Issue date: 11 October 2004
ISSUE DATE: 11/10/04
The Police Federation for England and Wales is set to overhaul training methods within its organisation and has fully endorsed recommendations in a report by education experts from the University of the West of England’s Faculty of Education. The project team includes Professor John Dwyfor Davies (Project Leader), Professor Saville Kushner, John Lee, Jonathan Simons, all from UWE and Dr Steven Wilkinson, from the University of East Anglia’s Faculty of Education.
The UWE research team has been invited to act as consultants to help the Police Federation to implement the changes that are recommended in the report entitled ‘Review of Training and Development in the Police Federation of England and Wales’. The report recognises the strengths of present training provision but makes recommendations for improving the training of Federation Representatives so that they are best equipped to meet the needs of members. The previous training review took place in 1984.
“The role of a Police Federation Representatives has changed dramatically over the past twenty years as have training models and practices,” said project leader Professor John Davies. “I think to be best positioned to support members in the context of rapid change in policing the Police Federation needs to address the report recommendations. The Police Federation takes training provision very seriously and this project is the biggest that the organisation is currently engaged in.”
Federation Representatives answered detailed questionnaires about training experience and eight case studies were conducted nationally. The case studies included Federation Representatives, key players in the Federation and training providers.
Professor Davies continues, “In total 69 recommendations were put forward. We found that much training provision had been conducted through courses that responded to needs as the organisation evolved. Although this is fine and good we identified a need to re-conceptualise the way training is interpreted by introducing new models and to adopt a holistic (as opposed to a pragmatic) approach to training. We recommend that the Federation broadens it’s perception of training activities to encompass activities such as ‘shadowing’, coaching and mentoring. We have also recommended fundamental change like working through aims and objectives for training initiatives, both in a strategic context and from an operational perspective, to ease evaluation of training effectiveness and subsequent refinement.”
The Police Federation
The Police Federation of England and Wales is the representative body to which all police officers up to and including the rank of Chief Inspector belong.
It was established by the Police Act in 1919, following a strike in London, when almost every constable and sergeant in the Metropolitan Police refused to go on duty. They were demanding a big pay increase, a widows’ pension, the recognition of their illegal trade union, and the reinstatement of those who had been sacked for their union activities. The Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, gave in to the strikers on pay, but within months the Police Union was smashed and the Police Federation of England and Wales was established. Since that time, police officers have been prohibited from striking by statute, the most recent being the Police Act 1996. It is not a union, but has a statutory responsibility to represent its members, that is all officers below the rank of Superintendent, in all matters affecting their welfare and efficiency.
The Federation today represents the interests of over 136,000 police officers, bringing together their views on welfare and efficiency to the notice of the government and all opinion formers. The Federation negotiates on all aspects of pay, allowances, hours of duty, annual leave and pensions. It is consulted when police regulations are made, dealing with training, promotion and discipline.