Nottingham­shire Police partners with University of Derby on pioneering two-year joint fast track degree

4 February 2020

In a first for the country, Nottinghamshire Police force has set out ambitious plans to get recruits straight from degree courses out onto the beat in record time.

With the government having committed to a recruitment drive of an additional 20,000 police officers nationwide, diverse career opportunities in policing are due to grow dramatically.

Already, Nottinghamshire has secured funding for 107 new recruits from this programme, on top of a further recruitment drive which, if successful, will secure 175 recruits. Recruitment is expected to open again in the Spring.

Now, the force has deepened its partnership with the University of Derby to enable it to become the first place in the country to introduce the accelerated route to the BA (Hons) Professional Policing. Recruitment for the course is now open with studies expected to commence in September this year. 

In just two years, this pioneering course will equip future police officers to meet the challenges and responsibilities of a career in one of the most rewarding professions of all. 

And in a revolutionary move, Nottinghamshire Police force has agreed potential recruits can join the force as Special Constables whilst studying for this degree, which will ensure they are patrol ready within the two years, without having to do further classroom-based training. Subject to an individual student’s academic and vocational performance, the force will also be reserving places for high performing Special Constables to undertake the National Police Officer Recruitment Tests whilst studying for their degree in year two. This will see a number of individuals commencing employment with Nottinghamshire Police shortly after graduation.      

The plans have resulted from a huge amount of collective effort involving the force, the University of Derby and the College of Policing. Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “Getting qualified recruits who are ready to take on the day to day challenges of the job is something I am passionate about.  

“We already accept graduates from the three year policing degree, this will add to the options available to those wanting to join our force. Being a Special Constable at the same time will give students invaluable practical insights into what it is like to work in Nottinghamshire Police, making them a standout candidate when applying for a role in the force.

“I have no doubt this new approach will speed up getting fully trained officers out onto our streets and into the neighbourhoods where the public and I want to see them.

“Through prudent planning we have already managed to recruit all our new officers as part of the government’s uplift programme. This is on top of a further 175 we have already recruited. People will really notice the difference once they start.”

He added the BA (Hons) Professional Policing qualification does not guarantee a position within the police service, but it sets those who come through this route apart as an attractive candidate to secure a role. 

Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “I have made a commitment to getting more police officers into the communities we serve as this is what people have told me they want to see. This fast track degree course coupled with the Special Constable recruitment will see us having some of the best recruits in the country walking our streets in as short a time as possible.”

Professor Kamil Omoteso, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at the University of Derby added: “I’m delighted that we are able to offer the first two-year Professional Policing Course at the University of Derby. The programme adopts an innovative approach to learning responding to the needs of the force for flexibility in terms of delivery methodology. It meets the academic requirements of the College of Policing as it integrates the knowledge skills and behaviours required by the degree into a flexible, coherent and cohesive programme in response to the needs of police forces.

“This unique opportunity creates pathways for students to enter the profession quicker and employers to be able to engage graduates in pursuit of their recruitment strategies. The accelerated programme allows greater opportunity and choice for students, thereby widening participation, allowing students to progress to work quicker. With this, the University of Derby continues to play a leading role in shaping policing education and research in the country.”

Other police forces and higher education institutes across the country now have the opportunity to consider developing a similar recruitment pathway. This follows the announcement of the plans at the College of Policing’s Initial Police Education Board last week after the scheme was formally endorsed and accredited.

Tony Blockley, Head of Policing at the University of Derby, added: “This partnership with Nottinghamshire Police really is an opportunity to embed education into policing. We are excited to be the first university and police force collaboration to develop this approach; it will benefit the force, the student and ultimately the service.”

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