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News article

Raising educational standards in policing

Published: 01 March 2021

  •   Featured
Two uniformed police officers walking on a busy high street

The degree apprenticeship will help to develop the police officers of the future.

Humberside Police are preparing to welcome their first-ever cohort of new recruits who will be studying towards a degree at York St John University whilst starting their career as Police Officers. From day one the recruits will be sworn in police officers who will deliver a vital public service to the communities of Humberside, meaning they earn while they learn. The first cohort of police constable degree apprentices will begin both their policing career and academic studies at the end of this month. 

The new officers will combine their practical police officer training course with studying for their Bachelor of Science honours degree in Professional Police Practice, graduating in three years’ time. The degree apprenticeship is a considered approach to equipping police officers of the future.  It will bring together expertise from across the University, from criminology and police studies to psychology and education alongside the forces’ operational policing training team. We will be delivering through a range of modern learning techniques and digital innovative in teaching such as the use of virtual reality in training. 

A nationally approved Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) standard was introduced by the College of Policing to support the development of policing as a profession, recognising and raising educational standards. This new entry route is part of a wider police education and qualification framework which has been approved nationally to raise education levels for all policing roles to reflect the skills and capabilities required for future policing challenges.  

350 apprentices will join over three years of entries, with the final cohort completing in December 2026. This forms part of Humberside Police’s recruitment drive to deliver the Government aspiration to recruit 20 thousand new police officers by 2023. 

Head of People Services, Sarah Wilson, from Humberside Police said “We are working in partnership with York St John University to develop the police officers of the future. In the modern age, police officers undertake a complex role and operate at a degree level every day, so we are recognising the work they do with the appropriate level of qualification.” 

Dr Bob Gammie, Dean of York Business School at York St John University said: “The qualifications directly relate to the role of a police officer and apprentices will learn law, policy and procedure as well as a range of inter-personal, educational and importantly, operational skills that support our communities. Teaching is not delivered in a lecture style but is integrated into police training and includes workshops, group work, general teaching and inter-activity. All learning material will be available 24/7 online.” 

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