Currently, policing in England and Wales is undergoing a transformation. With the Policing Vision for 2025 being for the police service to be a more professional industry (National Police Chiefs Council, 2016), changes to the way new police recruits are trained and educated has been brought about by the College of Policing’s (2017), Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF). By 2020 all new police recruits will either have, or be working towards, a degree level qualification.
To evaluate the impact of this framework on those progressing on these new routes, this research intends to capture the experiences of police recruits embarking on the new Police Apprenticeship in the West Midlands region and compare these to the final cohorts of police recruits undertaking the initial police training. The research intends to compare experience between the two educational and training routes, but also make comparisons between the experience of recruits in different police services within the region. The research will utilise a mixed methods approach incorporating both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis throughout the project.
This research has the potential to impact policing, not only in the West Midlands region, but across England and Wales by sharing experience and learning to develop future implementation of the Policing Apprenticeships.
Learning will be directly fed back into the Police forces involved as well as communicated to national groups, including the HE Policing Forum and College of Policing. Findings will be disseminated through publications in journals, conference presentations and police force intranets. This project has high potential for creating impact within the policing field given the new and currently unevaluated methods being employed for police training and education. As this project will span across the four police forces the university partners with, there will be opportunities for learning a development to be fed back in, to directly impact and improve the implementation and delivery of the new educational framework employed.