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Police (Training And Promotion)

Volume 175: debated on Tuesday 26 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will review methods of training and promotion in the police forces in the United Kingdom.

Over the past three years there has been a comprehensive review of police training in England and Wales, which has led to the introduction of new training courses for recruits, experienced constables, sergeants and inspectors. The programme of command and carousel courses at the police staff college has also been revised and updated.The system of qualifying examinations for promotion to the ranks of sergeant and inspector has recently been reviewed by the police promotion examinations board. The main recommendation of that review is that the existing system of examinations should be replaced by a two-part examination, consisting of a factual written paper and a series of performance-related tests.Promotion to the ranks of chief inspector, superintendent and chief superintendent is a matter for the chief officer of the force concerned. For the most senior appointments the Government share the Home Affairs Committee's view that it would be desirable for all officers appointed to chief officer rank to have attended the senior command course or to have had acceptable equivalent training such as the chief police officer course which is to be held at the police staff college in 1991 and 1992. We intend to introduce this as a general policy when sufficient numbers have pased through the senior command course and chief police officer course to provide a good field of qualified candidates.