Skip to content

#DegreeGate – Genuine Need Or Cynical Ploy?

keyboard warrior Beware The Guardians of Social Media

Last updated on March 14th, 2019 at 02:27 pm

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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

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

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?


I forgot this one from yesterday
As yet, no response from the College

And do you think I will ever get a reply to this one?

Enjoyed the post? Share it?

5 thoughts on “#DegreeGate – Genuine Need Or Cynical Ploy?”

  1. As per my comment on the last post, this is purely to save money on training.

    The too white argument point has gone on for as long as l can remember. Why do BME not join up. I would like to know just how many do apply and pass and fail rates. The more that want to join up, the merrier in my opinion, but like every other applicant, only if they have the ability no watered down entry requirements. One size fits all. We want the best folk from all walks of life, degree or not. The police should reflect the public it serves.

    Now l see this weeek DC is having a go at Uni’s as not enough BME students are at Uni it seems. Is this a class thing?

    Is this why are there so little BME politicians ?

    l don’t know. There seems to be more accessing Uni these days so why not BME students?

    If that is the case, when the police do get degree entrants then we will have less BME than we do now.

    Like most of these MPs they play politics pandering to certain groups. How about campaigning for the best person for whatever job is on offer regardless of sexual orientation, race, colour, creed, religion or sex.

    If l have missed any particular group out l apologise.

    1. Having joined the Met in the early 70’s I was intrigued by finding that the most obvious minority in the job seemed to be Londoners. There were plenty of Scots, Liverpudlians, Geordies etc as well as many country boys,(there were virtually no girls). Londoners were conspicuous by their absence.
      Diversity happens naturally but slowly, I think women make up nearly 50% of patrol strengths in some areas now somewhat different from the one woman per team of 1976 that was my experience.
      For a cop of the 70s it would be rare to have A levels, yet when I left in 2002 I think over 50% of the street duty students on my borough had degrees.
      The education industry in the UK is a massive money spinner, it has a vested interest in making more occupations degree based, there seems very little evidence that it improves practical standards at all.

      1. I too joined the Met in 72 and wholeheartedly agree. Women Police were a bit of a special case in those days, but yes, the Met was made up of boys and girls from all over, of mixed abilities, and Londoners were as rare as rocking horse poo. Everybody got along together and it simply ‘worked’

  2. How about some evidence for these proposals? Starting with how many of the NPCC had degrees before joining and gained one since?

    So for example the College’s Chief Exec, Alex Marshall has a Cambridge M.Sc. and the lady, Rachel Tuffin on the video (OK, not from NPCC) does not have anything. Oh yes Rob Beckley, Alex’s deputy has nowt.

    For Alex: and for Rachel:

    Locally I know a local college’s vocational training course for the uniformed public sector, including the police, collapsed when the police stopped recruiting.

    Yesterday on Twitter it was noted one university-based policing degree course found that NONE of its graduates could get a post as a constable. University of Lancashire I think.

Comments are closed.

Verified by MonsterInsights