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Training and ongoing development

If you successfully complete the recruitment process, you will be offered to start with West Mercia Police as a Special Constable. You will then receive professional police training and be supported with development opportunities throughout your career.

The Special Constabulary Project Team will contact you directly, once you have fully completed all stages of the recruitment process.

You will be provided with training dates in order for you to confirm which training intake you will be available to attend.

Once you have confirmed a suitable start date, you will be provided with an offer of appointment.

Following this, you will then be contacted by the training team.

What does the training involve?

Phase one of the training consists of a variety of inputs on law and procedure and officer safety training. It takes place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Saturdays and some full weekends. The lessons are held at Hindlip Hall, Wellington and Leek Wootton.

The training programme incorporates distance learning, experiential learning as well as traditional classroom-based learning. This combination supports the principle that adults do not learn by simply attending a course and they require mentoring, coaching and personal experiences to reinforce what is learnt in the classroom.

This means that during some weeks you will be involved in live training in a police facility classroom; and during other weeks you will take part in 'blended learning', where you work from home or take part in online web seminars with your trainers.

All of the classroom- based learning is supplemented by pre-session learning which is completed before the relevant sessions. This can include specific tasking sheets, knowledge checks and digital learning.

The training programme is the same for all sites and concludes with an examination.

What you will cover in your initial training:

  • Law - including legislation such as the Theft Act, Criminal Attempts Act, Offences Against The Person Act, Public Order Act and the Misuse of Drugs Act.
  • Officer Safety Training - first aid training and physical tactics, including restraints, handcuffing, use of PAVA incapacitant spray, auto lock batons, safe ways of searching and basic water rescue training. Also includes interactive training on using the National Decision Model and how it applies within West Mercia Police's Vision and Values.
  • The use of police 'Airwave' handheld radios.
  • Custody Procedure - how to present a person under arrest to the Custody Sergeant and what happens within police custody suites.
  • Training coverage on the European Convention on Human Rights and how that ties in with how the police operate in the United Kingdom.

Phase two

During the 12 months you will complete an Accompanied Patrol programme, as part of phase two of the training. You will accompany experienced police officers, and have further mandatory classroom-based training sessions to build on your knowledge and understanding, and incorporate what you have learnt in an operational context. You will work through a portfolio to record the good work you do to meet the National Occupational Standards for a Special Constable.

During this time you will also attend three further training sessions covering more advanced operational skills.

You will need to demonstrate that you are 'safe and legal' in certain core policing skills; this is recorded on Police Action Checklists (PACs) in a portfolio, similar to those that are used by regular officers in their initial training.

Following the successful completion of the 12-month programme, there is no formal qualification awarded, but through the evidence obtained you will be designated to be 'safe and legal' to patrol independently.

Roles and responsibilities

You are responsible for monitoring your own progress and maintaining up to date and accurate records of evidence in your portfolio.

Supervisors are responsible for monitoring your progress while you are developing in the role and gathering evidence for independent patrol status. An experienced officer will verify the evidence claimed or examined.

You may patrol with experienced Special Constables or regular police officers while working towards independent patrol status.

Members of the Special Constabulary Management Team are responsible for assessing your written evidence and signing off the College of Policing National Occupational Standard PACs.

Supervisors should assign you to work on a patrol shifts alongside regular Patrol Officers or Senior Special Constables. The supervisor should be sighted on the core competencies and activities contained within your portfolio and safely expose you to situations and incidents to develop your skills.

Learning and Development Trainers provide the necessary knowledge and understanding to meet the needs of the organisation and that of the College of Policing. This is delivered throughout phases one and two over the 12-month accompanied patrol period.

Progress reviews and Independent Patrol

Your progress will be reviewed regularly at week 26, week 40 and week 50 by your line supervisor, and will incorporate the regular supervisor on the shift you are assigned to.

You will only achieve Independent Patrol Status once you have attended all phase one and phase two sessions, passed the final written exam to ensure knowledge and understanding, and completed all elements of your portfolio to demonstrate your performance.