Guidance Note 8 - National police staff workplace learning and development

Local Government House,
Smith Square,
ondon, SW1P 3HZ
Telephone 020 7187 7340 Fax 020 7664 3030
Employers’ Secretary, Sarah Messenger


1 Mabledon Place London WC1H 9AJ
Telephone 020 7551 1272
Staff Side Secretary, Ben Priestley

To: Police Authority Chief Executives (copy enclosed for Treasurer) Chief Constables (copy enclosed for Force Personnel Manager)

Forces in Scotland (for information only)

cc:    Members of the PSC

11 September 2008

Joint circular no. 55

Dear Sir/Madam

National Police Workplace Learning and Development Agreement

At the recent Police Staff Council (PSC) meeting the Employer Side and Trade Union Side signed off a National Workplace Learning and Development agreement. This agreement forms part of joint guidance contained in section 3 of the PSC handbook.

Learning and development is an ever changing area involving many police stakeholders. Consequently this agreement will be kept under constant review.

If you require any further information on this circular, please contact Emine Ali or Graham Baird  (020  7187  7340)  at  the  Employer  Side,  or  Ben  Priestley  (020  7551  1272)  or  David Bryant (020 7551 1326) at the Trade Union Side.

Yours faithfully

Sarah Messenger
Ben Priestley

National Joint Secretaries
National Police Staff Workplace Learning and Development Agreement

Police Authorities and Forces will develop clear local training strategies based on consultation including consultation with local Trade Unions and supported by policies and objectives that have clear targets. They will also agree an annual training plan based on the strategy which will provide the focus for the establishment of training and development priorities.

For the needs of the police service to be met it is essential that staff are appropriately and efficiently trained. All staff are entitled to relevant training and development, to develop the skills, knowledge, understanding, attitudes and behaviour to deliver a quality  police service to the public.

To ensure that such training is being delivered effectively it must reflect both the needs of the individuals and the organisation. These must be identified, prioritised and appropriate training allocated in an efficient manner.

Annual Training Plans should be linked to the Force’s HR Strategy and designed to:

  • meet the current and anticipated corporate and service needs of the force, addressing local and customer requirements and circumstances
  • take into account the individual needs and career development of employees through analysis of personal performance plans and skills analysis
  • enable authorities to attain their strategic objectives through development of their employees
  • take account of the full range of learning methods
  • enable access to learning for all employees, including part-time employees and shift workers.

Employees attending or undertaking approved training should be provided with paid release in accordance with statutory provisions.

Some training can be very expensive and authorities may require repayment of all or part of the costs incurred should an employee leave the authority before  a  reasonable  time period has expired. The authority’s policy in this regard should be made explicit.

Objectives for training plans should include the following:

  • to enable Police Authorities to attain their strategic objectives via investment in their employees.
  • to support and promote development of a learning culture in all parts of the organisation which encourages Police Staff to develop their skills and level of responsibility to the maximum of their individual potential.
  • to promote equity of access to learning.
  • to widen and modernise the skills profile of Police Staff to maximise their versatility, employability and so, job security.
  • to enable Police Staff to raise levels of professionalism, efficiency. productivity and service within the force
  • to build leadership and problem-solving skills and capacity at every level.
  • to provide appropriate facilities for workplace learning.

Police Authorities and Forces should establish local partnership  arrangements,  to  include recognised trade unions to develop, monitor evaluate and review their annual training plans.

Police Authorities and Forces and the recognised trade unions shall encourage and support employees taking on the statutory Union Learning Representative (ULR) role. This will include agreeing facilities and paid release in accordance with statutory provisions. ULRs should be enabled to play a full part in promoting and implementing local training and development programmes.