Leadership learning

Virtual learning environment

The College of Policing has introduced a virtual learning environment (VLE) to provide access to leadership and management qualifications to all officers and staff who want to further develop their skills. The VLE will run initially as a two-year pilot.

  • If you have already purchased a programme, please click here to login and start your learning.
  • If you have not yet purchased a programme, please click here to explore the available options. Accipio will be in touch with your login details for the VLE and all the relevant information once you have purchased a programme.

Who is it aimed at?

Although not rank specific, level 6 qualifications in leadership and management are designed for officers and staff who want to further their knowledge and skills. All qualifications are available to College members.

Level 7 is aimed at middle to senior leaders or aspiring senior leaders. Level 8, accessed through an application process, is aimed at the most senior leaders in policing. The aim of the VLE is to provide access to nationally and internationally recognised leadership and management qualifications that are widely used across all industry sectors.

What are we offering?

Leadership and management development qualifications through the VLE, which means learning can take place on any device at any time and any place. These qualifications are not specific to policing and are nationally and internationally recognised.

What levels are there?

Qualifications will be available at educational level 6 (graduate), level 7 (masters), and level 8 (doctorate), all at award, certificate and diploma, as well as level 5 certificate in coaching/mentoring. Learners will be able to build qualifications that attract 'credits' which can be used towards a range of university courses negotiated locally.

  • Award: Allows the individual to develop their knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of a manager by focusing on specific skill areas. Complete one unit from a choice of eight with a minimum of seven credits. Minimum total qualification time is 70 hours (including 25 guided learning hours).
  • Certificate: A more extensive qualification that provides a broader knowledge of management skills while focusing on the specific areas appropriate to the workplace. Complete two units from a choice of eight with a minimum of 14 credits. Minimum total qualification time is 140 hours (including 50 guided learning hours).
  • Diploma: A more comprehensive structure, providing all the key skills and competencies to become a successful manager. Complete all units from mandatory group A (34 credits) and a minimum seven credits from group B (from a choice of five), therefore a minimum of 41 credits. Minimum total qualification time is 410 hours (including 160 guided learning hours).

Find out what the modules cover here.

Read an overview of level 6 here.

The modules are accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), and provide the underpinning knowledge and skills to support the development of leadership capability in the workplace. CMI is the only chartered professional body in the UK dedicated to promoting the highest standards of management and leadership excellence. Once registered for a qualification, participants automatically become studying members and, upon completion, are eligible to become members of CMI. Benefits of CMI membership include:

  • Access to 300,000 mentors.
  • Access to the CMI virtual learning platform Management Direct.
  • Professional development opportunities, including up-to-date development bulletins.

The CMI qualification fits in with the wider strategic initiatives, for example the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF), and complements professional development activities such as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

Why are we offering these qualifications?

  • Policing in the 21st century is facing new professional challenges, as the communities served are increasingly becoming more diverse and complex, with varying needs and priorities.
  • The rate of change. This is not being driven by the police service itself, rather by the rate of change taking place in the professional context in which policing must operate.
  • Development of frontline leaders has been identified as a priority (Leadership Review 2015).
  • They provide a consistent approach to gaining a professional qualification across the 43 forces in England and Wales, thereby offering assurances to the public and police staff themselves.
  • They enable learners to gain professional qualifications and recognition for the work that they do. The qualifications are recognised and transferable across all sectors of business and industry.

What are the benefits to my staff?

  • Developing their knowledge and skills in leadership and management.
  • Enhances their personal management capabilities.
  • Making effective use of information in decision making and managing.
  • Puts policing on an 'equal' footing with similar organisations that work to protect the public (for example the NHS and MoD) and recognising the 'professionalism' of the police service.
  • Transferable – provides a recognisable and respected qualification.

How will this benefit my force?

  • Studying for these qualifications can take place anywhere at any time, using your own devices. Assessment is closely linked to your daily work.
  • Learning can be tailored to the business needs of your force, for example, you can promote modules based on your local business requirements.
  • Can work alongside and complement other leadership/learning and development initiatives at both a national and local level.
  • No or limited abstraction required. Qualifications are available through a virtual learning platform, therefore learning does not require classroom delivery. This approach can be supplemented in force by, for example, coaching/mentoring, action-learning sets and buddying learners to support each other.
  • Can be used to complement your existing force programmes (ie, talent programmes).
  • Cost-effective access to formal leadership and management qualifications for all staff.
  • Open access to all levels, not rank or grade specific.
  • Complements but does not replace the PEQF.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Find all Leadership Development Choices here.


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