David Pearson is managing director of Premier Partnership, one of the UK’s leading and fastest growing providers of apprenticeships to the public sector.

The innovative introduction of the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship route into policing represents a radical and exciting opportunity to revisit the professional learning provided to aspiring police officers.

The principal is to enable entrants to receive a combination of practical on-the-job learning alongside academic theory, which poses a big opportunity to introduce creative, challenging and behaviour-changing learning into future police training.

Our approach to ensure the police profession receives an outstanding apprenticeship development journey has been to partner with those universities which have so far lead the police profession through academic study (University of Cumbria, University of Portsmouth, Middlesex University, and Canterbury Christ Church University), adding our own practical experience of building uniquely engaging learning journeys for public sector organisations, including previous work with police organisations.

The result is the newly-formed Police Degree Apprenticeship Consortium (PDAC) which offers a validated programme that will take apprentices on an exciting developmental journey to the award of a degree in professional policing practice. Our model provides a gateway to a rich programme of academic opportunities and practical skill development, built to the unique requirements of each police service.

An expertly developed ‘one stop shop’ service provides all administration, induction, learner MI, line manager engagement and evaluation. All apprentices are provided with a tablet facilitating access to a learner portal and a comprehensive virtual learning environment, and a complete package of blended learning materials to support attainment of the agreed standards, at Bachelor and Masters’ levels, utilising digital learning wherever possible, to manage learner abstraction levels.

Through this initiative, we are supporting police forces by introducing a simple to use a credible, experienced provider of managed service for the delivery of innovative, engaging, and exciting Police Constable Degree Apprenticeships. We believe that this service will give forces the tools they need to not only give their staff the most up-to-date and comprehensive training and skills required for 21st Century policing, but also deliver a better, more cost/time efficient service to the public. The combination of academic study and practical training we offer provides both the quality and quantity forces need to operate to the highest possible standards even when resources are tight.