Evaluating the new architecture of policing: the College of Policing and the National Crime Agency - Home Affairs Contents


5  Resources

50. We have previously argued that the proposed budget for the College means that it seems unlikely to be able to sustain its operations without payment for membership, or some other alternative source of funding.[64] The Government shares this view, believing that the College "should be less reliant on central government for the majority of its income in the future" and that it will need to seek new opportunities to raise income and take steps to reduce its costs.[65]

51. In its written evidence to the Committee, the College set out its funding and budgets for the financial years 2013/14 to 2015/16. Total grant-in-aid income will fall from £51.2 million in 2013/14 to £45.0 million in 2015/16, while overall spending is projected to remain relatively flat. The shortfall will be made up by other income sources.Table 1: College of Policing Budget
2013/14

£m

2014/15

£m

2015/16

£m

Staffing Costs 40.6 44.7 47.2
Travel & Subsistence 3.5 3.3 3.2
Consultancy 0.5 0.4 0.4
Estate Costs 17.9 14.9 12.1
IT Costs 1.7 3.02.4
Depreciation 2.2 2.1 2.7
Grants 3.5 0.70.7
Other Costs 4.0 5.4 4.5
Total Expenditure 73.9 74.5 73.2
Funded by:
Income/Recovery 22.7 26.9 28.2
Grant In Aid 51.2 47.5 45.0

Notes: Both 2014/15 and 2015/16 exclude Fast Track Direct Entry. Although this was originally included as a budgetary delegation from Home Office in 2014/15, the Home Office is rethinking this treatment and is likely to move to a position in which it retains the budget within the Home Office and reimburses the College for expenditure undertaken.

No firm indication has yet been received from Home Office regarding funding levels for 2015/16. The table shows an estimate of what the position might look like with a reduction of Grant in Aid of circa 5%.

The 2015/16 estimate reflects reduced IT costs following the 2014/15 IT refresh; Reduced Estate costs following Bramshill, Harrogate and Wyboston moves; and an increase in depreciation costs resulting from capital spend on Atlas, smaller IT projects and Estate work required to achieve increased leverage from a reduced Estate.

Source: College of Policing evidence

52. Our witnesses all highlighted the College's funding in their evidence.[66] Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe thought that the College of Policing would struggle with its resources, remarking that he "[didn't] envy them the task in the scale of it and the resourcing they have".[67] Professor Dame Shirley Pearce told us that the College's funding would be reduced, like every other public body, for the foreseeable future. However, she said she was "satisfied that in the near future we can manage with the resources that we have" and explained that the College was also looking to supplement their income through commercial activities.[68]

Independence

53. The arrangements for resourcing and funding of the College are a major factor in it establishing itself as an independent body. In our Leadership and standards in the police report, we concluded that the College, which is at the moment a company limited by guarantee, should be granted a Royal Charter "so that policing is put on the same footing as the other great professions".[69] The College is working to establish its credentials as an independent body, to develop its voice in public debate and reduce its dependence on grant-in-aid from the government. However, in order to seek chartered status it needs to raise more than 50% of its income from sources other than grant-in-aid. Currently, grant-in-aid amounts to approximately 70% of income. In its response to our report, the College stated that is was developing a business plan and commercial strategy that would enable it to achieve the degree of financial independence required to attain chartered status.[70]

54. Alex Marshall told the Committee that, although the College was making progress towards this objective, but, until that happened, the Home Secretary would inevitably have some involvement in the operation of the College, as an arm's-length body. However, he pointed to examples of the College's independence, such as the absence of any Home Office representation on the Board or on the Professional Committee.[71]

Additional income from international training

55. One area where the College of Policing could benefit from an additional revenue stream is through training overseas police forces. On several overseas visits during this Parliament—to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Colombia and Kenya—we have noted the involvement of the British police in training local forces, close working relationships with the Serious Organised Crime Agency, and the international recognition of British Policing as a world-class brand.[72] The Government thinks that the College should "seek to broaden business opportunities in both new and existing markets in the UK and overseas" which might include delivering training internationally; however, this should take into account the human rights records of the countries involved. This would also enhance the positive national and international reputation already enjoyed by the College.[73] The College has started to expand into this area, working, Alex Marshall told us, with "a long list of countries".[74] The College also maintains a pool of associates consisting of retired and serving Police Officers with appropriate skills and experience, who provide this training on a contractual basis.[75]

