The ‘Implementing the Transformation of Police Training, Learning and Development’ Project released their Baseline Survey Report this week. The project is led by the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), working in collaboration with The Open University’s Centre for Policing Research and Learning.
32 police forces in England and Wales contributed to the report, which aims to understand to what extent and in what ways English and Welsh police forces are prepared for the changes to training, learning and development (TLD) required to implement Policing Vision 2025, and how they can best be supported to realise this ambition.
The survey aims to establish a baseline of working practices, and attitudes about training, learning and development from both managers and portfolio leads at police forces across England and Wales. This baseline information can then be used to assess changes in practices and attitudes over time.
- Only 20% of training, learning and development managers and portfolio leads felt that their force is prepared for upcoming changes set out in Policing Vision 2025.
- Nearly half of forces report that their learning and development staff think that the pace of change is too fast.
- Only one in seven feel that their qualifications currently meet the standards required for the future. Only 6% of TLD staff hold a degree level qualification relevant to their area of work, with 4% working towards such a qualification.
However, there are also many qualities which police forces reported which will help them tackle the ambitions of Policing Vision 2025. For example:
- Nearly three quarters of forces reported that their staff would be willing to upskill to meet new standards for Policing Vision 2025.
- Support from senior leadership, both at the executive level and within the training, learning and development departments, was felt to be helpful in preparing for Policing Vision 2025 by the vast majority of respondents, with 93% reporting that leadership from within TLD will help.
- Nearly 60% think that organisational change in the force will help.
- There is a strong opportunity and role for the College of Policing (CoP), with three quarters reporting that they believe that CoP standards will help their force with the readiness of TLD for Policing Vision 2025.
- Nearly all respondents, 96%, felt that learning from other police forces in the UK would help preparedness for Policing Vision 2025.
These findings suggest that there is still much work for police forces to do before being ready for Policing Vision 2025, but there is a strong basis on which to build, fostering greater capacity and capability in TLD as part of wider changes.
Forces’ Next Steps
The survey also intends to drive action, so is supplemented by eight provocations, or questions to police forces and national policing bodies about how to best make use of the information, leading to further conversations within and between forces about their readiness for delivering the workforce ambitions of Vision 2025, and internal arrangements for implementing the change needed.
Jean Hartley, Academic Director of the Centre for Policing Research and Learning at the Open University, said:
“The baseline research shows that policing has a large mountain to climb to support the training, learning and development needs fundamental for Policing Vision 2025 and not many forces feel prepared.”
“It will be valuable for all to think carefully about action to support the ongoing journey of transformational change so that uncertainty can be channelled into motivation and capability, and so that police forces can build on areas of strength.”
The Programme’s Next Steps
Forces are invited to consider the outcomes of this baseline survey report alongside other documents and policies about organization development and workforce change, and give thought to putting in place governance to support workforce transformation within force.
Later in the year, after further action research with forces (supported by co-researchers from other forces) the research team at the OU and MOPAC will be producing ideas, models, frameworks and tools to help support the changes.
The Programme Team, including colleagues from both the Open University’s Centre for Policing Research and Learning, and London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, are available for discussion, workshops and other events to take this baseline survey forward into action.
An endline survey (a mirror image of this baseline survey) will be undertaken towards the end of the project – summer 2019, mainly to explore change over time.
This Baseline Survey was undertaken as part of a two-year project: Implementing the Transformation of Police Training, Learning and Development, funded by the Home Office Police Transformation Fund (Grant PR071-2017). The project is led by the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), working in collaboration with The Open University’s Centre for Policing Research and Learning. The survey was designed by the research team at the Open University, and field work and analysis was carried out by IFF Research. The project’s Working Group provided ideas for design and for the provocations.
The survey aimed to get responses from all 43 English and Welsh territorial police forces, with responses from both the Head of learning and development, and the executive police officer with training, learning and development in their portfolio. Responses were received from 45 participants from 32 police forces, which is a good response for the baseline.
Read the full Baseline Survey Report.