Bucks and Thames Valley Police team up to deliver degree apprenticeships in policing


Date: 8th Mar 2019

Buckinghamshire New University has been selected by Thames Valley Police (TVP) to deliver degree apprenticeships in policing, a partnership officially announced during National Apprenticeship Week 2019.

In response to the Government’s commitment to improve work placed training through apprenticeships, the College of Policing along with the police service developed the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF), resulting in new initial entry routes for Police Constables.

Bucks will work with TVP to deliver the two new entry routes for the Force:

  • The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) - a three-year programme for candidates who do not already have a degree level qualification
  • The Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) – a two-year programme for those who already possess a degree that is not a degree in professional policing.

Student officers will have ‘blended’ learning which will include classroom-based face-to-face teaching, distance learning, virtual classroom combined with operational front line duties.

Sean Mackney, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Bucks, said the tender process for the bid was very competitive and exacting.

He added: “We are delighted to be selected to partner on one of the first PCDA programmes, and for such a prestigious force. It highlights how important apprenticeships are to Bucks, and how our focus is on apprenticeships being a complementary route to traditional degrees.

“We have a notable success of delivering professional apprenticeships within the public sector and are creating a portfolio of apprenticeships that can meet public sector needs, whether that be policing, nursing, leadership and management, or IT.”

Bucks and TVP are working together to develop the full programme of learning and assessment. Eligibility requirements and salary details are also in development.

Christine Kirby, Head of People Innovation and Change at Thames Valley Police, said: “We recognise that our officers not only need an evolving set of practical skills to equip them for the constantly changing world but will also need to be able to adopt and embrace lifelong learning throughout their careers.

“For our new entry routes to policing we want to work with an academic partner that understands the dynamic nature of policing and is flexible to enable us to meet those learning needs in a constantly evolving environment and we are delighted to be working with Bucks on this.”

All this activity is part of a wider south-east initiative, with Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, as well as TVP, wishing to develop their workforce in line with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and National Police Chiefs Council’s Policing Vision 2025.

The vision states that ‘By 2025 policing will be a profession with a more representative workforce that will align the right skills, powers and experience to meet challenging requirements’.

A standardised national framework allows for consistent assessment and accreditation across Forces, ensuring the professionalism of officers is formally recognised.

Phillip Wood MBE, Head of School – Aviation and Security, said: “We have a strong history in this subject area and a long-standing partnership with TVP so it’s great to see that extended into apprenticeships.  Policing is constantly changing to reflect the society it serves and Bucks, with our focus on developing applied academic skills, will help to build that capability for the future through our TVP apprentices. This partnership will have a significant impact on the shape of policing in the Thames Valley region and beyond for years to come.”

TVP will be opening recruitment for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) and Degree-Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) very soon and are already accepting expressions of interest in the programmes via the TVP website.


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