Direct Entry Inspectors will learn the ‘bread and butter’ of policing

09 March 2016

Inspector Epaulette

The controversial new direct entry programme for inspectors will be heavily operational according to the College of Policing (CoP). They are looking to address widespread concern that officers who complete the course would not have enough frontline policing knowledge and experience to do the job.

“Eighty per cent of the training will be out doing police work within their chosen force,” said Deborah Goff, CoP Programme Business Manager for Fast Track and Direct Entry. “Candidates will complete operational work at PC, sergeant and inspector rank, working with experienced officers in placements tailored to their needs. Candidates will also have to pass the National Inspectors exam, just like their peers.”

“We are pleased that suggestions put forward by Police Federation have been incorporated into the course,” said PFEW’s Vicki Martin. “Police officers make huge decisions from Day One on the job. It’s vital these candidates are able to do the same. PFEW has worked closely with CoP to influence what this scheme will look like. We want candidates to have a positive experience in the police service. They should be supported to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to fulfill the role – and that includes taking heed of existing standards.”

The Direct Entry for Inspectors course will launch at the end of this year, taking on candidates across nine forces. The College hope to build on these numbers in subsequent years once the programme is established. Candidates will be salaried as an inspector from the start and will wear the uniform of their rank. If they pass the course, some will take up newly-created inspector roles within their chosen forces, rather than roles that would have gone to internally promoted officers.

The CoP is targeting those in middle-management type roles who are looking for a second career. “We will be teaching people with management experience to apply their skills to a policing context,” said Ms Goff. “We want to expand the diversity of thought within policing. We want people with different experiences, from different backgrounds, who will enrich the organisation.”

Thousands are expected to apply, but the CoP insists that the selection process will be demanding, with a strong focus on key operational skills. A lead force, the Metropolitan Police, will be doing the national ‘sift and select’ using an external agency to standardise the process. Successful applicants will have to navigate a four-stage testing process before meeting their chosen force who will have final refusal on who they accept.

Recruitment began on Tuesday 8th March via LeadBeyond.