As one of the UK’s leading training providers to the UK’s ‘blue light’ sector Premier Partnership has been given access to a new report about the future of police learning and development. It is the result of a Home Office sponsored two-year ‘Implementing Transformation of Police Learning and Development Project’; a joint venture between the Open University’s Centre for Police Research and Learning (CPRL) and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) working with police services and agencies across the UK to develop evidence-based outcomes to support the professionalisation agenda and the development of L&D functions within policing.

The aim of the project was to create a framework for achieving the National Police Chief’s Council and the Police and Crime Commissioners joint Vision for 2025 which includes a commitment to create a more representative workforce with the skills, powers and experience to meet new challenging requirements.

A major paradigm shift in policing L&D has been the new degree level entry routes that have been mandated by the College of Policing, requiring all prospective police officers to hold an undergraduate degree to join any of the 43 police services in England and Wales, as well as a number of other police services and agencies. While this in itself is a significant step on the road to having the existing professionalism of policing properly recognised, there is a long way to go from an L&D perspective to prepare the workforce for the challenges it will face by 2025.

The project and report acknowledge that: “Since learning and development (L&D) functions have contact with the entire workforce from their induction into policing organisations and throughout their careers; they are uniquely placed to mould and instil the attitudes, skills and capabilities required to deliver these workforces, and will therefore need to be at the forefront of delivering these changes.”

The CPRL project team worked with L&D experts from policing to consider how to tackle the still largely unknown challenges of the future and created a ‘destination map’ using ‘attributive description’ to navigate an unpredictable future.

Through a process of consultation and refining, nine core attributes of the place that Learning and Development needed to reach to operate effectively within any the future landscape were determined:

  1. Empowering and enabling all people across the organisation to access appropriate developmental and learning resources
  2. Adding value to publics, organisations and individuals *
  3. Learning approaches encompass learning pathways – accredited and informal
  4. Maximising the benefit of technology
  5. Creating an adaptive workforce
  6. Values, Ethics, and Mission driven *
  7. Based on the best available evidence of practice and theory *
  8. Delivering a valued and effective contribution to organisational strategy, performance and value *
  9. L&D functions support policing to be learning organisations

The most fundamental attributes (those with an Asterix) were used as components to develop the Destination Map; a visual description of the destination in terms of its attributes and their relationships to each other. The Destination Map is designed to allow executive teams and PCCs to consider a model of delivery that embeds L&D at the heart of organisational delivery; leaders in L&D to consider how to develop and deliver L&D activity, and for individual learners within organisations to consider their contribution to the wider creation of external and internal value, as well as their obligations to take responsibility for their own learning.  By providing a common framework it seeks to create a commonality of language, approach and thinking that is intended to facilitate communication, planning and delivery across and between these strategic and operational spaces.

Further information on the Destination Map, including a video presentation providing a fuller explanation as well as the more detailed documents describing the whole model, can be found on the Centre for Police Research and Learning’s website.


To find out more about Premier Partnership’s experience and expertise in supporting ‘blue light’ organisations with L&D strategies for the future, get in touch.