Pioneering military recruitment scheme showcased to UK police forces
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A delegation of senior police figures descended upon Nottinghamshire to learn about a brand-new training programme designed to turn military leavers into police officers.
The country's first scheme to provide a direct employment pathway for those in their military resettlement period to join the police service was launched by Nottinghamshire Police and the University of Derby in March 2023.
The first cohort was given their first taste of frontline policing in the summer and are now completing a Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), which will see them become fully-fledged police officers.
The new scheme is proving such a success that other police forces are considering introducing a similar programme.
On Monday (18 December), more than 30 delegates from police forces across the country arrived at Nottinghamshire Police HQ to learn about the innovative scheme.
Attendees heard how Nottinghamshire Police co-designed an innovative Level 4 qualification in Policing with the University of Derby – called the Military Service Leavers Pathway into Policing programme – accessible to those within the military who are looking to utilise their skills and experiences in the police service.
The 12-week pilot course fast-tracked entrants onto the second year of the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), which involved on and off-the-job learning in partnership with the University of Derby, the Ministry of Defence and Career Transition Partnership.
Having joined the police, the new recruits are now undertaking a two-year probationary period to be confirmed in post as a police officer and achieve a degree.
Chief Constable Kate Meynell, who opened the event, said:
“We are extremely proud to be the first in the country to launch this exciting recruitment pathway.
“By developing strong and effective partnerships, we have created an innovative course for military service leavers and it was a privilege to share our knowledge and experiences with policing colleagues from across the country.
“Whenever we look to recruit new police officers, we look for people who are committed to serving with pride, compassion and integrity. Military personnel have these attributes in abundance and that is why it is encouraging to see other police forces express an interest in rolling out this pioneering pathway.”
Professor Lynn Saunders OBE, Head of Law and social Sciences at the University of Derby, said the attendance of senior policing delegates was testament to the success of the Military Service Leavers Pathway into Policing programme.
“We were delighted to develop this innovative programme in conjunction with operational colleagues in Nottinghamshire Police.
“The opportunity to develop the pathway to assist the transition of military service leavers to front-line policing roles, and ultimately to complete a policing degree apprenticeship at the University is beneficial to both the individuals concerned and to the wider community.
“We look forward to their continued academic and operational success.”
Dr Andrew Murrison, Minister for Defence People and Families, said:
“The Nottinghamshire Police Military Service Leaver Pathway into Policing was a fantastic opportunity for our Service leavers.
“This was recognition that the skills gained from a career in the military were both valuable and transferable into life beyond our Armed Forces, ensuring they can still serve and protect people here in the UK.”
Nottinghamshire Police & Crime Commissioner, Caroline Henry, was among those who attended Monday’s event. She said:
“I’m really proud to hear our trailblazing military to policing pathway is being shown to other forces around the country with a view to it being rolled out in their areas.
“Military service leavers have a lot of the skills we want in police officers and the life experience, professionalism and teamwork they bring with them will be invaluable.
“So many brave individuals have served their country proudly, and via the military pathway have gone on to serve Nottinghamshire Police in the same way.”
College of Policing Chief Constable Andy Marsh also praised the recruitment pathway. He said:
“This is an innovative and exciting programme that recognises the valuable experience those who have been in the military can bring to policing.
“Policing needs diverse recruits from all walks of life and the College of Policing is fully supportive of this new pathway.
“We are learning from the programme so we can support other forces to roll out this pathway and make sure policing is an attractive career for military leavers.”
Dave Hornsey, Employer Relationship Manager at Career Transition Partnership, added:
“Nottinghamshire Police has provided a tailored pathway for individuals who have left military service.
“Every constabulary should make sure that they inform job seekers, who were previously in the military, about their own offer utilising CTP for full inclusion of potential contacts.
“Job seekers can then make well-informed decisions about their future career aspirations.”