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Police officers' perceptions of professional competence
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2020 (English)In: European Journal of Policing Studies, ISSN 2034-760X, E-ISSN 2295-3523Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present follow-up study on a cohort of Swedish police students is to build knowledge of how they now as police officers perceive the importance of competencies like specific knowledge, practical skills, and reflexivity in relation to their police work. The aim is also to study whether the importance of these competence dimensions has changed from the time of their police education to their police work. To what extent do the respondents perceive that their police education has contributed to the development of certain competence dimensions? Based on both qualitative and quantitative data, the results show that respondents in their roles as police officers estimate the importance of the competencies’ specific knowledge, practical skills, and reflexivity higher than they did as police students. The results also show that in general, police education’s contributions to the development of these competencies are clearly lower than the extent to which they are perceived as important for work as police officers. In the interviews, reflections on the reasons for this indicate a discrepancy between the educational and occupational contexts. A conclusion from this study is that the police occupational culture seems to affect police students more than the formal police education. Another conclusion is that police education needs to clarify the difference between the educational practice designed to optimize a learning situation and the occupational practice in which knowledge should be applied.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
Keywords [en]
Police students, police officers, competence, frame-factor perspective, gender, educational and occupational context
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-167439OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-167439DiVA, id: diva2:1387256
Available from: 2020-01-21 Created: 2020-01-21 Last updated: 2020-01-21
In thesis
1. från polisutbildning till polispraktik: polisstudenters och polisers värderingar av yrkesrelaterade kompetenser
Open this publication in new window or tab >>från polisutbildning till polispraktik: polisstudenters och polisers värderingar av yrkesrelaterade kompetenser
2020 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
from police education to police practice : police students’, and policeofficers’ perceptions of professional competences
Abstract [en]

The aim of this dissertation is to build knowledge about the transition from an educational to an occupational context. More specifically, the dissertation focuses on the transition from police education to police practice by studying the way police students and police officers perceive the importance of a number of professional competences related to their future occupations. The aim is also to study whether the importance of these competences has changed between the time of their police education and their work as police officers and to what extent the respondents perceive that police education contributed to the development of these competences.

Methodologically, this dissertation is in some parts based on cross-sectional data. In other parts, it is based on longitudinal data and uses a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data are based on questionnaires given to police students at the beginning and end of their police education and to police officers after a few years of police practice. The questionnaire used in sub studies B, C and D is part of the European cooperation project called Recruitment, Education, and Career in the Police (RECPOL). The qualitative data are based on interviews. Theoretically, a frame factor perspective is used to analyse and understand the dissertation’s empirical data.

The results show a change in the way the respondents perceive the importance of the studied competences over time. The police students generally valued theprofessional competences higher at the beginning of their education and significantly lower at the end of their education. As police officers, however, they valued the importance of these competences almost as high as they did at the beginning of their education. The results show small differences between how male and female police students and police officers valued these competences. When the respondents reflected on the reasons why the significance of the competences changed over time, different themes emerged. The results also show that police education’s contribution to the development of these competences is clearly lower than the extent to which they are perceived as important for work as police officers. In the interviews, reflections on the reasons for this indicated a discrepancy between the educational and occupational contexts.

One conclusion is that police students at the end of their education need to better understand that they have not fully learnt everything they need to know and that they are becoming police officers with the capacity to continue developing professionally and contributing to the police as a learning organization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2020. p. 53
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 126
Keywords
Police students, police officers, professional competences, framefactor perspective, gender, educational and occupational context
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-167442 (URN)978-91-7855-184-2 (ISBN)978-91-7855-185-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-02-14, NBVH 1031, Norra Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Delstudie A har titeln "Från student till yrkesverksam polis - mental träning i polisutbildningen och polisyrket: Polisstudenters och yrkesverksamma polisers upplevda kompetens i mental träning".

Available from: 2020-01-24 Created: 2020-01-21 Last updated: 2020-01-21Bibliographically approved

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Bäck, Thomas

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