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 next month, to start training in July 2020.
The university expects to see more than100 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.
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.
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.
Chief Constable Lisa Winward of North Yorkshire Police said: “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.
Dr Matthew Jones, the Director of Policing Organisation and Practice at The Open University, added: “We’re delighted to be working with North Yorkshire Police on these two new routes to becoming a police officer.
“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.