Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF)

What is PEQF?

The PEQF (Policing Education Qualifications Framework) is a new, professional framework for the training of police officers and staff.

Based upon a new modern curricula aligned with the education levels set in England and Wales, this framework will over time cover the range of professional training for police officers through the ranks of constable through to chief officer. It will also encompass many police staff, police community support officers (PCSO) and special constables.

It supports the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners' (APCC) Policing Vision 2025 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".

Why do we need to change?

One of the fundamental requirements of a profession is the basis on which practitioners (officers and staff) are allowed to exercise a high degree of individual autonomy and independence of judgement.

The criteria which define professional discretion vary, but common core elements are:

  • a specialist knowledge base
  • a distinct ethical dimension
  • continuing professional development (CPD) requirements, and
  • standards of education

Policing did not have consistent, national education levels for all policing roles or ranks which reflected its current and future challenges, nor an entry level qualification that would be considered commensurate with that of a profession.

PEQF aims to bring consistent practice in terms of the implementation, assessment and accreditation of initial police training across the 43 forces in England and Wales. This consistency can contribute to the professionalism of the police service and put policing in line with other professions with regard to its formal education standards.

This supports the NPCC and APCC Policing Vision 2025 which sets out the need for "clear and consistent requirements for entry into policing and for accreditation to defined ranks and roles in the service" and the support for "key aspects of policing training and development through academic accreditation which recognises the skills and knowledge of our workforce".

What has been achieved so far?

The College of Policing, as the professional body for the police service, has worked with all key stakeholder groups including staff associations, police force representatives, as well as higher education partners, and listened to feedback from the consultation to develop the PEQF and its supporting resources.

The three new entry routes into the policing profession at the rank of police constable have been developed and some forces are starting to adopt the entry routes into their recruitment.

A Professional Development Platform has been developed to aid recognition of existing officers and staff prior experience, training and learning.

Two PCSO entry routes have been developed – an apprenticeship and a non-apprenticeship route – and forces will start to recruit via these routes during autumn 2018.

What are the next steps?

The College of Policing is providing practical implementation support, by means of a PEQF Implementation Team to support forces through the various phases of putting PEQF into practice.

Further consultation is taking place on the requirements for ranks beyond constable for developing appropriate educational provision.

Scoping work to identify requirements for specialist roles, police staff and special constables is ongoing.

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