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Criteria for the High Quality Training of Police Officers

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Police Conflict Management, Volume II

Abstract

Training time is a scarce commodity in the police context. It is therefore important to squeeze as much learning out of the available time as possible. High quality training is, however, not a given in the police domain. Police instructors are generally highly motivated to do well and feel a strong sense of responsibility to equip their trainees with adequate skills. However, didactical and pedagogical skills are still often the neglected child in training. Studies have shown there is much to improve in the training of officers. The authors wrote this chapter with police training practitioners in mind and hope the criteria will support their practice and help them to substantiate their practical expertise and motivation to deliver great training with scientifically grounded criteria. They provide didactical criteria for high quality training in the police domain. Their underpinning view of learning is that it is a process that leads to relatively stable changes in behaviour (potential) as a result of specific interactions with the environment. They consider skills to be learned when they are sustained over some time after training (retention) and when they can be applied in various situations (transfer). The criteria they present are based on research on skill acquisition, motor learning, performing under pressure, and motivation. As such they are mostly (but not solely) applicable to the training of perceptual motor skills such as use-of-force and de-escalation training, decision making and acting, and integrated skills training, such as scenario training. The criteria can be used in the design or preparation of training, serve as a guidance for instructors during training sessions, and form criteria to evaluate and monitor the didactical quality of sessions.

Reviewer: Laura Voigt

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Notes

  1. 1.

    There is a debate as to whether the term “realism” or “representativeness” should be used (see Staller et al., 2017). We use the terms “realistic” and “realism” here, but our recommendations on “realistic training” are grounded in representative learning design and thus technically point to representative training.

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Hutter, R.I., Renden, P.G., Kok, M., Oudejans, R., Koedijk, M., Kleygrewe, L. (2023). Criteria for the High Quality Training of Police Officers. In: Staller, M.S., Koerner, S., Zaiser, B. (eds) Police Conflict Management, Volume II. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-41100-7_2

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