Specialist symposium aims to highlight changes to police service

Specialist symposium aims to highlight changes to police service

The police service is changing with all new constables required to have a degree by 2020. But will the need to have this level of qualification affect the kind of basic bobbying that has been the cornerstone of policing since its inception?

With major changes to the profession on the horizon, the University of Cumbria has assembled a range of experts to consider what effects the professionalisation of policing will have on police staff and the population they serve.

As part of the university's tenth anniversary celebrations, the Police Symposium to be held on June 8 2017 at the University of Cumbria’s Ambleside campus will bring together a wide spectrum of expertise in policing.

“The aim of the event is to contribute to the debate about the professionalisation of the police service through the Police Education Qualifications Framework,” Julian Parker-McLeod, principal lecturer in criminology policing and social science, said. “We’re delighted to have attracted such a strong line up to come to Cumbria at a time of major changes in policing. We’re hoping the discussions will help spark more debate and highlight the important role the University of Cumbria is playing in training today in preparation for the skills needed tomorrow.”

Significant developments in how police are promoted, qualified and enter the service will undoubtedly change the future of policing. For the first time, police officers across England and Wales can get the recognition seen in other professions by obtaining qualifications which acknowledge the skills and professionalism required to perform their job.

By 2020, the Police Service will have implemented a standardised national framework that sets minimum qualification levels by rank or level of practice. An Education Qualifications Framework is therefore an important building block to support the police service becoming a profession.

The particular focus of the symposium is on the challenges involved in making the transition from public service occupation to public service profession, and some of the obstacles involved in that change.  These challenges include resistance within the service, to managing aims and expectations of serving officers, whilst noting the experiences of health care professions transitioning in the 1980s, and what the police service might learn from those experiences.

The symposium will be opened by the University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell and Chief Constable in Cumbria Jerry Graham. 

Key note speakers include former public health director Professor Dr John Ashton, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham QPM, Professor of Criminology Nottingham Trent University Professor Simon Holdaway and Chief Constable Alex Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of the College of Policing.