Academic team: Dr Emma Williams, Benjamin Bowles and (on secondment from Leeds Beckett University) Dr Tom Cockroft
Policing partners: Durham Constabulary
Status: In progress
This project seeks to make sense of a key factor influencing the success of both the Uplift programme and the PEQF – the Tutor Constable role. The Tutor Constable is traditionally an experienced officer who supervises new police officers as they experience, for the first time, the different contexts, interactions and situations which make up the occupational world of the police officer. This role has attracted little attention in existing research addressing police education and socialisation, yet those research findings that we do have access to suggest that tutoring occupies a somewhat fragile and undefined space in police training arrangements.
Why then is the Tutor Constable role so important? Research and anecdotal evidence suggest that officers in this role exert a very substantial degree of influence on the working practices of new officers. Similarly, research from the wider field of organisational socialisation indicates that effective assimilation into organisations has a host of positive impacts - including greater effectiveness, quicker proficiency, reduced attrition and lower recorded levels of workplace stress.
For Phase 1, the research aims to build up a picture of tutoring practices throughout the forces of England and Wales and to contextualise these against existing research literature in the area, drawn from a variety of comparator professions.
In Phase 2, we will seek to investigate the experiences and perceptions of tutoring held by those who undertake the role.
Taken together, these phases of work will provide a new knowledge base from which to inform future police tutoring arrangements.