Authorised Professional Practice - guiding the Service

Authorised Professional Practice (APP) online is the new hub for national guidance being delivered by us.

Frontline officers and staff can access the guidance via the APP website - with accessibility available from desktops, tablets and smartphones.

APP significantly reduces the amount of national guidance in circulation. The site includes helpful reference material, which contains up-to-date guidance on changes in the law.

For instance, this month we published updated reference material on changes to the Public Order Act 1986. This followed a Government amendment which removed the word "insulting" from section 5, decriminalising the use of insulting words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. The amendment also removes the word "insulting" from section 6(4) of the Public Order Act. 

Dr Frank Pike, who developed our guidance in response to the change, said the guidance was published to "help officers understand the legal and operational implications of the change".

This week we will be publishing integrated guidance on Child Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation, which follows a lengthy public consultation exercise and forms the first phase of APP on Public Protection and Major Investigation. This guidance has been developed in tandem with updated prosecution guidelines, and reflects the learning from high-profile investigations into the abuse and exploitation of the most vulnerable in society such as Operation Yewtree and Operational Bullfinch.

We'll provide more information about the updated guidance in the next monthly newsletter.

Chief operating officer, Deputy Chief Constable Rob Beckley, says it's important for all forces to be using and encouraging officers and staff to use the APP website as the go-to place for professional policing practice.

"The feedback from officers and staff was that there were too many manuals and getting quick and easy access to them was not always simple. Content is easily searchable and all identified APP areas complement and are consistent with each other," he says.

Our APP team has been working with forces on an awareness-raising exercise, to ensure that previous documents are decommissioned and forces are using direct links to the APP site so they have access to the most up-to-date national policing guidance. Last week we held a workshop with force policy managers where the importance of consistent national guidance was reinforced, as forces seek to streamline their own policies and procedures against clear and practical national guidance.

We have already published updated guidance on changes to the following areas:

  • Armed policing
  • Detention and custody
  • Intelligence management
  • Operations Risk
  • Civil contingencies
  • Engagement and communication
  • Investigation
  • Prosecution and case management
  • Road policing
  • Critical incident management
  • Information management
  • National Decision Model
  • Public order

APP will continue to develop and consolidate other pieces of policing guidance into 2014.

Some material marked "restricted" and covering operationally sensitive policing areas will not be available in the public domain; this includes covert policing, counter-terrorism and protected persons policing guidance.

As professional practice is reviewed and new material is developed, it will draw on the best available evidence, identified by working with forces, academics and other partners.

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