College of Policing
The College of Policing (CoP) set standards in professional development, including codes of practice and regulations, to ensure consistency across the 43 forces in England and Wales. They also have a remit to set standards for the police service on training, development, skills and qualifications.
The CoP published a ‘Leadership Review’ in June 2015 calling for fundamental changes to the policing workforce structure and organisation. The Review identifies the challenges for the future of policing and makes 10 recommendations to change the culture of policing and the way in which officers are promoted and selected as well as the management structures and development of leaders across all 43 forces.
The recommendations include reviewing the rank structure, introducing flexible career paths into policing, improving continuing professional development, advertising all vacancies for recruitment and promotion nationally, developing career opportunities which allow recognition and reward for advanced practitioners and increasing flexibility in assigning powers and legal authorities to police staff.
Our response to the Leadership Review (issued September 2015) was informed by focus groups and interviews with member representatives, including members of our Interim National Board and Interim National Council.
The CoP has since issued an update and further information around the Leadership Review, stating that work had begun towards implementation of recommendations set out in the Review. The college has begun work with some police forces to explore piloting of some of these recommendations and formed a group to provide oversight of implementation, including representatives from the Police Federation, Superintendents’ Association, National Police Chiefs’ Council, UNISON and the Home Office.
Police Education Qualification Framework
Early in 2016, the CoP proposed to introduce a new Police Education Qualification Framework (PEQF). The key proposals are:
1. To establish a qualifications framework for policing. The CoP would work in partnership with the higher education sector to set minimum education levels, by level of practice or rank. This would begin from 2016.
2. To develop opportunities for existing officers and staff to gain accredited and publicly recognised qualifications, equivalent to their level of practice or rank. This would also begin from 2016.
3. To develop initial entry routes involving self-funded undergraduate programmes, police-force funded graduate conversion programmes for graduates in other disciplines, and higher level apprenticeships (HLAs). This would not start before 2019.
We made a submission to the open consultation process for PEQF at the end of March 2016. All the feedback collected by CoP on PEQF is being analysed and is expected to be formally reported on later in the year. Although the initial consultation is now closed, the consultation paper and frequently asked questions are still accessible.
About the College of Policing
The creation of a new policing professional body was announced by the Home Secretary in December 2011. Representatives from the Police Federation, the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales, National Police Chiefs' Council and UNISON worked with the Home Office to create the College of Policing.
More information on the College of Policing.