Police probationer training : policy and practice an historical review

Allard, Frank Dennis

Education; Law; Law Enforcement; Prisons
May 1997

Thesis or dissertation

© 1997 Frank Dennis Allard. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The apparent lack of any previous work focusing on Police Probationer Training was the impetus behind this research. This very important area of police training is undergone by all officers and their probationary period lasts two years.

Numerous reviews and amendments have taken place over the years but do not seem to have been documented in any structured way. The aim of this research was to discover how this training evolved, the reasons for change, and the way it has been implemented.

Finally the present day system was examined in detail, compared with the experience of older officers and other systems.


Obtaining the information has proved a task of detective work, examining numerous minutes, reports and documents produced within and without the police service.

Field work was carried out throughout Lincolnshire Police and by visits to Ryton Police Training Centre and the central Planning Unit at Harrogate (now renamed as Training Support, Harrogate).

Questionnaires were circulated to officers undergoing the training, officers who attended earlier courses and the trainers themselves. These were followed up by selected interviews. Training delivery was witnessed at Ryton Police Training Centre and within the Lincolnshire Force.


The results of this research indicate that the training given to initial recruits within the police service is as good as it has ever been. It is, however, cost led and, although the two year probationary period is somewhat euphemistically referred to as a training period, it is much more beside as, once the foundation course of 31 weeks is completed, probationers become a resource deployed in much the same way as their experienced colleagues.

The post foundation phase of training is delivered in force with little or no central control and consequently the standard of training is not consistent.

The thesis traces the development but, owing to lack of access to, or simply nonexistence, of some documents it cannot be claimed to be absolutely complete.

Department of Education, The University of Hull
Lukes, J. R. (Jacqueline Rovina)
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