In December 2011, the Home Secretary announced the creation of a professional body for the police service. The College of Policing will be established by the end of 2012.
Why set up a police professional body?
The police service is currently facing a series of challenges, ranging from the transformational change that forces need to make to deliver savings and reduce crime, to the increasing complexity of the threats to national security, public safety and public order.
These challenges cannot be met by relying on the existing structures at a national level in policing. The College of Policing will have a powerful mandate to enable the service to implement the standards it sets for training, development, skills and qualifications.
The body will spearhead the drive to cut unnecessary bureaucracy and form-filling processes and it will ensure police officers and police staff have the right skills to make the right decisions. Police officers and police staff, as members of a profession, should use sound judgement and experience to resolve a situation without fearing the consequences.
It is expected that the College of Policing will operate independently of government with a company established in December with the intention of replacing it with a statutory body at a later stage. This arrangement will allow many of the necessary functions of the NPIA to be continued until the statutory body is created.
For the police service
Representatives from the police service, including the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales are working with the Home Office to create the body. It is essential that the body represents the desires and aspirations of the police service. To reflect this, the chief executive of the College of Policing will be an experienced senior police officer.
The college will raise the professional status of police officers and police staff, allowing them to gain greater recognition and reward for accredited levels of expertise and allowing them to contribute to the development of policy in the various areas of specialism.
In the public interest
A board, chaired by someone independent of policing, will oversee the work of the College of Policing and will comprise police and non-police representatives. Democratically elected police and crime commissioners will be represented on the board and with non-police representatives will ensure the College of Policing serves the public interest.