Action learning plus: Developing an action/work based learning system for improved knowledge exchange, development and implementation through partnership working

Lead institution
Keele University

Project contact
Dr Tony Kearon

Collaborating partners

​* Staffordshire Police​* Staffordshire University

Summary of activities
This programme focuses on developing mechanisms for knowledge exchange, development and implementation at every level of police forces and partner agencies. This occurs through a network of knowledge exchange groups (KEGs) including:

  • informal opportunities for staff to discuss issues and experience
  • discussions between operational staff and external 'experts'
  • KEGs focussing on specific operational challenges or issues.

KEGs will also be used to identify, formulate and frame potential research projects in discussion with staff. Involving operational staff in project development aims to increase their receptivity to the forms of knowledge generated by the projects.

Programme aims
The programme aims to facilitate effective 'trickle down' of innovation and knowledge from senior levels and encourage development and sharing of 'bottom-up' knowledge and innovation.

We encourage staff in policing and partner agencies to share operational knowledge, to 'frame' operational challenges and think about solutions. This process helps staff become more confident in use, critique and development of knowledge in the context of their daily operational challenges.

Additional projects: Knowledge workshops and work-based learning
As well as KEGs there will be regular problem-oriented knowledge workshops open to operational staff and partners. These will focus on strategic and theoretical knowledge, applied to the tasks and challenges of policing and community safety. 

We are also developing the following programmes, delivered by specialist staff at the two partner universities:

  • work-based learning continuing professional development
  • masters programmes
  • professional doctorates.