FOURTH REPORT (HC 81): POLICE TRAINING
Published 7 July 1999. Government response
(published as HC 77, 1999-2000) Received 18 November 1999
The Home Affairs Committee Report on Police
Training in England and Wales provided a significant contribution
to the debate on new arrangements for police training.
2-18, 20, 21, 28-31
In May 2000, following close consultation with
stakeholders, the Government published Police Training: The
Way Forward. This outlined a number of proposals to improve
the arrangements for police training in England and Wales.
The proposals cover a range of measures, some
of which require legislation. These are as follows:
(i) an employer-led police National Training
Organisation to promote skills within the police sector and to
take a leading role in the development of core competencies and
common minimum standards;
(ii) more effective use of information and
communications technology and distance learning;
(iii) the development of joint training with
other organisations and involving community members with relevant
(iv) a re-organised Police Training Council,
responsible for providing high level advice to the Home Secretary;
(v) the creation of a dedicated training
Inspectorate, headed by a lay inspector within HM Inspectorate
of Constabulary, to support and monitor quality assurance. This
has now been established, headed by a full HMI.
(vi) greater regional collaboration between
forces to maximise resources and best practice (to be driven by
the establishment of a national review team working to an agreed
(vii) a mandatory core curriculum;
(viii) a mandatory qualifications framework;
(ix) a new central police college, building
on from National Police Training, which will function as a centre
(x) implementation of annual plans, prepared
by chief officers and published by their police authorities, to
ensure the continuous development of all staff;
(xi) the use of existing powers of the Home
Secretary, strengthened where necessary, to ensure that the new
arrangements will deliver improvements.
The Government intends to introduce the measures
requiring legislation at the earliest legislative opportunity.
Work on implementing the reform programme is overseen by a steering
group drawn from members of the Police Training Council.
National Police Training has long standing partnerships
with the University of Portsmouth and other academic institutions.
In particular NPT has worked with Portsmouth to devise the Certificate
in Policing and Police Studies which provides the foundations
of Professor Savage and Dr Wright's proposals. NPT is also currently
in negotiation with Portsmouth, the ACPO East Midlands Region
and the MPS to establish a pilot programme for a Foundation Degree
based on the existing accreditation arrangements.
The provision of custody officer training has
certainly improved greatly and become much more widespread over
recent years. However, there is still scope for improvement. One
significant difficulty continues to be the fairly frequent requirement
for officers to take on custody officer duties at short notice
due to operational demands. This area of activity will be considered
for the introduction of mandatory qualifications, once the power
to prescribe such qualifications has been established.
The National Police Training (NPT) "Personal
Safety Programme" manual is currently being re-written. A
final draft of the new publication is expected by the end of this
year. This will set out guidance and tactics on a number of "use
of force" issues; including the use of batons and CS spray.
It is intended that each subject area will include specific criteria
that can be used to measure competence. This will enable common
minimum standards to be recognised. The manual will include a
suggested minimum training package for all officers. This will
include "generic" guidance to cover those cases where
forces differ in the equipment they use. The ACPO Standing Sub-committee
on Self-defence, Arrest and Restraint have recently issued guidance
to Chief Officers in relation to the importance of providing appropriate
self defence training.
The Government entirely agrees with the Committee
that the police recruitment procedure can seem disorganised and
disjointed and that potential recruits might seem confused by
it. Since the response to the Committee's report a review has
been undertaken of the work that needs to be done to ensure that
there are national recruitment standards for police officers.
Work needs to be done on all aspects of the recruitment process
and a strategic approach to developing national recruitment standards
is being developed.
The national competences framework being developed
will be used as a basis for job related tests to establish whether
applicants for police officer posts have the skills and qualities
required for the job. A paper on the proposed strategy will be
put to the Police Advisory Board for their December meeting. It
is a wide ranging strategy embracing the organisation of police
recruitment, the link with training and monitoring arrangements
as well as the standards themselves.
In parallel with the assessment of the position
on national recruitment standards, an in-depth assessment is being
conducted of the implications of extending the Disability Discrimination
Act to police officers. Ministers have agreed in principle to
the Act being extended but a fuller assessment of the implications
of this is needed to establish just what they are for the service
and what the timetable for implementation should be. The assessment
DDA will inform the work that is needed on national recruitment
standards and a review will be conducted of the guidance on medical
standards to ensure that they comply with DDA requirements.
Community and race relations (CRR) Training:
The Home Office contract with a specialist consultant provides
for a programme of force based training which is delivered by
police trainers in conjunction with associate trainers drawn from
minority ethnic communities. Members of minority ethnic communities
are also involved in the development and implementation of training.
The specialist consultants are also working with NPT to ensure
that CRR is woven throughout the national training curriculum.
Nationally agreed CRR occupational standards have been developed
and are currently being piloted.
The newly established Inspectorate of Training
will play a significant role in supporting forces in developing
this area of work.
37 AND 45-49
The Home Secretary's minority ethnic targets
for police forces encompass progression. The targets for progression
provide that, within specified bands of rank and years of service,
the percentage of minority ethnic officers should be equal to
the percentage of white officers with the same length of service,
and that this parity should be maintained. The action plan which
accompanies the minority employment targets in the Home Office
provides that police authorities should seek progress reports
from forces in relation to recruitment, retention and progression,
and in addition forces will be making annual statistical returns
to the Home Office. Early in the new year, HM Inspectorate of
Constabulary will be publishing a report of their race equality
inspection of all police forces in England & Wales. The inspection
will benchmark forces against the recommendations of previous
race and community relations inspections, and also take into account
the Home Secretary's targets for recruitment, retention and progression.
Under the Home Secretary's action plan, the Inspectorate will
publish a document of good practice in relation to management/mentoring
Work will begin shortly on the design of a new,
expanded, accelerated promotion scheme, which will take full account
of the need to attract graduates into the police service. This
follows the recommendations of the tripartite Leadership Working
Group for a new scheme designed to maximise the talent pool in
the police service, and to remove unnecessary barriers to advancement.
Those recommendations build on the review of the current Accelerated
Promotion Scheme for Graduates (APSG).
The percentage of applicants in 1999 who were
selected for a place on the Strategic Command Course was the same
(33 per cent) for white and minority ethnic applicants. For the
current APSG 18 candidates were recommended for acceptance in
2000, of whom 1 is of minority ethnic origin. An equality audit
of the Extended Interview (EI) process is currently being completed.
However, at present most minority ethnic applicants for the APSG
are rejected at the force-based paper sift or interview stage,
before candidates are put forward to EI. The new accelerated promotion
scheme to be developed will include procedures to ensure that
minority ethnic applicants are not disadvantaged at any stage
in the process.