The Policing Vision 2025 sets out the future plan for policing, helping to shape decisions around service transformation and how resources are utilised to keep people safe and provide an effective, accessible and value for money service that can be trusted.

The value of Chaplaincy

Chaplaincy in action

Chaplaincy is a recognised activity within a professional police service. It provides pastoral support to all police officers, staff and volunteers and their families irrespective of any religious belief or even lack of belief. Chaplains provide an independent listening ear and caring presence to all within the Police service.

Police chaplaincy can provide support on a number of levels, whether it be on a practical and personal basis to an individual or their family at a time of crisis, or during operational matters, by providing a resource where faith and operational issues interact, to facilitate and develop links with communities.

The value and contribution of Chaplaincy to the Police was recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary when in a report on Diversity it was recommended that “…..all forces should have resources in place to meet the spiritual needs of police officers and police staff, while respecting the diversity of faiths and beliefs both inside the service and in the communities which they serve.’ (Diversity Matters, HMIC, 2003).

Who does Chaplaincy serve?

Police Chaplaincy serves all people – ‘those of faith and of no faith’ – and guards that principle strongly. No faith group is allowed to proselytise and guidelines have been developed to deliver effective ministry and service to all. Police chaplains recognise that much of police work, by its very nature, is complex and demanding, at times it is distressing, dangerous, stressful and can be dehumanising.

We understand that each individual is a complete person - body mind & spirit - and care for them in this holistic way. We also care for and support the organisation, including acting as “critical friends” within the decision making processes. Much of this support arises from the professional competence and knowledge of the individual Chaplain based upon their training and day to day practice.

In developing a police workforce that can meet the complexity of future demands, it is essential that wellbeing is paramount, with officers and staff being supported so that they can deliver a quality service to the public.

Current status of Chaplaincy

Within the Police service Police Chaplaincy UK provides a short Induction course to introduce new Chaplains to the context of Chaplaincy within the Police. However, it is recognised that in order both to deepen the knowledge of Chaplaincy and to provide a wider recruitment base there is the need to increase the scope of the existing Induction Course and to provide further opportunities for Chaplains to extend their knowledge of Chaplaincy by continuing professional development (CPD)

As the service is critically reliant on the quality of its people, a key element of the vision is the workforce. The aim is by 2025 for policing to be a profession, with a more representative workforce, that will align the right skills, powers and experience to meet challenging requirements.

Benefits of introducing a formal award

There are clear benefits of this for both the individual and for the wider Police Service. For the individual it recognises and builds upon their professional competency and practice by providing an appropriate, focused and useful programme of continuing professional development.

For the Police Service and related organisations it will help develop academic research and a corpus of knowledge that will enhance the contribution and assessment of Police Chaplaincy to organisational and personal well-being. In that sense it may be appropriately recognised as a ‘force multiplier’.

As the role of the chaplain becomes further embedded in policing there is a need to ensure that continuous professional development is available which is academically accredited and recognises the skills and knowledge of people required by the role.

What should this award look like?

The UWTSD University Certificate in Chaplaincy (Policing) provides this accredited CPD route, worth 40 transferable UK credits; it recognises the importance and complexity of the role and further professionalises it. This award provides the opportunity for Chaplains to demonstrate a systematic understanding and critical awareness of their role, including the boundaries of professional practice and apply this knowledge to evaluate problems, situations and ethical dilemmas they are faced with in supporting colleagues.

This initial award integrates the existing Induction course currently being undertaken across various forces into a systematic catalyst for further study and reflection. This continuing professional development in addition to initial training is of essential importance for faith leaders in all religious traditions, as for managers and leaders in all other walks of life as well. It helps them to reflect on their own practice and changing circumstances, to respond to new realities and challenges in wider society, and to give guidance, advice and support to others. This review of training for Police Chaplaincy is in response to a developing modern Police service and provides a firm foundation for Chaplaincy across all Police Forces.

It provides for a strong and comprehensive induction module which fully prepares all applicants for their role by a rigorous development activity which provides a framework for the role of a Chaplain and allows each member to reflect and build upon their existing knowledge and experience. This Induction course will be an essential requirement for all Chaplains and will provide a sound foundation for future practice.

Further and continuing professional development

On successful completion of the UWTSD University Certificate in Chaplaincy (Policing) there is an opportunity for Chaplains to ‘top-up’ this award by studying a further 20 credit module to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate in Chaplaincy. Subsequently, the credits achieved can be used to top-up to a Postgraduate Diploma or an MA in Chaplaincy.

This professionally and academically accredited suite of awards recognises that some Chaplains will wish to deepen and broaden their knowledge and practice of Chaplaincy. Therefore, this approach to training, taking Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) into account, will allow each individual the option of progressing through a Post Graduate Certificate up to an MA by Dissertation.

This document will be produced in Welsh, but due to COVID restrictions this is not possible at present.


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