Protect Duty: police training in support
Changes are coming, and many of us would agree that they are long overdue. The implication of Martyn’s Law is now becoming clear with the publication of some of the requirements which will be placed on publicly accessible locations (PALs).
Qualifications and Continuous Professional Development are now key components for everyone working in public spaces and engaged with the aims of the Government’s PROTECT agenda. The public are rightfully challenging the rhetoric post major incident of ‘We must learn the lessons’.
The lessons are clear, legislation is changing and people operating within PALs can expect to be held to account moving forwards. One key lesson for all companies and personnel working in PALs is the need for access to better training. The National Counter Terrorism Security Office and others have developed online training packages over recent years that cover basic counter terrorism advice, such as Action Counter Terrorism and Run, Hide, Tell.
These short courses are excellent at raising awareness, especially for the general public, but are they enough for others working within PALs, such as managers, staff and guarding services? Most if not all of these professions work in uniforms with hi-vis vests on. If a major incident happens, these people will be the first point of contact for the public to turn to. It is, therefore, critically important that security staff are occupationally and operationally competent. They must have the right level of knowledge and they must be able to apply it when required and often, in high-risk stressful situations.
Established in early 2017, the Police Crime Prevention Academy is an initiative developed by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, a police- owned non-profit organisation which also owns the well-known Secured by Design, Secured Environments and Licensing SAVI brands.
The Academy was established to adopt Crime Prevention and Designing Out Crime courses that were previously delivered by the College of Policing. Under an agreement, the Academy took on the development and delivery of these courses and registered them as national vocational qualifications with OFQUAL, through their awarding body ProQual.
Since 2018 the Academy diversified into other crime prevention-related topics to support others in the public and private sector who were engaged in providing physical security measures, crime prevention through environmental design and creating safer communities. These have included local authorities, visitor attractions, academic campuses and the security guarding sector.
During COVID-19 lockdowns, the Academy developed its methodologies in course delivery to ensure that it could provide new learning throughout 2020 and 2021. This now means that Level 2 qualifications and courses are available on the eLearning platform and that face-to-face delivery can be delivered ‘virtually’ with the use of Microsoft Teams. The aim is to cut costs as much as possible and avoid extracting employees from their workplace for extended periods of time. The lesson during COVID was to work smarter, not harder.
Many employers still prefer to have their staff training classroom-based and in person. This allows for greater interaction between delegates themselves and the training staff. It is also a more effective way for trainers to assess the ability of delegates and give personal support where necessary. Why is this important? We have seen from a number of incidents and the findings from public enquiries that training is a high priority, especially when it comes to protecting people who use PALs. Its not good enough for someone to sit down and go through an online training module. There must be some form of assessment that can evidence that the learner has absorbed all the key learning outcomes AND can apply that in their workplace.
Exams are considered valuable within academia but when it comes to vocational qualifications, there must be a detailed assessment of the occupational and operational competency of the candidate concerned. An 80% pass mark has no value if the candidate has not understood 20% of the most important new learning provided to them.
The PROTECT agenda in the UK is gaining momentum with the introduction of Martyn’s Law possibly later this year. This will create a duty on most public places and spaces to take certain steps to ensure public safety and security. The Academy has been developing its qualifications to incorporate the requirements of Martyn’s Law into its courses. This is further enhanced by the availability of professional development covering these subject areas. The aim is for everyone to have access to these policing courses which have been developed by relevant subject matter experts.
To find out more or to enquire about the bespoke courses we can build for you, please visit www.crimepreventionacademy.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our team is waiting to advise and assist you with your future training requirements.
Crime Prevention Academy