Police officer training and development should be a priority with Protected Learning Time (PLT) accessible to all, says the chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation.
Liz Groom said training should be ongoing to ensure that officers are properly equipped to meet the demands of modern policing.
Liz said: “Our staff are our most valuable assets and we need to be able to invest in them to make sure they have the skills and knowledge needed for policing in the in the 21st century.
“But it’s unfair to expect officers to complete training and assessments on their own time.
“That’s why we’re calling for PLT to be made available to every officer. They should be given the time for their own professional development during their working hours, whether that’s within their rank or in preparation for promotion.”
Liz’s comments were echoed by Steve Hartshorn, the chair of the National Federation.
Steve said: “Officers often neglect training because they see it as something unrelated to their work duties. To combat this culture, forces should strive to build a learning culture by making training a necessary part of regular workflows.”
Dave Bamber, PFEW learning and development lead, added: “To genuinely invest in our people, we must ensure training and development is provided by every force.
“PLT for student officer training should be guaranteed for frontline officers, to ensure they’re equipped to handle scenarios professionally and appropriately when delivering our vital service to the public.
“Learning time is essential for young in-service officers and it is grossly unfair to expect them to perform their duties with the pressure of learning outside of their working hours affecting their quality of life.
“It would also be remiss not to mention that PLT is part of the funding model for student officers.”
Officers should not be expected to take on mandatory role specific training such as firearms or other practical based skills in their own time, the Federation said. This should be the same for all required training officers are expected to perform for their role.
The Federation added that supervisors should be provided with time to support an officer’s development. PLT should be encouraged across ranks as an investment in motivating and developing competent and professional officers.
It said that PLT will highlight the areas that require more training while addressing any deficiencies identified in an officer’s performance reviews.
Training and development programmes will also help officers discover areas in which they could use additional educational opportunities and support.
PLT will in turn, promote uniformity of work processes and increase productivity and performance, therefore providing a better workplace environment, the Federation added.