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College of Policing postpones all face-to-face training

College of Policing suspends all face-to-face training while assessment centres stay open to ensure uplift goes ahead.
Published - 23/03/2020 By - Chloe Livadeas

The College of Policing has postponed all face-to-face training until June but it says it is looking at different ways of delivering some class room or centre-based activities.

But assessment centres for new recruits will stay open so forces can continue with the officer uplift programme.

The college said in a statement on their website: “We are working hard to establish if there are different ways we can deliver this training to ensure forces get the support they need to keep the public safe.”

Some events which are not postponed are North East Regional Change Network (3rd April), Eastern Regional Change Network (7 April) and Female Officer progressing planning workshops. All three have been converted to virtual events.

The National Investigators’ Examination has been delayed to 20th June 2020, the Sergeants exam which was originally scheduled for the 17th March 2020 has been postponed with a new date yet to be confirmed.

The Senior Police National Assessment Centre (Senior PNAC) 2020 course has also been postponed.

All overseas training has been suspended until further notice.

Assessment centres remain open. In a joint statement from the college and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), Mike Cunningham, college CEO, and Martin Hewitt, NPCC chair, said: “Our priority is to keep the public safe, and to do that we need to ensure police forces have sufficient levels of officers.

"Joining the police service requires checks and assessments, most of which can we done without any face-to-face contact with the exception of the current assessment centre process. It has been agreed nationally that the continuation of assessment centres is essential activity.”

“If we do not continue this work, then not only will the 20,000 officer uplift not happen, but there will be a reduction in police officer numbers and a significant impact on the resilience of operational policing nationally. This reduction will then be further impacted by anticipated workforce abstraction over the coming months due to Covid-19.

"Measures will be put in place to help mitigate potential risks and we are closely monitoring and reviewing all of our activity in what is a fast moving situation."

HMICFRS has suspended all inspection work requiring contributions from forces and fire and rescue services until further notice, to enable them to focus on their “vital work at this time”. This includes the joint-agency inspections. The suspension will be kept under review.

HM Inspectorate of Probation will also be suspending all face to face inspection activity from today “following the latest government guidance on social distancing and recognising the very significant pressures that local probation and youth justice services will be under over the next three months”.

A statement from HM Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell said: “We will continue to play close attention to the government’s advice on COVID-19 before making and decision to restart out inspectorate programme. Our top priority is everybody’s health and wellbeing.”

Mr Russell also said some inspectorate staff with operational experience have volunteered to return to frontline probation services and they will free up as many staff as possible to assist services during this time.

Inspections where there are already staff on site will continue with the consent of local managers. Fieldwork on their remaining live inspections will aim to be completed next week by Skype or telephone.

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