Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship programme enrols its 1000th student

Police officers

The biggest change to police training in decades has reached a major milestone by enrolling its 1000th recruit.

  • 02 December 2021
  • 2 min read

The biggest change to police training in decades has reached a major milestone by enrolling its 1000th recruit.   At its launch two years ago, the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) programme marked a radical change in police training, with new recruits enrolled on a three-year degree course led by the Police Education Consortium. 

 

The Consortium is formed by the partnership of four universities - Portsmouth, Middlesex, Canterbury Christ Church and Cumbria - with top tier police education expertise. The consortium has a contract to deliver the PCDA with three forces – Surrey and Sussex Police Forces and Hampshire Constabulary. The universities will alternate as the providers for each new cohort. 

 

At the end of 2019, just 24 police recruits joined Sussex Police and began the first degree apprenticeship as part of a new 21st century police education programme at the University of Portsmouth.  In November 2021, this figure has now reached over 1,000 and is on course to reach 2,000 by the same time next year. 


We’re delighted to have reached this impressive milestone, which looks set to double by the end of 2022.

Dr Julian Parker-McLeod,, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Portsmouth.

Dr Julian Parker-McLeod, from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Portsmouth, said: “We’re delighted to have reached this impressive milestone, which looks set to double by the end of 2022.  The PCDA is the biggest development in police training for decades and will help equip Police Officers with the skills and training needed for today’s world.  The nature of crime has changed and this course provides the knowledge and skills needed to solve it.”

 

As well as attracting a high number of recruits, the programme has also seen excellent National Investigators Exam (NIE) exam results. 

The Consortium recently put forward student police officers from Hampshire Constabulary and Sussex Police to sit the NIE exam. The Hampshire Constabulary cohort had a 78 per cent success rate, significantly exceeding previous Hampshire pass rates of 50 per cent. Among this cohort, were three officers who received exceptional scores of over 87 per cent. The Sussex police officers on the Detective Degree Holder Entry programme achieved a success rate of 65 per cent, again an exceptional result.


The nature of crime has changed and this course provides the knowledge and skills needed to solve it.

Dr Julian Parker-McLeod,, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Portsmouth

Steve Woliter, Programme Lead on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship programme at the University of Portsmouth, said: “The NIE is an exam set by the College of Policing which tests knowledge, understanding and application of relevant law and procedure to perform effectively as a trainee investigator. In the Consortium, the NIE exam is sat by all student police officers on the detective constable pathway during their Detective Degree Holder Entry programme.

"The NIE is an incredibly tough exam, our students take this around week 36 in addition to undertaking a full academic programme of study and, balancing operational demands at the same time, so these results are fantastic.  These students have worked so hard and have achieved great results, they thoroughly deserve their success."

Professor Darryll Bravenboer, Director of Apprenticeships and Middlesex University, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates the close and highly effective partnership between the Consortium and our police force employers.  

“Our innovative police education programmes sought to ensure that officers of the future develop the professional skills and knowledge required for modern day policing. I believe the high number of student officers entering and successfully progressing, even in the challenging context of the pandemic, is testament to the success of this partnership.”