Blueline Jobs


College's degree programme at odds with efforts to diversify, says Supt

End of IPLDP predicted by one force to reduce successful BAME applicants by 90 per cent.
Published - 05/07/2021 By - Chloe Livadeas

The College of Policing is closing the Initial Policing Learning and Development Program (IPLDP), claiming it no longer prepares officers for today’s policing.

The Police Education Qualification Framework (PEQF) intends to professionalise the service by making it a requirement for a recruit to either have a degree or obtain one as they join.

But voices of concern from a number of forces about what this could do to the service's other aim to better represent communities are growing louder. 

Nottinghamshire's Superintendent Sukesh Verma, who was force lead for Operation Uplift, said: “When uplift started back at the end of 2019, I said if we abolish IPLDP, we will lose almost 90 per cent of the Black and Ethnic Minority Ethnic candidates that are successful.”

Nottinghamshire’s recruitment drive has been be a 70/30 split between IPLDP and Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA). They say they’re doing well on diversity, with around 25 per cent of new recruits from BAME backgrounds.

Supt. Verma said the degree programme would cause a level of discrimination against certain groups, including BAME and migrant communities.

He also said there was a cultural challenge as non-English communities tend to have bigger families a lot younger, meaning they are less able to take on studying while working.

Last year Supt Verma also told Police Oracle there were a “far lower” number of BAME applicants coming from universities.

“So the thing that I was very clear with the chief about is that this is a strategy which hasn’t been designed in any shape or form around diversity,” he said. “It’s been designed around alleged professionalisation of policing.”

In March Lincolnshire Police’s uplift project manager told Police Oracle that entry requirements were a "key barrier" to recruiting from migrant communities. Lincolnshire is not even a PEQF force, and was referring to the entry requirement of a level 3 qualification, equivalent to two A levels or a policing qualification. 

The college has previously declined to comment on whether it has carried out its own research on the impact of PEQF on BAME recruitment.

A college spokesperson said: “Initial statistics show that the rate of recruitment for candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds through the College of Policing’s entry routes is higher than IPLDP but we are not complacent and know that more needs to be done to improve the diversity of the police workforce.

“We have developed a widening access to higher education programme which is specific to policing. This is intended to help people from diverse backgrounds to gain the entry level qualifications to either join the police or go on to study at a higher education level, while finding out more about policing and whether it can be the right career choice for them."

They also said new training for recruits has already been adopted by 33 forces and contributed to the government’s target of recruiting 20,000 new officers and all remaining forces have plans in place to achieve transition to the new entry routes in 2022.

They pointed out the apprenticeship is only one of three entry routes into policing and that potential applicants can also undertake the pre-join Degree in Professional Policing which does not require them to work at the same time as studying, or the Degree Holder Entry Programme route.

See:interview: here

Visit - the UK's leading independent Policing news website