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College of Policing rebrands to reconnect with frontline

The College of Policing has rebranded and relaunched online courses in a bid to reconnect with frontline officers.

The College of Policing has gone live with a new online learning portal and a rebrand to ensure officers have the support to meet the challenges of 21st Century society.

For the first time it will provide free membership to all serving officers to end the perception that it is an elite organisation for high-flying officers looking for rapid promotion.

The College’s mission from now on is to set standards, provide training and share good practice.

To coincide with the website going live, the College also published Going Equipped – a best practice review edited by Superintendent Katy Barrow-Grint of Thames Valley Police. As a signal of future intent for the College, it offers advice on issues such as body worn cameras, recruiting for diversity and the online currency Bitcoin.

For Chief Executive Mike Cunningham, who announced in June he is standing down, the relaunch resolves some of the issues he identified when he was appointed in 2018.

“We’ve listened very carefully to people including the staff associations and trade unions,” he told Police Oracle.

The website has been developed to be a single point of access using an officer’s job email as the starting point.

As a career and development portal, it will offer all the guidance, updates and training options that he says are “vital if officers are to feel supported in the job”.

“It could be seen that we were a two-tier organisation. So we have moved away from that. What we are is the organisation that offers services for everyone in policing,” Mr Cunningham said.

The College, which includes senior figures from the Police Federation and Police Superintendents’ Association on its board, also wants the rebrand to clarify its role at a time when the Home Secretary is reviewing organisations leading the fight against modern criminals.

Until now, critics have claimed the College has not been relevant to most officers - a fact reflected in a membership of just 30,000 which is a small fraction of the national workforce.

“For many good people in policing, the College had failed to make its case,” Mr Cunningham said.

With issues such as online crime now a critical issue for forces, the changes are overdue. Senior police have backed the overhaul.

President of the Police Superintendents’ Association and member of the College board Paul Griffiths said: “We have been pushing for and supporting work around the future operating environment for a long time. It’s encouraging that this work is now coming together to help us understand the detailed picture of what the environment ahead looks like for policing. 

“It’s likely we’ll face a raft of new challenges around fractured societies, technological developments and diversity, and we must prepare for this to the best of our ability. I have welcomed the opportunity to serve as a critical friend as the future operating model has been developed. I am pleased to see the release of this, and look forward to the work that will follow,” he said.

See interview with Mike Cunningham:


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