officers with the skills they need to tackle these issues, including a strong focus on prevention, early intervention and problem solving skills, and serve communities to the best of their abilities.

He added; “I have personally welcomed the first group of apprentices to Staffordshire Police this week and was privileged to join them as they took their attestation and were sworn in as police officers. I look forward to seeing how they develop in the months and years to come to deliver the best outcomes for the public.”

The new student officers will experience a blend of practical learning and academic study over three years. After their first nine weeks of training, they are deployed into the first of their three rotations each lasting eight weeks. Student officers could then learn about prevention and early intervention with a neighbourhood policing team, respond to 999 calls with response officers or learn the art of investigation and interviewing suspects with the prisoner handling team.

Ongoing assessment and reviews ensure officers continue to learn and make progress, with support being provided by a tutor at the university and their own personal police tutor whilst on deployments.

Nick Howe, Director of the Institute of Policing at Staffordshire University, said: “Educating and training new officers to meet the demands of 21st Century policing is a key part of our civic contribution to improving society and quality of life in Staffordshire and beyond.

“Our experienced team, many of whom have served in police forces themselves, is looking forward to welcoming the new student officers to the Staffordshire University family and working with them to keep our communities safe.”

Joshua, aged 26 and one of the new apprentices, said he can’t wait to get stuck in: “It’s been a lifelong dream to be a police officer and this was the perfect opportunity to gain a qualification and get paid doing it. I’m really excited about the opportunities ahead and what I can do to make the communities of Staffordshire safer once I reach Independent Patrol Status.”

Alongside the PCDA, the Degree Holder Entry Programme will launch in January 2020. This is aimed at existing degree holders of any subject area and offers a two-year practice based programme leading to a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice.

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