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College urges frontline staff to consider research projects

Officers struggling to balance finance commitments and promotion have been urged to apply for a bursary.
Published - 08/03/2021 By - Chris Smith

The College of Policing has launched its sixth annual bursary scheme to enable officers considering further studies to access financial help.

The launch coincided with International Women’s Day which included concerns being raised about the hurdles female officers have to overcome in order to achieve promotion.

The scheme, which since 2016 has supported 270 officers from 44 different forces, supports those studying at undergraduate and postgraduate levels across a wide range of subjects and disciplines.

Last year, the College was able to provide funding to 65 officers - including 33 constables and sergeants - and 19 members of police staff.

Applications are open until 29 March and officers from all ranks plus staff at the National Crime Agency can apply.

The College stressed it is not just open to high fliers as previous recipients have included people who have not studied since school and six out of ten of those awarded funding have been of constable and sergeant rank. Around a quarter were members of police staff. 

The launch coincided with the annual International Women’s Day which this year is focused on leadership.

A critical issues raised HM Inspectorate and Federation reps as well as rank and file officers is the amount of time needed for study in order to progress.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoe Wakefield said: “How many female sergeants were eligible for promotion but didn’t apply? Also, how many of those passing are mothers? Childcare, flexible working and reduced hours are still barriers to promotion.”

The College, as part of its relaunch is moving to focus on individual study plans for officers in recognition of the challenges officers face and the bursary scheme is one of the solutions.

Officers can check if their prior experience and learning can give them academic credits towards a recognised academic or professional qualification.

Academic credits may reduce the length of the academic programme, for example from three years to two, which will also reduce their tuition fees.

Bernie O’Reilly, interim Chief Executive of the College of Policing, said: “We welcome applications from officers and staff regardless of their role, rank, grade or existing qualifications.

“Despite the challenges of lockdown we remain firmly committed to aiding the continuing professional development of police officers and staff and offer a range products, including ‘how to’ research guides and peer support, to help them in their studies.”

Find out more:

Further details of the Recognition of Prior Experience and Learning process can be found here

Further details on the 2021 bursary scheme, application process and advice of the application process can be found on the College of Policing What Works website.

The bursary scheme application form and supporting documents are available from today 

Applications and enquiries should be sent to:

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