Implementing policing education in the UK: the role of blended and online pedagogical approaches

Lambert, Jo and Kadry, Ahmed (2023). Implementing policing education in the UK: the role of blended and online pedagogical approaches. In: Innovating Higher Education Conference 2023, 3-6 Oct 2023, Istanbul, Turkey.


In 2016, the College of Policing, the professional body in England and Wales that overseas training and development of police officers, introduced a new training delivery plan for all new police recruits: The Police Education Qualification Framework (PEQF). The PEQF laid out three new entry routes for new police officers, namely, the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), the Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP), and the Pre-Join Degree. The College of Policing state among the purposes of the PEQF is to address the long-held deficiency in recognising the level at which police officers operate and to standardise the learning provision across all forces, in particular the initial learning for newly recruited officers.

In 2019, the Open University became the PEQF provider for North Yorkshire Police. This workshop will explore the obstacles and challenges thus far in delivering the programme. This includes some of the organisational challenges within policing to ensure student police officers are able to successfully complete their degree programmes. It explores the organisational development required from both parties to blend the learning approaches to meet the pleurisy of requirements set out by all the regulatory requirements of both the College of Policing and for Apprenticeship delivery in England.

The unique nature of a truly collaborative delivery presented challenges in pedagogic design. The paper explores several non-compliance requirements, such as:

• The need to include operational and practical considerations such as the allocation of time to study and what this means organisationally for their operational commitments and abstractions, and in turn, what impact this has on the communities they serve.

• The requirement for force assessment to be integrated into HEI assessment mechanisms.

• Insights on where student officers have been able to apply their degree learning into the workplace and what mechanisms are needed to ensure this can take place.

This paper will also explore some of the ways in which a collaborative and partnership approach between the police service and Higher Education Institutions can have added value to a police force beyond the successful completion of their student officers completing their degree studies on the PEQF. This includes the benefits that can be derived for communities served by student officers on the PEQF and how their degree learning can be linked directly to how they critically evaluate their operational tasks based off their knowledge and skills acquired from the PEQF. Additionally, the processes required to support learning of this level in an organisational context that has not embraced the fundamental change to recruitment requires HEI management and leadership not usually demonstrated within a learning programme.

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