College of Policing to provide online digital awareness training to 20,000 new recruits

The College of Policing has received Home Office funding to prepare a suite of training products to support the new 20,000 recruits to ensure they are digital savvy from day one of their policing careers.

David Tucker Crime Lead for the College of Policing told The Investigator the aim was to provide a suite of ‘interesting, exciting and dynamic’ remote learning products that would support the digital learning of the new recruits.

“Our aim is to create a series of 10-15 minute-type modules so that people who join the organisation and are new to the Service will have a good grounding of the digital world from day one of their careers,” he said.

The College of Policing DII Programme is in the process of recruiting an outreach team of eight officers as part of a new Capability Improvement Hub that will act as a conduit between the College and forces to ensure the training is relevant and meets the needs of the forces.

Challenges and opportunities

The job description for the candidates says they will ‘support the 20,000 uplift to acquire the required knowledge, skills and confidence to deal with digital investigation challenges and opportunities’ and that they will ‘have the ability to engage with frontline as well as senior stakeholders.

Mr Tucker acknowledged the Capability Improvement Hub was essential as he wanted to project to be ‘as driven by the customer as much as we can.’

“We want to get out there and into force and really identify what the digital challenges are going to be for officers and deliver remote learning that is relevant in an engaging way.”

Core business

He emphasised that digital awareness was now an integral part of police business and that is was vital to support new recruits in ensuring digital is embedded into everything they do.

“There is a digital element now in so much of what’s normal in policing, that this has to become the normal way of thinking and very much a part of core business.

“It’s a bit like DNA when it first came in, people didn’t quite understand what the capability of it was but now you go to a crime scene and the first thing you are doing is looking around for blood and saliva. This is now the same for digital.”

Supervisor support

Even though the products are going to be aimed at the 20,000 new officers, they will be available to all officers and investigators as a training resource. The College acknowledges the importance of training being available for supervisors of the new recruits in order to ensure everyone is working towards the same aim.

“One important issue is that you get all of these new people with new skills and you get an operating model that doesn’t support them so that’s why the supervisors are important and why it’s vital that we work with them to ensure they get the support they require.”

Mr Tucker accepted that the fast pace of the digital environment would mean the training content would have to be constantly reviewed and updated in order to stay relevant.

He also praised the Service for being open to embracing the digital challenge and was confident this impetus would continue moving forward.