In focus: Chair, Shirley Pearce, on consistency across policing

Discussion launched in POLKA gives members a chance to have their say on consistency across the service.

​Officers and staff working in policing have been asked for their views about issues of variability and inconsistency in police education and training.

In a speech to the Excellence in Policing Conference, the College Chair Shirley Pearce spoke about developing professionalism in policing.

Shirley Pearce said:

“What do we mean by professionalism and why are we bothered about it? There are lots of definitions but they all have, at their core, the need to show that you have the skills/knowledge/education needed to deliver the requirements of your role.

“In most professions the ability to show this come from having a nationally recognised system of accreditation and reward of your learning and skills that gives confidence both to the public and to members of the profession itself.

“I have been listening to officers and police staff talk about issues of consistency in training and standards. My perception is that the inconsistencies we see across policing risk undermining the professionalism of the service. You as practitioners, need to have the right skills for the job you’re asked to do and you deserve to have those skills recognised.”
Shirley has set four questions for officers and staff:

1. From your experience, do you have concerns about the consistent implementation of standards across forces? Yes /No

If yes...
2. Please give an example/s of where inconsistency across forces has affected the way you work or your career progression?

3. Please give an example/s of where inconsistency may affect the public experience?

4. What should our priorities be?

Those interested in responding can join a debate hosted in the Police OnLine Knowledge Areas (POLKA). Shirley will report on themes that emerge during the College of Policing conference on 12 November 2015.

Or alternatively, Shirley can be contacted via email on

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