Gloucestershire Constabulary has welcomed the first wave of entrants via the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), in partnership with the University of South Wales (USW).
The introduction of the PCDA provides a new entry route for those who wish to join Gloucestershire Constabulary as a Police Officer but do not have a degree-level qualification.
After approximately 26 weeks of initial training, these new recruits will be taught the curriculum as set out by the College of Policing. They will then go on to complete on the job learning, leading to a degree in Professional Policing Practice at the end of the three years.
Due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the group’s start to their course has been quickly adapted to comply with social distancing measures.
The recruits will be working from Tewkesbury Council chambers, which have been kindly offered to the Constabulary for use until they can move into the Sabrina Centre – a £6.8m new police training and conference facility at the site of the former Berkeley Nuclear Power Station – later this year.
Their training will include the legal knowledge that they require, and will equip them with the ability to conduct investigations, including a knowledge of digital investigations.
They will also undertake lessons in officer safety training, first aid, leadership and team working, as well as completing attachments in the community, helping out with local projects to learn and understand how different parts of society have different requirements of the police.
Once they have completed all of their classroom based learning, they will start on a 12-week tutorship in the Tutoring and Assessment Unit from October, which will prepare them for life as patrol officers from January 2021.
USW and Gloucestershire Constabulary have worked in partnership to develop and deliver the course, which is accredited by the College of Policing.
The university fees are paid for by Gloucestershire Constabulary, and trainees will be paid Police Officers from day one.
The scheme is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 55, and welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds.
Superintendent Jane Probert, Head of Learning and Development at Gloucestershire Constabulary, said: “This is an exciting time for the constabulary. Working in partnership with USW, we will continue to produce first class officers who will ensure we keep the people of Gloucestershire safe.”
Professor Peter Vaughan, Director of Strategic Projects: Policing and Security at the University of South Wales, added: “It’s fantastic to welcome the first group of officers into Gloucestershire Constabulary, who will be completing the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship with us, especially at such a crucial time for the emergency services in the UK as we respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is one of five police forces that we are working with across England and Wales, in partnership with the College of Policing. As a former Chief Constable myself, I believe this new offer will help to further professionalise the police service and we are looking forward to working together over the next few years.”