UCLan launches first police apprenticeship courses in Cumbria

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University teams up with Cumbria Police to educate new student police recruits

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has launched the very first degree in Cumbria to educate future police officers for the region.

The programme has been designed in conjunction with the College of Policing as part of the new Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF), which forms part of the National Policing Vision 2025.  

Working with Cumbria Police, the University will deliver the academic content of the apprenticeship for its 3-year duration. This will lead to a graduation at the university and the attainment of Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Professional Policing Practice, as they bid to become future full-time police officers serving local communities across the area.

This is a proud day for our new student officer intake who have been sworn in as police officers in the presence of their families, friends and colleagues.

Each of the student officers will begin a 22 week in class programme as part of the new Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), managed by UCLan and based at Cumbria Police headquarters in Penrith. Whilst based at the HQ the student officers will have full access to all of UCLan’s student facilities. As part of their studies the new recruits will also undergo hands on training out on the streets of Cumbria.

The PCDA degree will be the first of its kind to be available in Cumbria and will initially have an intake of 18 students.

The launch of the new degree will give students thinking of a career in policing a new direct route into the profession, giving them the chance to combine academic study with live police work.

Each of the new PCDA students were sworn in officially through a special attestation ceremony held at Cumbria Police headquarters at Penrith.

Professor Ian Allison, Executive Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) said: “It’s fantastic to have been selected by Cumbria Constabulary to deliver degree apprenticeships as part of the Police Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF).

“The development of this innovative degree apprenticeship in the Police Service, has involved a strong collaboration between Cumbria Constabulary, UCLan and the College of Policing in its governance role as the professional body for the service. This has ensured accreditation and quality in both design and delivery and is an exciting time for all involved in the move towards greater professionalisation of the service.”

Cumbria Police Deputy Chief Constable Mark Webster said: “This is a proud day for our new student officer intake who have been sworn in as police officers in the presence of their families, friends and colleagues.

“This is also our very first Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) class from the new entry route into policing we are running in collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire and we look forward to helping them build a successful career.

“The PCDA is a great opportunity for the student officers to gain a degree while also serving on active frontline duties. Being a police officer is an interesting and rewarding career and I’m sure these officers have a great future ahead of them.” 

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “Policing is a dynamic service which operates in a complex and rapidly changing environment, it’s very important that our officers receive the best possible training to equip them for a career serving the public. 

“Importantly there are several routes into policing, reflecting the wide range of experience, diversity and backgrounds of applicants and the PCDA scheme is an excellent development and will give officers a firm foundation on which to build a successful career.

“It is great to see yet more officers joining the Constabulary and soon to be on our streets.”

Tim Fernandez | 14 February 2020