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Improving police probationer training through a democratic research process

Davis, John Dwyfor; Alexandrou, Alex


John Dwyfor Davis

Alex Alexandrou


Following a damning report on the state of police probationer training in England and Wales by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, entitled Training Matters (2002), the Home Office (2003), as part of its modernisation programme for the police service, decided that what police officers were required to know and learn to execute their statutory duties had to be examined and reported on. The learning requirements of police officers were to be thoroughly dissected and proposals made to update their knowledge, understanding and skills to effectively police in the 21st century. The article aims, not to report on the findings themselves, but to detail the innovative and democratic approach adopted by the research team to examine and propose changes to the learning requirements of police probationers. The research team adopted a democratic evaluation approach to this project, believing that such an approach not only ensures that the highest ethical principles are observed, but also democratises the research process from the participants' perspective and allows researchers to gather a rich set of data that is less coloured by their own judgements and values. © 2005 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Davis, J. D., & Alexandrou, A. (2005). Improving police probationer training through a democratic research process. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 10(2), 245-256.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2005
Journal Research in Post-Compulsory Education
Print ISSN 1359-6748
Electronic ISSN 1747-5112
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages 245-256
Keywords police, probationer training, democratic research process
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This work maps the evolution of a methodology that adopts a democratic approach to researching the voice of interested parties to better inform professional practice. This is an attempt to ensure that professionals responsible for serving the public do so in a way that matches popular expectations. Whilst set in the context of police training, this issue is also of significance for a range of services where there is direct professional/public interaction. In terms of impact, the outcome of this approach to refine police probationer training was embraced by the Home Office who subsequently modified its requirements for such training to directly reflect the recommendations of the inquiry described in this article. As a result of this, the author has been invited as consultant to assist other universities and police forces involved in designing programmes for the professional development of police officers. Davies is equal co-author with Alexandrou.

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