1.The College of Policing was launched in December 2012 as a professional body to develop the knowledge, standards of conduct, leadership and professionalism required by police officers and police staff in England and Wales. The College is a company limited by guarantee and an Arm’s Length Body of the Home Office. It is operationally independent of the Home Office.
2.The College was established as part of the Coalition Government’s programme of wider reform of the structure of policing bodies. The College took on a number of responsibilities from the now defunct National Policing Improvement Agency and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), particularly with regard to training and the setting of policy. ACPO’s replacement, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, has responsibilities on the operational side. As of 31 March 2015 the College had a total of 485 directly employed staff; 51 agency/contract staff; and 152 secondees.
3.This inquiry is part of our regular scrutiny of the College of Policing. Our predecessor Committee first considered the role of the College in 2013 as part of a broader examination of Leadership and Standards in the Police Service. It then undertook a follow-up inquiry Evaluating the new architecture of policing: the College of Policing and the National Crime Agency in 2014–15. Our predecessors were concerned that the Board of the College lacked diversity and the necessary skills required for its role. The Committee heard that the College was not able to communicate directly with members of police forces and found that, partly as a result of this, there was a lack of recognition of the College amongst police officers and inconsistencies in approach to its guidance from Chief Constables. We have pursued a number of these themes in this follow-up inquiry.
4.In addition to the College of Policing witnesses, Chief Constable Alex Marshall, Chief Executive and Rachel Tuffin, Director of Research, Knowledge and Education, we took evidence from the Police Federation of England and Wales and the Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales, and Phil Gormley, Chief Constable of Police Scotland. We also benefited from the Royal College of Nursing and the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences sharing their experience with us. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to our inquiry.
1 Home Affairs Committee, Third Report of Session 2013–14, , HC 67
2 Home Affairs Committee, Tenth Report of Session 2014–15, , HC 800
5 July 2016