#DegreeGate – Genuine Need Or Cynical Ploy?
And so #DegreeGate rumbles on and still nobody is much clearer, with many simply remaining to be convinced. Many, like me I suspect, are waiting to see the ‘evidence’ that this is a good idea.
Being a bit of a researcher and a fan of ‘the truth’ I went looking.
I found a video on YouTube put there by the College of Policing. It is called PEQF: What is the evidence base? and featuress the College’s Director of Knowledge, Research and Education, Rachel Tuffin. Rachel is clearly a well educated and well qualified woman and has the honour of having been awareded an OBE for services to policing, specifically championing evidence-based policing.
The title of the video implies that herein lies the answer, what is the ‘evidence base’?
Watch the video and see for yourselves
I have watched the video several times now, and I must be older than I thought, because I don’t see it. To be honest, all I saw was a young lady, waving her hands around a lot, saying that it was interesting, important and a challenge, and a good idea. I didn’t see or hear any ‘evidence’.
Undeterred I tweeted a short poll aimed at current and ex Police Officers
Current or ex Cops, do you think you could have done your job better if you had a degree in Policing etc? #PEQF
— Alan Wright (@Alanw47) February 3, 2016
The results of that were 330 people voted of which 95% voted NO, they didn’t think they could have done their job any better with a degree.
This morning Peter Kirkham posted a similar poll on Twatter
Current/ex-cops: Is your training (to end of probation) equivalent to degree level & merits the award of a degree?
— Peter Kirkham (@Peter_Kirkham) February 4, 2016
So, I still remain to be convinced. I have known many fine (in my opinion) cops both with and without degrees, and my opinion is still that there may well be a place for a degree as part of the development/promotioon process but I do not see the need or benefit for one at the recruitment stage.
Looking at it brutally, it costs, say, £9k per annum in university fees to get a degree. Up to £27k if the course is 3 years. The College of Policing states that it costs £25k to train a Constable, even if I assume that means up to end of Probation, I don’t know why it costs that much, but I can see why they woant to shift the burden of cost onto the recruit. Unfortunately having spent your £27k, there’s still no promise of a job. If you join under the old rules and don’t make the grade it hasn’t cost you, or the organisation, anything like £25/£27k.
So, is there reaally a genuine need for a degree or are the College just using smoke and mirrors to deflect the costs of training? Have the hundreds of thousands of cops trained across the length and breadth of the UK previously been ubstandard in some way?
Speaking for myself, I don’t have a degree. Did I resent not having one? No,. it was my choice. Do I feel that I could have performed my duties better if I had one? Honestly? No, I don’t. I feel that my training provided by the Met kitted me out adequately for almost all eventualities, and I can think of numerous Front Line scenarios where a degree would not have benefitted me one little bit.
As laws and procedures changed, we were given extra training to bring us up to date. Some was better than others to be fair, but very little, if any, was computer-based, tick the box, cover your arse training. It was proper training with an ‘instructor’ wheer one could ask questions until one fully understood the issue of the day.
When it came to participation in meetings and briefings, to their credit, my bosses didn’t just send Tommy because he had a degreee, they sent Billy because he knew what he was talking about and was the best person for that particular subject, degree or no degree.
Finally, for now, the Home Secretary is absolutely furious that the Police Service is “too white”. I would be interested to hear what Impact Assessment the College of Policing has done to make sure that this proposal doesn’t make the Police Service “even whiter”.
All this, and for £19 a year. Has that Barista Job at House Of Commons gone yet? https://houseofcommons-careers.engageats.co.uk/ViewVacancy.aspx?enc=mEgrBL4XQK0+ld8aNkwYmP6f9HQomm5Qwf54UUcmqeJ1Jk+K2ZB1Bb1KXjmvT220Nlzq0ZeMk54lC0lgscJp5+Z8dEZeSGIxbZhu/JU3OZ1sZ9ku75/EfbfVXSw/71YGdDQx9MiV3lOcxIQ+6HfKcQ==
I forgot this one from yesterday
— Alan Wright (@Alanw47) February 3, 2016
As yet, no response from the College
And do you think I will ever get a reply to this one?
— Alan Wright (@Alanw47) February 5, 2016