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Interview: the loss of IPLDP during a changing workforce

The make-up of recruits via the degree programme is again under the spotlight as Superintendent Sukesh Verma tells Police Oracle how his force and others will be impacted by the loss of IPLDP.
Published - 05/07/2021 By - Chloe Livadeas

Nottinghamshire's Superintendent Sukesh Verma has spoken out against the college's degree programme, saying policing has a long way to go on diversity - something he feels the exclusivity of a degree requirement will only set back. 

Supt Verma was the lead for Operation Uplift and in November last year he became head of content management but still has strong links to recruitment as lead for cohesion.

Nottinghamshire’s comms recently celebrated the success of a 25 year old Indian ex-military man, who joined the police from the British Army via the Initial Policing Learning and Development Program (IPLDP)

PC Sabby Oliver passed out as an officer in May after completing an 18-week training course – and he’s already been making a number of arrests.

The college’s Police Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) means that from July 2022 anyone joining the service will either need to already have a degree or obtain one before passing probation.

The college argues IPLDP is out of date and plans to “professionalise” the service by phasing it out and replacing it with PEQF.

“We're almost doing the same thing that we normally do,” said Supt Verma, “which is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut”.

Nottinghamshire run roughly a 70/30 split of IPLDP and Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA). “A hybrid approach is best,” said Supt Verma, who convinced Chief Constable Craig Guildford to do it that way.

The force also claims to be the best performing force in terms of representation.

“One of the things that I said from the very off - if we abolish IPLDP there, we will lose almost 90 per cent of the BAME candidates that are successful.”

He said it was also “effectively discrimination” on people with children, and says BAME and migrant communities tend to have bigger families at a younger age making it harder to work and study at the same time, and on older age groups without degrees.

The force met with Nick Herbert, former policing minister and the newly appointed chair of the college, to share their findings and forebodings.

The uplift has been going on for two years now, and Supt Verma says they've now got lots of evidence for analytical research.

“There's no better evidence clearly than what we've done if one of the key drivers for the government, the Home Office, and the College of policing is actually we need to diversify policing. Because it’s not diverse enough - we are nowhere near it at the moment.”

Northamptonshire's chief constable Nick Adderley said in May he intends to write to the college about the impact PEQF has had on the experience and hardiness of "very young" recruits. 

Supt Verma says he understands where he's coming from. 

“We're almost saying no, we want a workforce of 21-year-old graduates. And quite frankly, that's quite a worrying thought for me.

“When we do have issues like riots, and around large scale public order offences, idiots after football matches causing carnage and terrorist related offences, and everything else that that needs people who are going to be wanting to be on the front line, don't all want to go flying up the ladder because there are clearly enough roles in senior roles within the service. We need people who want to be rank an

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