The county’s first-ever cohort of officers who simultaneously work as operational police officers whilst studying towards a university degree have completed their first year.
The officers, a group of 18, began their careers at Cumbria Constabulary in February last year when they undertook an intensive 22-week initial training course before continuing their development as police officers working across the county.
This cohort was the first in Cumbria to enter the police service by the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) route, which is three-year training programme which sees the individual a degree in Professional Policing Practice with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) whilst serving as a police officer.
The anniversary of their attestation coincides with National Apprenticeship Week.
PC Charlie Parsonage, who is a one of the officers who has completed her first year and is a response officer in west Cumbria, said:
“My first year in policing has been equally brilliant and challenging, especially when joining the force just prior to a global pandemic. It is fair to say there have been some highs and lows but policing really is a job like no other, every day is completely different and I challenge myself every day.
“I am extremely proud to be a part of the police, protecting the public and working alongside some amazing colleagues. I can’t wait to see what the next two years as a response officer brings.”
There are a number of ways in which individuals who wish to embark on a career as a police officer can apply to join Cumbria Constabulary, with bespoke training for those without a degree or those with pre-existing degree qualifications.
Superintendent Lisa Hogan, Head of People at Cumbria Constabulary, said: “This is a pleasing milestone for this cohort to achieve. They have come so far in just one year and are proactively making a positive difference to our communities.
“This new process acknowledges the ever-increasing complexities in crime and recognises the high levels of skill and professionalism a police officer needs to keep people in Cumbria safe. The PCDA route provides an individual with an excellent opportunity to achieve a degree whilst gaining vital on-the-job experience as a police officer.
“Our constabulary remains one of the highest performing forces in the UK and Cumbria is one of the safest places to live. I would encourage anyone with a passion to serve the public and is looking for a rewarding career to consider applying.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall said: “The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship route into policing provides an excellent opportunity for people from all types of backgrounds to study for a degree, whilst working as a police officer.
“I would like to congratulate our first cohort of apprentices on completing their first year, as they have certainly had to hit the ground running in what has been a very a tough year for everyone, both professionally and personally.
“This apprenticeship scheme provides hands-on training and gives day-to-day opportunities for real experience learning, whilst earning a salary in the process. This exciting and dynamic training makes the course a very attractive proposition and I urge anyone thinking about this as a potential career to contact the Constabulary.”
Clive Tattum, Principal Lecturer and Academic Lead for PEQF at UCLan, said: “This is a fantastic milestone. A considerable amount of joint work took place to develop and then deliver this programme. This has included the need to continue to deliver high-quality personalised education to serving police learners during the Covid pandemic.
“The involvement of Higher Education within policing via the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) is designed to support the professionalisation of the service. The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship within the PEQF is a challenging and exciting programme. It allows new officers to be educated across a wide range of areas from both an academic and operational perspective to ensure they are to ready face the challenges of policing in the 21st century.
“Cumbria is an excellent force and demands the highest level of public service by its police officers. It is clear this is happening and UCLan are pleased to be playing a key role in the development of current and future officers in order to provide a first class compassionate quality of service to the public of Cumbria”
For more information on the role of a police officer, the entry routes available and how to apply, please visit the Constabulary’s website.