The purpose of the research is to consider the impact of the professionalisation agenda on police training. Part of this agenda included creating new entry routes for all students to either gain a degree or convert an existing degree (Neyroud, P. 2011). Research suggested that degree educated students added value to their organisation (Jones, M. 2015) and showed higher levels of critical thought (Punch, M. 2004) and professional standards. However, there is contrary research which indicates that merely having a degree does not impact on any professional standards (Heslop, R. 2010). The intention of this research is to look at whether new students feel professional, and whether there has been any identifiable difference in professional attitudes since the introduction of the degree entry routes in 2019 in a small South West police force. This project is supported by the College of Policing Bursary Scheme
Focus groups will be held via secure Teams meeting (due to Covid restrictions). Participants will log in via secure work computers from either their home address or place of work. Access to the questionnaire will be via secure link posted on intranet site. No access will be possible outside of force systems. The use of Teams will increase inclusivity and allow students/tutors and supervisors from more remote locations to take part. Focus group discussions will be transcribed by the researcher and areas of commonality will be coded using thematic analysis. Questionnaires will be analysed using SurveyMonkey software to create tables and graphs clearly indicating % responses.
There will be focus groups and questionnaires aimed at new PCDA students who are already on Independent Patrol
Status (IPS) and a second set of questions for tutor constables and supervisors. Both sets will consider how the students feel about being on a degree course and whether they feel professional and also how they are perceived by others.