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Getting into policing quickly

Nottinghamshire hopes that street duty ready students who have taken a two-year degree course and served as Specials will prove an attractive alternative during the officer uplift programme.
Published - 28/07/2020 By - Gary Mason

The two-year BA (Hons) Professional Policing (Accelerated) degree has been developed in partnership between Nottinghamshire Police and the University of Derby and is the first of its kind in the country.

Chief Inspector Richard Stapleford who has 25 years of policing experience with Nottinghamshire Police, was seconded to the University in January to head up a four-year project to design and deliver the two year degree which starts this September.

The force has a history of collaboration with the university having developed the PCDA apprenticeship training and they also deliver foundation policing courses for cadets.

“The two-year degree course offers so many benefits to both organisations it was a no-brainer to do,” he says.

The biggest benefit for students is probably finance - with one less year of tuition fees and living costs. “For some students that will be an attraction on its own,” he says.

“But the biggest benefit for both the organisation and the student is that all students who enrol on the course will be trained to police constable standard. They will receive the same classroom-based training as our PCs do in their first year of full time training.”

The thinking behind this is that when students pass their degree and if they are successful getting into Nottinghamshire, the only additional training they will need is two weeks or less of tutoring before they are posted out to division.

“That makes them a really attractive proposition to the chief constable who is basically getting a fully trained student ready to be deployed into the community really very quickly,” he adds.

These students will also be getting into the ‘police market’ a year quicker than others who are doing the three year degree which could be a significant advantage in the competition for places brought about by the 20,000 officer uplift programme.

Those students who choose to gain front-line experience as a volunteer Special Constable with Nottinghamshire Police will also receive the same level of training as those full-time officers who are already working on the front-line across Nottinghamshire,” Chief Inspector Stapleford adds.

“That again builds upon the classroom learning that will help make these students properly ‘patrol-ready’ by the time they graduate and give them the perfect blend of academic study, frontline experience and vocational training.

“They can put theory into practice and they get a bit more training,” he adds.

The force is also hoping to lure people in on the promise that if they become Specials and achieve the standards set for them and they apply to Nottinghamshire Police they will bypass the Stage 1 application process which is basically a paper sift exercise and will be supported to move forward to the next stage  

This is quite significant given that 25-30 per cent of candidates are weeded out during the paper sift.

This means that students with a track-record of good academic and operational performance will be able to skip past the traditional application process and complete the national Police Officer Recruitment Tests during the second year of their studies.

“The fact that we are offering that is in recognition of the additional work and hours they have to put in as Specials,” CI Stapleford says.

It is also significant in that there will be a few students who hold the view that if they pass their degree  - whether that is a two-year or three-year course – they will be guaranteed a job with the force given the high number of boots to fill in the 20,000 officer uplift.

“It is an important question because there are no guarantees of employment here,” says CI Stapleford. “But what they do get is a relevant degree that is going to qualify them to apply. The fact that we are training recruits to policer constable standard makes them a more

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