Federation calls for PLT to be made accessible to all officers

Gwent Police Federation has backed calls to make Protected Learning Time (PLT) accessible to all police officers.

Branch chair Steve Thorpe said ensuring officers were given the proper training they require should be a priority whether this is used within rank or in preparation for promotion.

And he said there would be no need to introduce a licence to practise if the Police Federation’s policy on PLT was formally adopted by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing.

Steve said: “We feel very strongly that PLT should be made available to every officer for their professional development.

“Our members should be given time to complete their training during their working hours and it is totally unfair to expect them to complete their assessments in their own time or on their rest days.” 

Steve said forces should attempt to create a learning culture within their organisation by including training as part of the regular workflow.

He said: “This would be beneficial to officers who neglect their training because they see it as something unrelated to their work duties and as a bonus would promote wellbeing and a good work-life balance.”

His comments have been echoed by the national Federation.

Dave Bamber, the Federation’s learning and development lead, said: “To genuinely invest in our people, we must ensure training and development is provided by every force.

“PLT for student officer training should be guaranteed for frontline officers, to ensure they’re equipped to handle scenarios professionally and appropriately when delivering our vital service to the public.

“Learning time is essential for young in-service officers and it is grossly unfair to expect them to perform their duties with the pressure of learning outside of their working hours affecting their quality of life.

“It would also be remiss not to mention that PLT is part of the funding model for student officers.”

Officers should not be expected to take on mandatory role specific training such as firearms or other practical based skills in their own time, the Federation said. This should be the same for all required training officers are expected to perform for their role.

The Federation added that supervisors should be provided with time to support an officer’s development. PLT should be encouraged across ranks as an investment in motivating and developing competent and professional officers.

It said that PLT will highlight the areas that require more training while addressing any deficiencies identified in an officer’s performance reviews.

Training and development programmes will also help officers discover areas in which they could use additional educational opportunities and support.

PLT will in turn, promote uniformity of work processes and increase productivity and performance, therefore providing a better workplace environment, the Federation added.