Is joining the police less viable and affordable in light of the proposed qualification changes?

Research Institution / Organisation

University Centre Colchester

Principal Researcher

David Tasker

Level of Research


Project Start Date

September 2016

Research Context

​The recent decision to increase the entry qualification for new police recruits to a higher education degree has been well researched and the consultation phase has received a good response albeit mainly from within the policing family.

This researcher's aim is to find out from young people in college, who are studying towards a career in the public services, whether the newly proposed entry qualifications will influence their vocational aspirations and indeed, if affordability forms part of that equation and why.

The student voice is becoming increasingly relevant and important to Higher Education concerning the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and as future police officers within this process it would arguably be viable to suggest that they should also be consulted.
Already, quantative research across four colleges in the south of England is showing that 77% of those who are studying the Uniformed Public Services at Level 3 have an interest in becoming a police officer, thus increasing the relevance of them as future stakeholders.

Research Methodology

Denscombe M (2014) suggests that web-based methodology is enticing for project researchers because it;

  • saves time;
  • saves money;
  • speeds up data processing;
  • allows wide geographical coverage and
  • is environmentally friendly.

The principle strategy will be a positivist approach involving a survey, collecting quantative data and using third party internet web hosted server such as 'Survey Monkey'.

This strategy has been chosen for various reasons which include:

  • Potential for a high volume of respondents
  • The geographical spread of those proposed respondents
  • Ease of data collection/processing once the survey has been completed

Bell, J (2005) indicated that [a questionnaire] ...Requires discipline in the selection of questions, in question writing, in the design, piloting, distribution, and return of the questionnaires.
Prior to data collection, however, a sample questionnaire will be piloted with a small group of learners under the researcher's tutorship. This group may then be gathered together for a forum or open ended discussion concerning cost and ability to pay.

The researcher is also interested in whether there are cultural or value driven reasons behind some of the answers and the responses may drive the reseacher towards collecting some qualitative demographic and social data through interviews or forum methodology.

The principle strategy, however, will be ‘Survey – Quantative Data.’

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

June 2018
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