New police recruits can now earn while they learn and gain a degree at the same time thanks to a major new partnership which will enhance policing across North Yorkshire.
North Yorkshire Police and The Open University have (today) announced a new collaboration delivering specialist education for police officers from July 2020. This follows the College of Policing’s introduction of a new Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) framework for all 43 police forces in England and Wales to enable the police service to become a graduate profession.
The three new study pathways are:
- Apprenticeship: A three-year Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) leading to a nationally recognised BSc (Hons) in Professional Policing Practice. New recruits will be employed by North Yorkshire Police and spend 80% of their time serving and protecting the community while ‘learning on the job’ and 20% of their work time studying towards their qualification through The Open University’s world-leading flexible distance learning programme.
- Degree-holder entry programme (DHEP): A two-year accelerated route for those entering with a degree in any subject, enabling recruits employed by North Yorkshire Police to train as a police constable and gain a Graduate Diploma in Policing through The Open University at the same time.
- Pre-join degree: For those who want to get a degree before they join new recruits can then apply to the force as their degree is coming to an end and then complete a considerably reduced initial training route with their new police employer in recognition of their policing degree.
The first cohort under the new scheme will be recruited during the next recruitment campaign which opens in October 2019 to start training in July 2020. The university expects to see over 100 students starting the training programmes each year.
The Open University was awarded the contract due to their expertise in ensuring that people from diverse backgrounds are supported and able to complete degree level studies. The Open University is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Through its flexible, distance learning model, it has a long pedigree of support for students who want to ‘earn while they learn’ and a strong reputation in policing. Its Centre for Policing Research and Learning currently works collaboratively with 21 police forces in England and Wales on research, learning, and knowledge into practice.
The PEQF (Policing Education Qualifications Framework) is a new, professional framework for the training of police officers and staff. Over time, this framework will cover the range of professional training for police officers through the ranks from Police Constable through to Chief Officers, and also encompass police staff, Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) and Special Constables.
Serving officers are not required to obtain a degree but will be able to use their experience and additional training gained throughout their service to receive formal recognition for the level of expertise they’ve reached if they wish. They can also gain recognition for their prior professional learning in order to gain entry onto a degree at the Open University.
“We are proud to be working with the largest university in the UK and world leader in flexible distance learning to deliver our new training programmes for our new officers and hope it may attract individuals who may not have previously considered a career in policing.
“This ambitious new collaboration signifies an exciting change in the way police officers are trained and developed throughout their careers, providing them with the skillset needed to navigate the challenging and ever-evolving world of policing, while gaining a degree and learning and earning on the job at the same time.
“We are looking forward to building a lasting partnership with the Open University that will build on our positive recruitment over the past few years and continue to provide the public of North Yorkshire with the highest calibre of police officers for years to come. I look forward to welcoming our first cohort in July next year as they start their journey with us.”
Dr Matthew Jones, the Director of Policing Organisation and Practice at The Open University, said, “We’re delighted to be working with North Yorkshire Police on these two new routes to becoming a police officer. The OU is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019 and with over 50 years’ experience, we’re world leaders in online and distance learning. We have extensive experience of delivering programmes of learning to large public sector organisations like the NHS and Civil Service which will shape how we design and deliver the PCDA and DHEP programmes.
“The University’s unique method of remote and face-to-face learning will enable the next generation of police officers in North Yorkshire to study – anywhere and anytime – while continuing to meet their policing commitments. Student officers can immediately apply knowledge gained through their study to their day-to-day police work.
“Our mission over the last 50 years is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas, and promoting social diversity is at the very heart of what we do as a university. We look forward to working collaboratively with North Yorkshire Police to ensure that they continue to represent the communities that they serve.”
Recruitment opens in North Yorkshire at the end of October. To register your interest, please submit your details at northyorkshire.police.uk/JoinUs or for more information visit northyorkshire.police.uk/policeofficer