A professional certificate is being introduced for anyone who wants to join South Wales Police as a police constable.
Male and female PC visiting a store in Bridgend
The Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) is a new qualification which, from January 2014, will be a mandatory requirement, with applicants only able to apply to become a police constable once they have obtained this certificate and when the force advertises for new officers.
The CKP gives candidates an understanding of policing and police law and allows them to demonstrate some of the critical decision-making skills that are required for the job.
This means candidates will have a much stronger skills set when they start as constables, having detailed knowledge in vital areas of policing such as victim support, the use of police powers, interviewing witnesses and suspects, the criminal justice system, social and community issues and neighbourhood policing.
South Wales Police is the first force in Wales to make the CKP a requirement for those wishing to apply to become a police constable, although several forces in England have already introduced it including the Met Police, Surrey, Sussex, North Yorkshire and Hampshire.
There are several educational establishments offering CKP courses at various costs. However South Wales Police is offering a bespoke CKP Plus course at a cost of £1,190. This cost includes City and Guilds registration and National Centre for Applied Learning Technologies (NCALT) registration.
While this may be more expensive than some other establishments, this is a more detailed course specifically tailored for people wanting to join South Wales Police.
The benefits, compared to similar courses, is that candidates will be taught by operational officers who can give a practical insight into day to day policing and offer the perfect grounding to life in the job. Candidates who take the standard CKP course elsewhere will also have to sit and pass two further exams to make sure they are CKP Plus proficient before starting their police training with South Wales Police.
South Wales Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner is working on various strategies, together with key partners, to look at reducing the potential impact of costs on specific groups, such as residents from confirmed areas of deprivation, who want to take the CKP Plus course.
Mr Mark Milton, Director of Human Resources at South Wales Police, said: “The introduction of CKP is a milestone for policing. For the first time new constables will have a recognised professional qualification which will give them vital knowledge and an understanding of current legislation, policy and practice.
“The huge advantage of South Wales Police offering this qualification in-house is the contact candidates will have with operational officers and the experience that can be passed onto them first hand. Candidates who pass the CKP plus exam with South Wales Police will have the best possible grounding if they then choose to apply to become a police constable when we advertise for new officers.”
South Wales Police is now accepting applications from people wishing to study a CKP plus course, with the first candidates due to begin their courses in June, 2014.