National Apprenticeship Week 2021: University partnership helping police train new recruits

National Apprenticeship Week 2021: University partnership helping police train new recruits

A national effort to recruit 20,000 additional police officers by 2023 is being supported by the University of Cumbria and a special public sector partnership. 

University of Cumbria and three other institutions with top tier police education expertise formed the Police Education Consortium to deliver policing apprenticeships and DHEPs to new recruits joining three forces across south east England – Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire. 

From day one and based in their force area, recruits receive on-the-job training from their constabulary and become full students of their partner university. This is done in waves across the forces and Police Education Consortium universities. 

National entry requirements for the role of police officer changed in January 2020. All new officers now need a degree-level qualification. Those seeking a career in the police can either: 

  • successfully apply to join a force and do a police constable degree apprenticeship or, for existing graduates in non-related subjects, complete a Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP). 
  • attend university and complete a ‘pre-join’ degree in Professional Policing before applying to join a force. 

University of Cumbria’s own police apprenticeship team led by senior lecturer and retired police officer Stephen Wright welcomed its first cohort of PCDA and DHEP students in March 2020Since then, its numbers have increased as planned with University of Cumbria currently supporting 200 PCDA and DHEP students across seven different cohorts at Surrey and Sussex. 

This week, during National Apprenticeship Week 2021, University of Cumbria is preparing to welcome its first students who are joining the ranks of Hampshire Policeincreasing student numbers to 268. 

Stephen said: “This semester marks significant milestones for our University of Cumbria policing apprenticeship programmes.  We’re welcoming our first students from Hampshire Police this month and in a few weeks time we start the second year of our delivery to Surrey. 

“During this period, our lecturers who have been working directly with students and professional services colleagues supporting behind the scenes have adapted to the many challenges that have arisen from the coronavirus situation and they continue to work hard to provide the best level of service to our partners and students.” 

By November 2021, University of Cumbria and its consortium partners at Canterbury Christ Church, Middlesex and Portsmouth will educate more than 1,330 new police recruits. 

Providing modern, flexible routes to higher level learning, University of Cumbria’s policing apprenticeship provision is delivered alongside its established portfolio of policing, criminology and security related undergraduate degree programmes and postgraduate professional development courses 

Policing is part of the Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership at University of Cumbria, which has campuses in Cumbria, Lancaster and London. 

Policing is among the professional fields in which University of Cumbria is delivering apprenticeships along with project management and senior leadership, the visitor economy, adult nursing and other health related fields. 

Supporting future public services, the university also offers programmes in areas such as teaching and education as well nursing and allied health professions.  

Employers and individuals interested in degree apprenticeships, visit https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/business/apprenticeships/.