21 April 2017

Officers and staff can apply for education funding

A scheme which gave dozens of officers and police staff across England and Wales financial support towards their education is set to re-open for applications.

The Policing Bursary Scheme launched last September saw 26 officers and staff share almost £90,000 in funding towards their studies with most bursaries awarded to police constables and sergeants and seven going to police staff.

One in four of those who got a bursary did not hold a graduate level qualification when they applied and four said they had not studied since school.

They are now studying a wide range of subjects including criminology, cyber-security, leadership and psychology; most at postgraduate level and four as undergraduates. 

This was the first time the scheme had been run and it was open to all officers and staff in police forces in England and Wales - with funding available for up to two years of study.

Later this year the College will re-open the scheme where applicants can apply for up to £3,000 a year towards their tuition fees to complete a range of higher education studies.

College of Policing Director of Knowledge, Research and Education, Rachel Tuffin said: "We were delighted with the response to the 2016/17 Bursary Scheme and were very impressed with the quality of the applications received. They demonstrated the commitment to continuing professional development of our members across all levels of policing and a real appetite to develop knowledge and skills required to help make decisions based on the best available evidence.

"We are committed to supporting a policing culture which values learning and I am looking forward to extending this opportunity to additional members with the launch of the 2017/18 scheme later this year."

The successful applicants are already enjoying the benefits of the scheme.

Lorna Dennison-Wilkins, a sergeant in Sussex Police, received funding to support her post graduate research degree at the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee. 
Lorna's work on search and recovery of bodies from water will help to inform missing person investigations.  She hopes it will make a real difference to the families of missing people and the personnel that work in this area.

Lorna said the bursary offered her much more than financial support.

"It was an endorsement of the worth of my subject area and what I am doing," she said.

"I feel so privileged to have been accepted onto the scheme and to have been given a bursary grant  because doing research has made me think more critically and evidentially.

"My reports and arguments are easier to construct and I have access to the university library now which I've used to help me in my police work."

Philip Cobley, a Digital Forensic Investigator at Bedfordshire Police, is embarking on a Masters in Information Security and Digital Forensics.

"A lot of the work we do in digital forensics is unique to a case, and often untested with little or no dedicated research or development," he said.

"I know from first-hand experience how much time it can take to carry out this research to better prepare a case or improve understanding on a subject. By doing this work, I can improve my own knowledge to support investigations and help speed up the time it takes for others to find the research that they need to help fill gaps in their knowledge.

"It also allows me to answer possible questions that they may have, whilst providing documented research that they can reference in their own reports. 
"Collectively, as a community, this could be of huge benefit."

Further details of the scheme and the application process will be released later this year.  To be eligible for the new bursary scheme applicants will need to be members of the College.  

To receive emails about any future schemes and related College work, please email whatworks@college.pnn.police.uk to be added to our distribution list.

If you have any questions about the scheme or need further information, contact us at BursaryScheme@college.pnn.police.uk.

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