Press release

College of policing to safeguard the public and support the fight against crime

A college of policing will be set up to develop professionalism, improve the evidence base for policing and help officers in the fight against crime, home secretary Theresa May announced today.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The independent body will protect the public interest by enhancing police standards identifying evidence of what works in policing and sharing best practice amongst officers.
It will provide a range of functions from supporting the education and professional development of staff and officers to setting standards for specialist skills training such as investigation, intelligence and firearms.

Home Secretary Theresa May said:
‘The police service must be radically reformed in order to meet growing challenges and deliver the most effective service possible.
‘At the core of this reform will be a new College of Policing which will be representative of all officer and staff ranks and led by the service itself, to ensure that officers have the right training and skills for the future.
‘Together with directly elected police and crime commissioners and the new National Crime Agency our reform agenda will improve policing, delivering better value for the taxpayer and give the public a stronger voice.’

The college of policing will set standards of entry for those who want to become a police officer and will provide some specialist training itself.  It will also consider opening up the police training market to offer value for money in addition to providing careers advice for those who want to move through the ranks and setting standards for promotion and progression.
The body will forge links between the police service and universities, encouraging future academics to specialise in looking at how policing can be made more effective.
The current role of all association of chief police officers (ACPO) business areas in developing national standards and police practice will also come under the responsibility of the college of policing.

The college of policing will be established in legislation as a statutory body. In the interim period, a company will be set up with a chair and chief executive, to pave the way for the statutory body. The recruitment process for a chief executive, who will be an experienced  senior police officer, and chairman will begin shortly.


  1. Officers and staff will not be required to pay to be members of the College of Policing or to train and sit exams. The college will not issue any licence to practice policing.
  2.  Until the college of policing can be formally set up in statute, a company will be set up to begin the work of enhancing policing standards, identifying evidence of what works in policing and sharing best practice amongst officers. The company will be operational by the end of the year to ensure relevant functions and staff from the NPIA can transfer.
  3.  A board comprising of police service and non-police service representatives will be set up to ensure the interim body serves the public interest. A professional committee will also be set up within the body to oversee the transfer and continued work of relevant ACPO business areas. Members will work with the college of policing and ACPO chief constables’ council to safeguard the interests of the police service and the public.
  4. A range of NPIA functions will transfer to the interim company by the end of the year. Functions include learning, development, strategy and curriculum, approved professional practice, exams and assessments, the international academy, the national college of police leadership, uniformed operational support, some specialist training; the criminal justice and local policing unit, and the NPIA’s research, analysis and information unit.  Future funding options for these functions will be considered once the statutory body is formed.
Published 16 July 2012