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Case Study: Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Academy

IQ Centre Training for Success (TFS) has designed a new qualification based on the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme to attract more young people into the private security sector. We asked them to tell us more!

How can we bring a higher calibre of staff into the private security sector? How can we attract more varied backgrounds; more women, younger entrants, and more ethnic minorities? Rather than continuing to recruit from the Police, HM Prisons and the armed forces, why not take school-leavers? For if the armed forces take 16 or 18-year-olds, why can’t private security?

These are the questions that The Cardinal Group set out to address, in partnership with TFS, with the launch of the first ACPO Academy at Ashfield School at Kirkby-in-Ashfield in September 2013. After looking at these questions they concluded that much of what was needed to entice young people into a security career depended on schools and their careers teaching, including ensuring that pupils and teachers had appropriate role models to follow.

The learning programme that they designed in response, which has now been successfully realised at Ashfield, is delivered through 37 sessions across the school term and is centred on the use of rolling case studies. The content itself is delivered by trainers drawn from a number of disciplines, including the police and wider criminal justice system, which helps to introduce students to the array of careers available to them within the sector.

Throughout the programme, the students study a wide range of topics including, what is meant by the ‘extended police family’, methods of crime reduction and problem-solving in community safety, the law for accredited persons, and how to be effective in the role; by improving communication skills, managing conflict and being assertive, as well as basic principles of risk-assessment. Learning outcomes include being able to record evidence, to manage a crime scene or incident, to use a radio and other communications equipment; and to deal with emergencies.

TFS, the training and content provider for the academy, has designed a Level 2 training course in Community Safety that will be awarded by Industry Qualifications (IQ). The content mirrors the existing adult award that can lead to the accreditation of some basic police powers under the Home Office approved Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS).

IQ was instrumental in supporting TFS to design a clear assessment process which needed to reflect the practical and experiential nature of the programme. What’s more, IQ’s position within the private security sector was an important factor that featured highly in the Academy’s selection of TFS as the content provider. The fact that the qualification was awarded by a national awarding body like IQ was instrumental in the school’s decision to adopt the programme and place it within the existing and popular ‘uniformed services’ portfolio.

Inspector Richard Stones (CSyP), who serves as Vice Chair at Ashfield School, said “ACC Sue Fish, ACPO lead on business crime, has driven important alliances between the police and the private security sector. The creation of the first ACPO Academy, a vision of the Cardinal Group, is a great example of this drive.

As Vice Chair of Governors at Ashfield School and as a serving Police Officer with a keen interest in security, I was eager for the school to develop a programme that provided students who aspire to join the uniformed services with a course that broadens their horizons and exposes them to the potential of working in the private security sector, the extended Police family or the wider criminal justice sector.

The Cardinal Group’s vision, supported by training providers TFS, has done just that. Current events have raised awareness of the need for effective security and this course provides the knowledge necessary to make a career in security or law enforcement a career choice from school. The skills and qualities gained from this course will prepare students for the challenges this career choice may present and gives a useful insight into community safety, the criminal justice system and partnership working.”


Operations Director at Training for Security, Rob McHarg agreed with this sentiment, saying “The TFS course development for the academy will equip successful pupils with a skill-set that will provide them with a significant appreciation and application of the key aspects that underpin local community safety and will offer up a potential future career path within the private security sector and the wider criminal justice system.”

Finally, Jason Trigg, CEO of The Cardinal Group, stated that “The Cardinal Group are proud to be the principal partners with ACPO on this unique endeavour. TFS has expertly crafted a learning programme which can be duplicated within other schools throughout the country.

I am committed to the vision of developing sustainable partnerships with ACPO and believe that this initiative provides an overt and welcome platform for supporting the principle of the extended police family.

My thanks are also due to Richard Vasey the Headmaster of Ashfield School for trusting in the Cardinal vision and Julie Taylor (Head of vocational training) for facilitating the inclusion of the programme within the existing uniform services agenda.”


If you would like to tell us about the work you are doing with IQ, please get in touch.

Dec 09, 2013 04:45 PM
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