University course for Tasmania police graduates

In an Australian first, a new pathway reducing the time it takes for police recruits to complete their degree has been officially recognised through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Tasmania Police and the University of Tasmania.

The Memorandum of Understanding formalises an already strong strategic collaboration on education and training needs.

The joint project involves significant parts of the Tasmania Police recruit course being incorporated as units in an In-Service Pathway of the Bachelor of Social Science (Police Studies) degree.

“Tasmania Police has earned a reputation throughout Australia for striving to set the highest possible standard of education and training for its officers” said the Acting Commissioner of Police, Darren Hine.

For many years police recruits have received credit from their Academy studies towards a university degree. Now for the first time recruits, including the current course which commenced in March will complete 15 of the 24 units of a Bachelor of Social Science (Police Studies) before they graduate.

“This level of cooperation between police and a tertiary institution has not been achieved in another police jurisdiction” said Mr Hine.

“The training environment at the Academy is designed to best prepare police recruits for their demanding role in front line operational policing” he said.

UTAS Vice Chancellor Professor Daryl Le Grew said the Memorandum of Understanding reflects the co-operation between both parties around the development, implementation and review of educational programs and related activities.

“This is a significant achievement which advances the professionalisation policy of Tasmania Police and reduces the time it usually takes a police officer to complete their degree” Prof. Le Grew said.

“It also enhances the reputation of Tasmania Police as an employer of choice” Prof. Le Grew said.

The Head of the UTAS School of Government, Associate Professor Kate Crowley, said the Bachelor of Science (Police Studies) Major has several aims.

“It is designed to understand and analyse issues concerning police practice in contemporary society, along with the changing roles and expectations of police in the context of a changing society” Associate Professor Crowley said.

“It also provides students with specific knowledge and skills of policing” she said.

Units cover how to act ethically, conduct investigations, manage various risk situations and critical thinking in politics and sociology.

The MoU builds on the long and positive relationship between Tasmania Police and the University of Tasmania. This resulted in the establishment of the Bachelor of Social Science (Police Studies) Degree 10 years ago, along with various police specific postgraduate qualifications and the formation of the Tasmania Institute of Law Enforcement Studies (TILES).

(29 June 2010)