Policing Futures: A Masterclass Programme for South Wales Police Officers and Staff

The Policing Futures Masterclass Series is a unique collaboration between The Universities’ Police Science Institute (UPSI) and South Wales Police (SWP), designed to provide the knowledge, skills and experience required to develop critical thinking and evidence-based practice among those considered future leaders within the force.

A cohort of 50 officers and staff, of all ranks and functions, are nominated and selected by SWP to take part in the programme.  In the first sessions, delegates hear from internal SWP speakers on the challenges for policing in the next 5 years and the force’s strategic Policing 2020 vision. This is supplemented by invited external speakers from industry, other public service organisations and the College of Policing regarding the management of change and research evidence-based interventions.

Participants then self-align to a force strategic priority area of particular interest to them, before designing a small research project to answer a key question in relation to that priority area. Each project group is allocated an academic ‘Mentor’ from UPSI to advise on study design, methodology and analysis, together with a senior force ‘Shepherd’ to provide internal governance, operational input and to aid the data access/generation process. The groups conduct their research in their own time, meeting regularly over a 9-month period with both Mentor and Shepherd for input and guidance and presenting their progress at appropriate force governance boards.

The series of Masterclasses during the research period provides an opportunity for participants to hear more academic, internal and external speakers on topics related to research, policing and change management and to present their progress to peers in other groups, a wider academic audience and senior SWP staff.  The series will culminate in a formal presentation to the SWP Chief Officer Group, together with a short, written report on their findings, interpretation of the evidence and recommendations in relation to the forces strategic direction.