Trial of revised Code of Practice for Victims e-learning

Randomised Control Trial Status


Trial Hypothesis

The hypothesis is that being shown a video-input on the effect of the provisions of the Victims' Code of Practice (VCOP) in relevant, real life examples will have an impact on the officers and increase their interest and the receptiveness to training on the Victims Code of Practice and make it more memorable. In so doing, it is hoped that being shown the video inputs will improve the retention of the information and have an impact on attitudes towards victims.

In addition, it is hypothesised that there may be a greater impact if the video content is viewed before the training content rather than at the end of the training content as this may prime the participant to pay more attention and be more receptive to the information.

Geographical area


Research Institution / Organisation

College of Policing

In Collaboration With

Essex Police

Contact Name

Fiona McLean

Project Start Date

December 2016

Participants - inclusion criteria

​All front line officers in Essex police and some frontline staff.

Target Sample Size

​The three training packages are randomly allocated to all officers, in total around 2000 participants. The officers all receive a survey to complete immediately after the training. Although mandatory, we are expecting a drop out rate of 50-60% so estimate a likely sample size of 1000.

Study Design

​Basic randomised control - comparing those participants receiving the training without the video input to two groups of treatment, one with the video input prior to the original training and one with the video input after the orginal training


The intervention is a revised Victims’ Code e-learning package. The purpose of the training is to increase officers’ knowledge and awareness of the provisions of the Victims’ Code and to improve their attitudes towards victims.

The training is in two parts –

  • Chapter one - a knowledge section with detailed learning on the provisions of the victims code delivered through a powerpoint style presentation followed by a knowledge check; and 
  • Chapter two – an impactive set of videos of victims talking about the impact on them and their family and how some of the provisions helped.

The training lasts approximately 25 minutes without Chapter 2 and 35 minutes including Chapter two.

Part 1 of the course covers these learning outcomes and Part 2 reinforces them through examples but also puts them into context through real life examples related by the actual victims. This also gives the message quite strongly that victims should be treated as individuals and through victim testimony explains that how the victim is treated by the police has a big impact on their experience of the criminal justice process.

Outcome Measures

  • ​Mean knowledge score of the three groups at Time 1 (immediately after the training) and Time 2 (approx. three months later)
  • Mean attitudes to victims score for each group at T1 and T2
  • Mean satisfaction scores of the three groups immediately after the training

Date last updated

Tuesday 26 June 2018
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