UWE introduces Foundation Degree for police service

Issue date: 21 November 2005

Issue date: 21/11/05

Student Police Officers working for Avon and Somerset Constabulary will soon have the chance to top up their qualifications with the introduction of a specially tailored Foundation Degree in Policing, Security and Criminal Justice Studies run in partnership with the University of the West of England.

John Ryan, Deputy Head of the School within the Faculty of Education, who has helped to set up this innovative new Foundation Degree programme said, “The University already has a good working relationship with Avon and Somerset Constabulary with many officers already involved in Continuing Professional Development courses at the University leading to awards, such as, Certificate in Education, BA Honours and Masters”.

Professor Saville Kushner and Professor John Davies of UWE, in collaboration with the University of East Anglia produced a set of Learning Requirements for Police Probationer Training that have since been accepted by the Home Office and will now underpin the future police training programme.

The Learning Requirements will also be used to form the basis for the proposed Foundation Degree. John Ryan said: “What has emerged through ongoing discussions is the need to take this a step further by integrating key modules already offered by UWE in areas like community service, buildings security and forensic science that match Home Office requirements for Probationer training. It’s all about widening the scope of experience and helping police recruits to achieve a level of qualification that will extend their professionalism and better prepare them for the complex demands of policing in the twenty first century.”

The aim is to incorporate additional academic study to extend the initial police training programme so that new entrants will have the opportunity to obtain a foundation degree as the basis for professional development throughout their career.

The programme will be delivered jointly by UWE and Avon and Somerset Constabulary Corporate Learning and Development Department. It is a collaborative venture strengthening the ties already existing between the two organisations. The Foundation Degree being developed will focus on, for example, Neighbourhood Policing, Community Issues, Advanced Investigation Skills, Multi-agency working and as a result will raise the professional competence of police officers.

Allan Johnston, HR Director, Avon and Somerset Constabulary said, “We are very excited to be in a position to offer up such a fantastic opportunity to our new recruits. Many people entering the police force as probationers have given up the option of gaining a degree level qualification even though they evidently have ability. It is increasingly important for police officers to have additional qualifications to progress within the force and this option gives probationers a head start.”

Professor Ron Ritchie, Dean of the Faculty of Education at UWE, said, “This is an important development for the Faculty and Avon and Somerset Constabulary and we are delighted that we continue to work in partnership to develop a programme that will deliver life long learning opportunities to the participants.”


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