Number: C2004 Date Published: 21 July 2021 Version 4 – July 2021
1.0 Summary of Changes
This procedure was reviewed on 7th July. No change has been made to the content, just to the owner details.
2.0 What this Procedure is About
This procedure outlines the aims and processes of the Special Constable Training Programme.
Compliance with this procedure and any governing policy is mandatory.
3.0 Detail the Procedure
All Special Constables will undergo their Foundation Training Programme. Foundation training consisting of 15 one day sessions held at Essex Police College (EPC). Students are required to attend all days and pass required assessments within training before being attested as a Special Constable. The training delivered during Foundation Training is in accordance with the College of Policing.
Where a student who has been absent from the course for any more than 1 weekend session, recourse or removal from the training course may be considered. The decision to recourse will be the responsibility of the Line Manager and will be based upon the individual’s circumstances, performance, experience and subject matter missed. Every effort will be made by the training team to accommodate attendance problems encountered by the student due to the nature of their voluntary status and to keep them engaged on the programme.
Each of the sessions has defined learning objectives and should a student not be able to attend for welfare or sickness reasons the absence must be noted on their Course Record Log and any missed sessions will be subject of a support plan. This will ensure that students acquire the necessary knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
Student officers who undertake the Initial Learning for Special Constables (IL4SC) at Essex Police College (EPC) will undertake a number of Learning Assessments during their 15 day course of training.
Learning Assessments will be multiple-choice question papers. Their purpose is to assess the student officer’s knowledge of the IL4SC programme. This knowledge will be gained from online learning and reinforced during training contact sessions. Students will be provided with an online learning syllabus and restricted access to learning platforms, College of Policing Student Notes, and additional supportive documents along with Computer Based Training.
The schedule for examinations shall be as follows:
There will be 3 knowledge based Learning Assessments within the 15 day programme as well as a summative practical assessment;
Learning Assessments will be taken evenly throughout the course on key subject areas of knowledge from the ILS4C;
The assessment dates will be given to the student officers during their first day of training;
Each examination will be built from approved and validated questions.
The exam will be reviewed and confirmed as appropriate by a member of the training team who is a qualified assessor;
The examination will include a set of simple rules for the student officers to follow including duration of the exam and marking guidelines;
Infringement of the outlined rules for any learning assessment or alleged conduct falling below the standard expected of student officers shall be investigated and where applicable disciplinary action taken;
In line with any identified or declared specific student learning requirements, reasonable adjustments will be put in place straight away to ensure the examination is conducted fairly and properly. It is the responsibility of the trainer to make sure the individual requirements based on an initial assessment undertaken prior to a student starting their training are met which may include extra 25% of time or coloured paper; if that student is referred for further assessment then the trainer will adhere to, where reasonable to the recommendations provided.
Student officers unable to attend EPC to sit a Learning Assessment due to sickness will be required to sit the Learning Assessment the following day. Where they are unable to sit the Learning Assessment the following day, they will sit it at the next available opportunity. Long term sickness may result in a student being removed from the course the process will be scheduled to meet the health/welfare needs of the student officer;
If a student officer fails to attend a learning assessment without a valid reason, the Line manager will make a decision based on the individual case as to how this is managed;
The overall pass mark for each examination will be 65%. An examination marking guide will be provided for trainers;
Failed exam papers will be second marked to ensure accuracy of marking;
A student officer who fails a Learning Assessment will have a professional discussion with a member of the training team to discuss their performance. Based on that discussion, the student will be provided with a support plan to facilitate their progression in preparation for the next Learning Assessment. There is no option of retaking a paper;
If after the professional discussion the trainer is not satisfied that the student officer is competent in their knowledge of a subject, the student officer will be set a support plan to specifically develop that knowledge.
They will then have a second professional discussion for that knowledge to be assessed;
Student officers must achieve an aggregate score of 65% over the three exams.
If a student fails to meet an aggregate score of 65%. An appraisal of the student officer will be provided by the Line Manager in the form of a formal review. It will include supporting evidence and recommendations for the student officer’s future. Consideration will be given within this formal review, to re-coursing the student officer or removing them from the course completely;
This decision will be given to the student officer and HR to assist with any future career planning;
On the first occasion that a student officer fails a learning assessment having been back-coursed, the Line Manager will review the officer’s progress and make recommendations to the Special Constable Command with regard to the student officer continuing their training.
3.2 Standard of Appearance
Students are engaged in training at Essex Police College (EPC) and may be in contact with personnel not connected to Essex Police who are using the Training School venues. As such they represent Essex Police when engaging in any training activity and this should be the determining factor when deciding the appropriateness of any dress choice.
Under normal circumstances students will wear smart casual clothing until they are issued with uniform. If the nature of any task requires a change from this then staff will advise students accordingly. Students will not:
Wear clothing that unnecessarily exposes anything other than their arms or legs;
Wear baseball caps/headgear in the classrooms/training areas (unless this is required for religious or cultural observance);
Wear clothing with inappropriate slogans that could in anyway be regarded as offensive to a colleagues or member of staff or in any way demeans the office of Constable. Inappropriate is defined as rude, lewd, crude, discriminatory, violent or intimidating.
