Policing Education Qualifications Framework Archive

In February 2016 we commenced a programme of work to design a Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) intended to support the development of policing as a profession through the provision of a coherent national approach to recognising and raising educational standards in policing.


This video includes reference to our survey which is now closed but we would still welcome your views; further details below.


The framework would align to the official UK qualifications framework which regulates the awarding of credit for equivalent levels of learning and expertise and is used by employers and education providers to recognise and compare individuals' achievement. The UK framework has nine levels, with Level 3 often described as A level equivalent, and Level 6 as equivalent to a degree.

Why does policing require a PEQF?

One of the fundamental requirements of a profession is discretion; the basis on which practitioners 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 does not currently have consistent, national education levels for all policing roles or ranks which reflect its current and future challenges, or an entry level qualification that would be considered commensurate with that of a profession. There is wide ranging, variable and inconsistent practice in terms of the implementation, assessment and accreditation of initial police education across the 43 forces. While some forces have already developed foundation or bachelor degree entry programmes, others deliver training to the appropriate level but do not require or enable officers to achieve the externally accredited Diploma qualification. Consequently, some officers have no recognised accredited qualification.

Such inconsistency risks undermining perceptions of the professionalism of the police service. For most professions, a nationally recognised system of accreditation demonstrates individuals have the required knowledge and skills for their role and thereby offers assurance both to the public and to the members of the profession itself. Therefore policing remains considerably out of kilter with other professions with regard to its formal education standards.

The PEQF is proposed as a standardised national framework that sets minimum education qualification levels by level of practice or rank, forming a key step toward developing policing as a profession and supporting the professional development of those working in policing.

We will continue to consult and engage throughout the programme of work, right up to and including during implementation of any proposals.

A project of this magnitude and importance will take a number of years to implement. National implementation of any new graduate level programmes, for example, would not start before September 2019.


Initial Consultation

We have conducted a consultation on our initial proposals to:

  1. Establish a qualifications framework for policing, working in partnership with the higher education sector to set minimum education levels by level of practice or rank.
  2. Develop opportunities for existing officers and staff to gain accredited and publicly recognised qualifications equivalent to their level of practice or rank (from 2017)
  3. Develop initial entry routes which involve self-funded undergraduate programmes, police-force funded graduate conversion programmes for graduates in other disciplines, and higher level apprenticeships (HLAs). (not before 2019)

The consultation period closed on 29 March 2016. These are now being analysed in detail and will be formally reported on later in the year.

Although the initial consultation is now closed, the consultation paper and frequently asked questions are still accessible from this page.

Contact Us

Any questions or expressions of willingness to be involved in the development of the PEQF can be forwarded to: PolicingEQF@college.pnn.police.uk.

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