Launch of College of Policing

Police College logo

On 4 Feb 2013 the Association President Derek Barnett and President Elect Irene Curtis attended the official launch of the College of Policing in London. As the Association’s nominee to the Board of Directors, Irene was asked to speak at the event on behalf of the Service. Other speakers at the event were Police Minister Damian Green MP, the newly appointed Chair of the College Professor Shirley Pearce CBE, Chief Executive CC Alex Marshall, and the College’s Head of Research Rachel Tuffin.

President Derek Barnett said at the launch,

“Today is a significant day in the history of policing. The College of Policing presents an opportunity for the service to work together under the umbrella of a professional body to improve the service that we deliver to the public. The Superintendents’ Association has from the outset supported and championed a professional body for policing.  I look forward to seeing the College  embedded in the service and developing in to a trusted and respected body that will quickly earn the title Royal College of Policing.”

President Elect Irene Curtis gave the following speech at the event:

 “Today’s launch of the College of Policing truly is an historic moment for the Police Service of England and Wales.

Many of us have always viewed the service as a profession, but we now have our own professional body to support that view.

A professional body that will enhance standards of professionalism, identify and share evidence of what works, and support the education and development of those in policing – all in the public interest.

We’re fortunate to have a workforce that is dedicated, highly skilled and motivated and undoubtedly professional in all they do. We are recognised as being world leaders in many areas of policing including Community Policing, Criminal Investigation, Public Order, Roads Policing and Counter terrorism. Only this morning one of our officers is here in London en route to Afghanistan to train recruits in their new police force and we can be proud that our expertise and innovation is admired and respected worldwide.  However, any great organisation always seeks to improve and innovate and this is where a College of Policing will benefit the Service.

It’s a great honour to have been asked to speak on behalf of the Police Service at this event, a Police Service team that consists of police officers from the ranks of Constable to Chief Constable, police staff who play a crucial part in that team working in both operational and supporting roles, and the Special Constabulary and volunteers who give up their time to be part of the wider policing family that serves the public.

On behalf of the Service I would like to offer my congratulations and best wishes to the newly appointed Chair of the College, Professor Shirley Pearce CBE, and also to our Chief Executive Alex Marshall, who, whilst starting his new role today, has already dedicated a significant amount of time and effort to leading the College into the next phase of its journey. I look forward to working with you both over the next few years.

I have had the privilege of being involved in the creation of the College, or the Police Professional Body as it was known in its early form, from the very start, and I wouldn’t be being truthful if I didn’t say that it’s been a challenging time for everyone involved. As an Association we always supported the principle of a Professional Body for policing, but with a caveat that it had to look, feel and act different to any bodies that had gone before.

I’m immensely proud of the role that the my Association and my colleagues in the Police Federation, ACPO and Unison have played in developing the College, and credit of course must be paid to the staff at the Home Office and NPIA for their immense efforts too.

And the fact that we’re here today at this launch demonstrates the tenacity and determination of everyone involved to make the College a success – a body that will not only benefit the Police Service and those who work in it, but more importantly will benefit the public.

But of course we still have a long journey ahead if we’re to develop the College into a body that truly professionalises policing.

So what are my hopes and aspirations for the College in the future?

Well one of the really positive aspects of the College is its inclusivity and I guess the fact that a member of the Superintendents’ Association is standing here today representing the Service is a great example of that inclusive approach, and long may that continue.

The Police Service has faced significant challenges in the last few years, but I’m convinced that the College of Policing provides an opportunity for us to work better together and to raise standards further in order that our communities receive the best possible service.

It’s an opportunity for the whole of the Service to unite together as we start the next phase of this journey to build and develop OUR professional body. And as members of the Service, each with differing responsibilities, I’m sure we’ll have our disagreements, but I’m also confident that we’ll work these through in a constructive and professional way and will create strength in unity – and this is what will ultimately make a difference to both our workforce and to the public.

I also hope that this approach of inclusivity will engender a culture in the service where difference is truly valued and that the work of the College will help the Service to develop an even more diverse workforce in the future, particularly in the senior ranks.

The College will be able to take an ‘end to end’ approach to the education and development of officers and staff that goes from recruitment to retirement, but this will only truly succeed with a recognition of the need for personal responsibility for personal or self development by staff.

Closer links with Universities and other academic institutions will help the Service to better understand ‘what works’ in policing and provide a sound evidence base for future decision making.

When I finish my term as President of the Superintendents’ Association in 3 year’s time I am confident that the College of Policing will have made its mark. It will be underpinned by strong values and ethics, all police officers and staff will be suitably trained and developed to maximise their potential, evidence based policing will be at the heart of decision making and hopefully I will be leaving behind a ‘Royal College of Policing’ as its position of excellence is duly recognised.

Whatever challenges the Service faces in the months and years ahead, as members of the College of Policing, we must always keep the public at the forefront of our minds – they are, after all, why the Police Service exists.”