Mixed Messages From @NPCC, @Police_Now @MetropolitanPolice and @CollegeOfPolicing?

I’m old, I’m confused and my brain hurts.

Firstly, the much-revered College of Policing has proposed completely shaking up the entry route into the Police Service;

The three proposals are

Proposal 1. Establish a qualifications framework for policing so that individuals can gain recognition that has meaning and credibility

Proposal 2. Opportunities for existing officers and staff to gain accredited and publicly recognised qualifications for their existing skills, if they wish to do so

Proposal 3. Develop three entry routes for new constables

undergraduate degree in policing

graduate conversion programme

higher level apprenticeships 

Hardly confusing at all, all about improving the professional image and status of Police Officers.  No bad thing per se but it fails to recognise that Police Officers already have a good, professional status but it does need to be formalised and recognised.

Then we have the Gold Service from much-vaunted Police Now.

To get with the Police Now programme, In brief, you will need to:

be between the ages of 18-57 on application

have lived in the UK for the last three years

have indefinite leave to remain and work in the UK

be working towards or have achieved a 2:1 at undergraduate degree level or non-UK equivalent

have received a GCSE grade C or above in English language and be fluent in the written and spoken word.

So, sign up to the flagship Police Now programme to fast track to tomorrow’s leaders.

The Metropolitan Police contributes to my eternal confusion by offering Direct Entry to the CID for Specials, and this is where I need some help.

Will the successful applicants from the ranks of the Specials become part-time detectives, as and when their main job permits?  Is this a back door into the Met and they will become warranted, Regular Tecs? 

If they remain as Specials will they need to be graduates first?  How do they fit in Detective Training School with their ‘proper’ jobs? If they don’t achieve some formal accreditation in Investigating Stuff their work will be torn up,for **** paper the first time they appear in Crown Court.

If this is actually back door DE entry as a Tec, this is surely demeaning the role of the traditional Constable.  He/She needs a Degree or equivalent, a Tec needs to be a Special with who knows what academic qualifications.

I am not against Specials, I knew some very good ones and counted them amongst my friends, but this is really worrying and confusing and urgently needs clarification.  The government has already tried bolstering the Armed Forces with Reservists and that did not go well.  Policing is too important to risk getting it wrong.

Not for nothing are some Tecs in the Met labelled Cops In Disguise.

Sort yourselves out please, all of the above, work together, openly, and come up with a sensible solution that is acceptable to current and future officers alike.

It cannot be impossibe.

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5 Comments

  1. 1. The PEQF has already recognised police professionalism by stating officers work at Level 6 and above.
    2. Police Now will potentially disappear once degree entry is implemented, but the whole idea is targeting uni leavers.
    3. Special to DC route is a full time warranted role. They must pass the NIE exam prior to employment and after an operational rotation they will start their careers as TDCs.
    4. The DE DC is an attempt to explore alternative routes into CID and trying to bolster diminishing numbers.

    What would you suggest as an alternative for entry to PC and feasible solutions to the national DC shortage?

    • Thank you for that clarification, most welcome.

      IMHO the national shortage of detectives is directly attributable to the increased stress levels in the role brought about by ‘the cuts’. Competing demands have seemingly resulted in shortages in every department, increased workloads and increased stress. The role of the Detective, it seems, no longer has the same attractions that it once had. In short, I blame May and Winsor for this situation, but suggestions to improve it? Too late now I fear

  2. I would like to know what makes them think that degree students would want to join the police. I agree there needs to be standards but they dropped standards back in the 90s to attract more applicants, what’s changed. Are people suddenly falling over themselves to join up. I doubt that, especially after all the bad publicity and unprecedented low police morale in modern times. Who wants to jump on a sinking ship.

    Why not have an entrance examination that anyone from any walk of life can take, degree or not. Pass you are in. The grade/level of marks gained may direct the best candidates towards high rank/ accelerated promotion.
    Or is it because students will be expected to pay tuition fees. I wonder ?

  3. It is a total mess. Various routes in for different roles and, in some cases, you need to put in time in as a Special? What about really bright folk who may have a First Class degree in Physics from Cambridge. Will they need to be a Special? Will they also need to do a ‘conversion’ course to transform their hard earned degree into a ‘Policing Studies’ degree?! Pass a detectives exam too? Don’t forget all this hard work and sacrifice is for a job with the new starting salary of £19,000! Why not join as a PCSO? They have unions and are paid better and don’t have the same accountability. Nursing has suffered because of applicants needing a degree and that pathway is much more straight forward than what the CoP is suggesting. The government is going to have to decide if they want a decently paid professionally qualified work force or a poorly paid workforce on temporary contracts with a quick turnover that leave when a better opportunity at Greggs beckons. No one in their right mind with higher qualifications would join the police now with the constant attacks on conditions, reduced budgets and staff yet higher expectations, and accountability, public misconduct hearings, a hostile media wtc. Lunacy!

    • I don’t see any problem whatsoever with devising a curriculum around Probation that can be converted into a degree upon Confirmation. The probationary period can be extended if appropriate, but surely that would satisfy everybody with much less drama

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