The University of South Wales (USW) has signed contracts to provide specialist education to new police officers across four forces in England and one in Wales.
Devon and Cornwall Police, Dorset Police, Gloucestershire Constabulary, Wiltshire Police and Dyfed-Powys Police will have the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) and postgraduate Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) delivered by specialists in USW’s Policing and Security department, in collaboration with trainers from the five forces.
The agreements will see a total of 2,214 officers from across the four South West forces commence their study with USW, which, along with our existing partnership with Dyfed-Powys Police, geographically represents around 20% of the UK.
These police apprentices and graduate student officers will join their force incrementally throughout the year, with approximately 400 starting the programmes each year.
Earlier this year, USW became the first university in the UK to have its training for graduate police constables validated, through a collaboration with Dyfed-Powys Police. This partnership also validated its undergraduate degree course for operational police constables, establishing USW as one of the first universities in the UK to gain the same recognition.
Following a lengthy and rigorous approvals process, both the Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice and the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing Practice were granted accreditation by the College of Policing.
The approvals are the result of moves to ‘professionalise’ those who enter the force as police constables, through the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF).
This will include three different routes into the profession: A degree-level apprenticeship, which officers will complete during their probation; a graduate programme for officers who already have a degree, also to be completed during their probation; and a pre-join undergraduate degree in professional policing, which will be a traditional university course completed prior to applying to join the police service.
USW has a long history of delivering police education, having taught a Police Sciences degree for the past 15 years. This has now evolved into the College of Policing’s recognised pre-join degree.
“I am proud to say that USW is currently the only university in the UK to have partnered with multiple forces to deliver these landmarks qualifications, across both England and Wales,”
explained Professor Peter Vaughan, Director of Strategic Projects: Policing and Security at USW.
“This provision establishes USW as one of the largest and leading apprenticeship providers in the country, placing the University within the top quartile of Higher Education Institutions.
“Moving forward as market leaders, we look forward to working closely with the College of Policing and our partner forces to further the professionalise the police service, realising the ambition of the PEQF.”