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Lancashire PCC: Let’s get everyone at the table about the degree route

Following last week’s announcement that a new non-degree entry route was to be considered, Police Oracle spoke with Lancashire’s PCC – one of the most vocal critics of the ending of the IPLDP route.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s request of the College to review entry routes has provided an opportunity for everyone to sit down and work constructively together, the Lancashire PCC has said.

PCC Andrew Snowden was one of the first to openly speak out about his concerns on the ending of the IPLDP route - telling Police Oracle that he hoped political pressure would provoke a change.

More recently he was a signatory on a letter written to the Home Secretary asking her to reconsider the end of IPLDP.

Last week the request in that letter was answered - in a move that PCC Snowden has said was “a huge moment for a lot of people”.

“I’ve had so many messages from officers of all ranks across the country […] lots of really positive comments and interactions from prospective officers who had been put off by having to do a degree,” he said.

“Universities do continue to have an important role to play in the training of police officers and personally I've already had conversations with our university provider UCLAN [since the announcement].

“What was lost in all this was that it should have always been a debate, it should always have had balance – you can’t have inclusion by excluding over half the county from applying. This is a really positive step forward and hopefully now we can have some more constructive conversations about what a modern, multi-entry route into policing looks like."

PCC Snowden told Police Oracle he would love to have some input into the subsequent review that will be carried out by College CEO Andy Marsh.

When asked what the new route might have that IPLDP does not, he said he would like an academic element to the new course that’s developed – just saying there’s a more balanced and inclusive way to do this, possibly by looking at different levels within universities.

“There is absolutely nothing stopping us taking some of those accredited modules and putting together a programme with a university that is not accredited to a full degree – perhaps modules could be accredited to a foundation year or higher education diploma.

“Then for officers who maybe have five, six, eight years’ experience and want do a degree this can help them progress their career.”

While he believes there should still be a route for people to get a degree and then come into policing, he added that there needs to be some consideration over whether that continues to be done at the same time as training.

“It would still be a huge issue for us,” he explained.

“With the amount of officers that we would have going back and forward to university.

“I think the PEQF needs to be improved significantly if it is to remain.

“There is no problem here between degree and non-degree that is not easily solved by everyone with differing opinions just sitting down and working constructively together.”

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