Since 2019, we have embedded the learning theories of deliberate practice, the novice to expert scale and the management of cognitive load as part of our academy education model.
Police Now is leading the way in deploying deliberate practice, which involves identifying the key skills that police officers are required to learn and then breaking these down into micro-skills which are purposefully practiced and built-upon. For example, learning how to arrest will include mastering the micro-skill of informing the suspect of arrest in a clear and confident way. Participants are then asked to repeatedly practice these micro- skills, receiving immediate and actionable feedback to help them improve. Although this can feel challenging, the process of repeating a micro-skill helps to build automaticity, reducing participants’ cognitive load by ensuring they have an automatic response in a particular situation. We are constantly aiming to improve our offering to participants; in 2020 there was a 13% increase in the perceived quality of the deliberate practice training when compared with 20192.
The continuous focus on improving our application of these learning techniques contributed to a highly successful academy in 2020, with participants’ self-reported knowledge and confidence in their role being higher than any previous cohort at the same time point3
Early indications from the 2021 Police Now Academy also demonstrate that Police Now has managed to create a strong sense of participant preparedness and confidence with 86% of participants at the post-digital academy phase agreeing that they feel prepared to enter their force for the next phase of training (in-force field training and Officer Safety Training)4