Staff should be mindful that certain hairstyles may generate adverse comments from the public which may affect relationships with, and the co-operation of, some members of the public. This will impact upon the effectiveness of the service and any styles likely to be controversial should not be worn when on public duty in uniform.
For uniformed police officers, unless on identifiable religious grounds, long hair must be neatly and securely fastened up and worn relatively close to the head for safety reasons. Any hair bands, clips, ties or accessories must be plain and the colour in keeping with the main uniform.
An 'unshaven', i.e., stubble appearance is not desirable. Full beards or moustaches are permitted. In the absence of the above, staff will be expected to be clean shaven.
Staff should wear clean shoes or boots that are appropriate to their uniform and role and these should be in a good state of repair. Shoes and boots must be black in colour have plain fronts without embellishments or exaggerated shape. They must have low heels, no coloured stitching and no coloured soles. Boots provided for specific duties, e.g., public order, are not to be used for normal duties.
Plain dark navy or black socks will be worn with trousers. When wearing skirts, female police staff should wear stockings or tights of tan, black or grey shades.
No jewellery should be worn which would cause injury to self or others in conflict management situations, or which might cause offence or would cause any member of the public to doubt the professionalism of the individual. The wearing of body jewellery such as tongue studs, nose studs, and eyebrow jewellery is not permissible unless it is part of strict religious or ethnic dress requirements. Individual items of other jewellery must not depict words, letters, symbols or pictures which may cause offence to individuals or sections of the community.
Male officers will not wear earrings. Female officers may only wear discreet earrings and only one item per earlobe.
Only one discreet tie pin may be worn when in uniform. This should be of a suitable size and the design or logo must not depict any words, letters, symbols or pictures likely to cause offence to individuals or sections of the community. Name badges and medal ribbon brooches are the only other badges which may be worn when in uniform.
Nails must be kept to a short length suitable for the duty being performed.
Officers should be mindful of the injury that may be caused to themselves or others by excessively long nails. Nail varnish should be pale or clear. No other nail decorations may be worn.
Please see C 3022 Procedure – Standards of Appearance.
3.3 Post Foundation Training
The next stage of their training is completed on a Local Policing Area (LPA) in order to achieve the status of ‘Independent Patrol’. This will include being tutored by a qualified and trained regular officer or Special Constable Tutor and completion of their IL4SC portfolio achieving Independent Patrol. This means the Special Constable has been assessed against the national standards and achieved those standards to go and support regular colleagues in Operational Policing. It does not mean they are fully competent in all aspects of police patrol.
Where a Special Constable is not making significant progress through volunteering hours or due to ability, a review will take place with the LPA Special Co-ordinators, Special Supervisor and the Special Constable concerned to establish if any action plan is needed.
Following Foundation Training, operational Special Constables will be required to attend monthly training sessions in addition to the 16 hours per month. To achieve confirmation in the role of special constable, an officer must have completed the foundation training and attestation, achieve independent patrol status by providing evidence against the professional development portfolio and undertaken an assessed patrol with a Special Training Team Professional Development Officer. Completed all the post foundation training sessions and have undertaken a total of 400 hours duty.
Where a Special Constable regularly fails to attend monthly training; he or she should be informed that, unless there are exceptional or personal circumstances that prevent them from temporarily doing so, they will not achieve confirmation status and will be assessed by Special Constabulary Command as per the performance process.
Special Constables must attend the annual Officer Safety Training programme and must book a reauthorisation course via the Duty sheet system. For officer safety training please refer to C 2010 Procedure – Personal Safety Training. Special Constables who do not book a place and are more than 12 months from the last Officer Safety Training Course will not be permitted to complete operational duties, unless an agreed extension has been given by Specials Command.
Special Constables who hold driving permits must ensure they undertake required compliance training when required.
All Special Constables should abide by D 2000 Policy – Safe Driving and its associated procedures. Police officers and staff who are not currently authorised response drivers must not use emergency warning equipment while the vehicle is in motion unless to stop another vehicle in accordance with the Road Traffic Act and have had specific training in the stopping of compliant vehicles.
4.0 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA - pending.
5.0 Risk Assessment
There is no specific risk assessment or health and safety consideration thought relevant to the content of this procedure.
Officers and staff engaged within the process must remain aware that they must follow the protocol correctly otherwise the risk to the organisation of a possible employment could be raised. A failure to fully adopt the principles set out in this protocol could have a detrimental effect upon the reputation of the organisation.
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator
Health & Safety
Strategic Change Team
Manager, Practical Skills Centre
Operational and Investigative Skills Training Department (OISTD)
7.0 Monitoring and Review
This procedure will be reviewed by, or on behalf of, the owner every 24 months to ensure that it remains accurate and fit for purpose.
8.0 Governing Force policy. Related Force policies or related procedures
L 1180 Protocol - Discharge of Probationers under Regulation 13
C 3022 Procedure – Standards of Appearance
C 2010 Procedure – Personal Safety Training
D 2000 Policy - Safe Driving
8.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
8.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
9.0 Other source documents, e.g., legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Force forms, partnership agreements (if applicable)