Utilising police knowledge and skills: Experiences from police practitioners studying a police specific degree

Norman, Jenny and Fleming, Jenny (2022). Utilising police knowledge and skills: Experiences from police practitioners studying a police specific degree. International Journal of Police Science & Management (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/14613557211064051

Abstract

This article presents preliminary findings from a longitudinal study contributing to the current debate about police education and professionalising the police in England and Wales. The findings in this article are taken from a survey administered in 2016 to third-year students enrolled in a policing degree. Surveys were distributed to police officer students in the last year of their degree programme asking for their perceptions of the degree, their organisation's support for their learning and how they felt that learning was utilised in their workplace. Supplementary to the survey, interviews were conducted with the students after their graduation in 2018. The research findings suggest that students perceived the benefits of obtaining a degree-level qualification as fundamentally important to their professional development and personal decision-making at work. Early support initially received for study leave purposes, rarely extended beyond this practical provision. The extent to which police organisations valued the learning from the degree was perceived to be lacking. Senior-ranked students were more likely to be able to use and promote their newly acquired skills and knowledge in the workplace compared with lower-ranked students. Such findings may inform scholars’ and practitioners’ continued evaluation of police education reforms in England and Wales.

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