Membership fees

56. Opinion is divided on the desirability of the College charging a membership fee.[76] The Government, in its response to our earlier report, referred to the practice of professional bodies that are financed through membership fees, but emphasised that this should be a matter for the College Board to decide.[77] The College responded that there were no plans to charge compulsory membership fees, but that all forms of membership, including voluntary subscriptions, would be explored.[78] The College has since announced that, for the next three years, basic membership will be free of charge. The Police Federation was firmly opposed to compulsory membership fees and Sir Hugh Orde thought that members would need to see the value of subscribing before they were willing to pay.[79]

57. The College has told us that, when its membership service is launched in April 2015, standard membership will be free of charge. This will provide police officers with access to services that are required to fulfil their professional role within policing. A consultation is currently underway about the services that might be included as part of an optional premium membership. This might include mentoring, news feeds, careers advice, member discounts and advanced professional development beyond the core curriculum.[80]

58. Dame Shirley said that it was reasonable to charge people for services that benefit them for their personal career development, and other member services that are not central to their delivering their role. Alex Marshall added that "many people in policing are willing to pay for other services—for example, if they are going for a promotion, they might go to a private company that provides services around that—and we will make a premium package available for people who want to pay".[81]

59. We welcome the work that the College of Policing has undertaken to generate income other than from taxpayers' money. During our visits overseas, we have met former UK police officers who provide training to international forces. The brand of British policing is regarded as the best in the world, and we welcome the work the College have done internationally to promote British policing and enhance this reputation. However, their projected budget suggests that growth in income generation is going to slow. If the College wants to attain chartered status and become independent it must do more to find additional sources of income.

60. One additional source of income will be the premium membership package. We agree with the position taken by the College in distinguishing between services that should be free and those that should be charged for. It is right that where police officers require a service to fulfil their role, they should not be charged for this. However, if it is a service that will benefit their personal career development, then a charge is reasonable. We further welcome the fact that standard membership will be provided at no cost to police officers for a minimum of three years and for as long as it is possible to do so.


64   Home Affairs Committee, Third Report of Session 2013-14, Leadership and standards in the police, HC 67-I, Paras 19-21 Back

65   Government response to Leadership and standards in the police, Cm 8759, Pp 3-4 Back

66   Qq 38-39 and 96 Back

67   Home Affairs Committee, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, HC 711, Oral evidence, 11 November 2014, Qq 231-233 Back

68   Qq 175-178 Back

69   Home Affairs Committee, Third Report of Session 2013-14, Leadership and standards in the police, HC 67-I, Para 127 Back

70   Home Affairs Committee, Second Special Report of Session 2013-14, Leadership and standards in the police: College of Policing Response to the Committee's Third Report of Session 2013-14, HC 770, p 10 Back

71   Qq 133-134 Back

72   Home Affairs Committee, Third Report of Session 2013-14, Leadership and standards in the police, HC 67-I, Paras 19-21 Back

73   Government response to Leadership and standards in the police, Cm 8759, Pp 3-4 Back

74   Qq 175-178. Specifically, the College works in: all EU and EEA states through CEPOL (the European Police College); Afghanistan; Australia; Bahrain; Bermuda; Bosnia; Brunei Darussalam; China; Ecuador; Germany; Ghana; India; Indonesia; Kenya; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Libya; Malaysia; Mexico; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Oman; Qatar; Rwanda; Saudi Arabia; Serbia; Sierra Leone; Somalia; St. Kitts and Nevis; Sweden; Tanzania; Thailand; Trinidad; Uganda; United States; United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi; United Arab Emirates: Dubai. Back

75   Home Affairs Committee, Second Special Report of Session 2013-14, Leadership and standards in the police: College of Policing Response to the Committee's Third Report of Session 2013-14, HC 770, P 2 Back

76   Home Affairs Committee, Third Report of Session 2013-14, Leadership and standards in the police, HC 67-I, Para 16 Back

77   Government response to Leadership and standards in the police, Cm 8759, Pp 3-4 Back

78   Home Affairs Committee, Second Special Report of Session 2013-14, Leadership and standards in the police: College of Policing Response to the Committee's Third Report of Session 2013-14, HC 770, Pp 2-3 Back

79   Qq 53 and 110-112 Back

80   College of Policing written evidence Back

81   Qq 175-178 Back


 
previous page contents next page


© Parliamentary copyright 2015
Prepared 17 February 2015