The College of Policing
The College of Policing was established in 2012 as the professional body for everyone who works for the police service in England and Wales.
The purpose of the College is to provide those working in policing with the skills and knowledge necessary to prevent crime, protect the public, and secure public trust.
We have three complementary functions:
• Knowledge – we develop the research and infrastructure for improving evidence of ‘what works’. Over time, this will ensure that policing practice and standards are based on knowledge, rather than custom and convention.
• Education – we support the development of individual members of the profession. We set educational requirements to assure the public of the quality and consistency of policing skills and we facilitate the academic accreditation and recognition of our members’ expertise.
• Standards – we draw on the best available evidence of ‘what works’ to set standards in policing for forces and individuals. Examples include our Authorised Professional Practice (APP) and peer reviews.
We intend to be a not-for-profit membership organisation, and will aim to achieve chartered status. Members will be fully involved in all aspects of College work.
We will have a mandate to set standards in professional development, including codes of practice and regulations, to ensure consistency across the 43 forces in England and Wales. We also have a remit to set standards for the police service on training, development, skills and qualifications, and we will provide maximum support to help the service implement these standards.
A fundamental development within the College is the use of knowledge and research to develop an evidence-based approach to policing. We are hosting the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, which involves collaboration with academics and a university consortium. We will also take a coordinating role across the country, commissioning research and setting up regional networks, so that universities, further education colleges and police forces can work together to learn from best practice.
The British model of policing by consent is admired right across the world. We will help to create the best conditions to sustain and enhance that model.
As the professional body for policing, the Government’s intention is for the College of Policing to operate independently of the Home Office. For this reason and to allow it to start operating as soon as possible, the College was established as a company limited by guarantee while legislation to formally establish it as a statutory body was prepared.
Soon after the College’s establishment, following discussion between the College and Home Office and recommendations of the Home Affairs Select Committee in its report, Leadership and Standards in the Police, dated 1 July 2013, House of Commons (HC 67-1) it was decided the maintenance of this independence could be best achieved through pursuing Royal Charter status. This remains the College’s long-term aim and is supported by the Home Office.
The College’s role, functions and responsibilities have been expressly recognised by Parliament in statute, including through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, which made a number of amendments to the Police Act 1996, and the Policing and Crime Act 2017.
In 2016 the College was the subject of an inquiry by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee. The Committee’s report ‘The College of Policing: three years on’ (HC678) noted that ‘We consider that the College of Policing is now a permanent and essential part of the new landscape of policing, which began to take shape in 2010’ and ‘The College’s Chief Executive, Chief Constable Alex Marshall, and his team have made an impressive start’. The Committee also set out several areas in which the College could develop.