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Police apprenticeships delivered collaboratively by Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire University have been rated as ‘good’ following an Ofsted inspection in January 2022.
In a review looking at the University’s broad apprenticeship offering, the inspection also included a specific review of the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), which is offered as part of the conditional entry route into policing for police officers not only in Staffordshire, but in Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands Police too.
The inspection incorporated views of student officers across the four regional forces and assessed how the curriculum and trainers were able to meet the needs of forces, supporting and preparing student officers for the challenges they may face in their early policing careers. As a result, it found that apprentices are able to link theory to practice well, in turn supporting their practical on-the-job learning that forms part of their three-year apprenticeship.
Chief Constable Chris Noble said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Staffordshire University and I commend the university as well as colleagues in Staffordshire Police and across the regional forces for the partnership that has been established and the work done every day to ready student officers for a career in policing.”
Director of Staffordshire University’s Institute of Policing, Dr Nick Howe, said: “Receiving a good rating whilst being in the early stages of a police education change programme is extremely encouraging and testament to everyone delivering and completing the apprenticeship.
“We work closely with our partner forces and actively gather feedback from our student officers to ensure that programme developments answer the needs of 21st century policing and give early career police officers the best possible start.”
Nationally, PCDA programmes began to be developed in 2018, following on from the introduction of The College of Policing’s Police Qualifications Education Framework. The framework sought to recognise policing as a degree-level profession, with all new recruits being required to have, or be working towards, completing a relevant qualification.
Since July 2019, Staffordshire Police have recruited 263 apprentices through the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) scheme. Students spend time at Staffordshire University learning about the laws and legislations of policing before putting them into action in front-line policing here in the county.