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Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship

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Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship

The Open University (OU) is a supplier through the Police Educational Qualification Framework (PEQF).

Its continued success in degree apprenticeship delivery for policing is led by the OU Policing Organisation Practice (POP) Team. The POP team provides a mixture of interdisciplinary academic and professional police experience and expertise.  The POP team works closely with the OU Centre for Policing Research and Learning and collaborates with a wide range of police partners nationally and internationally.

The two routes of the framework that the OU deliver are:

Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)
The PCDA mixes on-the-job training with off-the-job learning and will provide the skills and knowledge needed for a policing career that will also lead to a nationally recognised degree qualification. The PCDA offers a greater breadth, depth and complexity of learning than current training and also provides officers with an income while they learn.

Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)
The programme is aimed at degree-holders, attained in any subject area. This two-year practice-based programme enables candidates to perform the role of Police Constable. Successful completion results in achievement of a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice. Although not an apprenticeship itself, the Degree Holder Entry Programme is delivered using the same methodology as the PCDA.

Both programmes equips learners with the knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary to become a competent Police Constable.

Who is it for?

These programmes are suitable for people who are looking to become police constables and deliver an enhanced service to the public, maintaining the peace and upholding the law across complex and diverse communities.

Entry requirements will be set by the individual police force.

What topics does the apprenticeship cover?

Throughout the programme, apprentices will be exposed to and engage with emerging interdisciplinary research and knowledge exchange initiatives that are being produced by the OU’s CPRL.

Police learners will study a range of topics including:

  • Key stakeholders in Policing
  • Police ethics and accountability
  • Criminology: Key theories and perspectives
  • Crime prevention
  • Digital crime
  • Vulnerability and risk
  • Public protection
  • Evidence-based policing
  • Policing and the wider criminal justice system

Why choose The Open University’s Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship?

CPRL has been developed by and is based in the OU. It works closely and collaboratively with a wide range of police agency partners nationally. The Centre produces innovative, engaging and impactful education, research and knowledge exchange which not only creates new evidence for policing practice but is also concerned with how new knowledge is embedded in forces and used to improve policing.

  • Tutor-supported online learning is delivered flexibly around the demands of your organisation, enabling apprentices to balance study with personal commitments and minimising time away from the workplace
  • Learning is accessible 24/7 and can provide consistently high-quality education for multiple staff, regardless of their location
  • Our experience in supporting learners, whatever their prior attainment, means you can develop applicants from all backgrounds, with us helping them to develop study skills as they engage with the programme
  • Police learners can apply what they learn immediately into practice
  • We have 50 years’ experience of providing knowledge and skills to busy working adults and have a proven history of delivering apprenticeship programmes to organisations from the NHS to MoD.

Programme structure

Both the PCDA and DHEP is delivered through blended learning. This means police learners will gain the necessary skills, knowledge and behaviours required for the role of Police Constable via a mix of innovative, engaging digital and traditional methods. They will be able to access programme content, assessments and feedback through online portals, as well being able to connect with fellow learners and contact tutors and support when they need to do so. Learners have immediate access to resources and support at their fingertips without causing disruption to their working day or role. 

Our well-developed blended learning approach enables us to deliver learning that is responsive to both organisational and staff needs, therefore maximising their return on investment.

Online delivery is both varied and interactive, using rich media formats that engage and enthuse apprentices on their journey. Learning can be accessed 24/7 on computers, tablets and mobile devices. Online forums and tutorials as well as email and telephone communication are used to support apprentices throughout the programme.

An apprenticeship requires at least 20% of an employee’s time to be allocated for off-the-job learning, but the OU’s tutor-supported online learning gives you the flexibility to pick the most suitable times proactively and reactively around organisational needs – enhancing productivity and reducing abstraction of officers.

What support will you receive?

The apprenticeship may be delivered in partnership with a police force. In addition to the support provided by the force, The OU programme will be supported closely by academic and practitioner colleagues with policing expertise who will link with employers to provide on-going management of the programme delivery. Apprentices are also supported by OU Tutors, who help support both their academic and work-based learning. These locally-based tutors support and meet the apprentices regularly and also support the work of in-force tutors.

On top of account management support, your organisation will also be allocated with the following resources:

  • Practice Tutor - Helps to integrate learning into the workplace across the entire programme and supports the delivery of the practice-based learning modules. Apprentices and their mentors will be visited by a Practice Tutor at least three times per practice learning module.
  • Academic Tutor - Facilitates learning within the knowledge modules at each stage of the qualification through personalised tuition, delivery of online tutorials, marking of assignments and detailed feedback.
  • Apprenticeship Programme Delivery Manager (APDM) - Supports employers to deliver their apprenticeship programmes and manages the apprentice journey from start to completion. The APDM also provides employers with regular, apprentice progress data.

Follow Open University Police Education on Twitter at @OUPolicing.