Considerations for Line Managers

What do I need to do?

As a line manager of someone applying for RPL the main role you will play is one of support. It is important that you are aware of local policies and procedures so you can signpost individuals and make sure they are properly applied.

Supporting the individual in their initial RPL application you may be asked to confirm that an individual has the experience that they have documented.

If someone within your team is undertaking academic study you will also need to provide support for them and your team, making sure everyone is treated fairly and with respect.

You might also want to consider the opportunity yourself, RPL isn’t restricted and anyone can apply!!

How can I support someone?

While it is an individual’s personal responsibility to manage their learning, line managers have a responsibility to help create the right environment, they should:

  • Assist individuals to apply their learning in the work environment (with projects or specific tasks)
  • Help them have time to study or attend lectures by being flexible with leave requests/ shift patterns (in line with any support the force has agreed to provide)
  • Where possible allow time for ‘reading’ in down time
  • Manage the team to reduce the impact of any abstractions (impact on numbers and morale)
  • Have professional discussions with learners to help them get the most out of their learning and how it applies to the work place.

How might someone taking up this opportunity affect my team?

Pressures and demands on policing are high and it is important that someone taking up this opportunity is treated fairly and that there is no negative impact on them or their team.

Abstractions from duty could lead to negative comments and thoughts towards the individual studying. It is important to ensure that this does not happen by promoting a positive view of the process.

If managed effectively there could be a positive impact on the team by sharing the knowledge, ideas and learning of the individual.

How could this benefit my team?

Anyone who is undertaking an academic qualification will be exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking. This could benefit the whole of the team.

Encourage anyone undertaking study to share their learning with the team, there may be a variety of opportunities:

  • Team briefings
  • Setting up specific projects and groups
  • Asking individuals who are studying to share their opinion on situations

What is my team member entitled to?

Any police officer or member of police staff is entitled to apply to have their prior learning and experience recognised to help them gain an academic qualification.

What support they receive from the force will be dependent on the different types of support your force has made available and the conditions and criteria for receiving such support.

Therefore it is important that you check your own force policies and procedure, but the types of support they may be able to receive could include:

  • Financial assistance (Force and departmental)
  • Time for attending lectures, viewing on line study tools or reading
  • Setting up working groups of individuals who are all studying
  • Mentors / peer support
  • Access to experts in the Learning and Development department to provide support
  • Access to work based projects
  • Access to computers

Your member of staff may also be able to apply for external funding to help them with the costs of their study. To find out more visit the College of Policing funding directory.

Who do I think could benefit from this opportunity?

Is there anyone in the team who would benefit from this opportunity?

Would this fit into someone’s career aspirations and continuing professional development?

Would this opportunity suit you? And could you use your support of this initiative as an example of your own professional development?

Are there any projects that could support your team members study?

To help the team and the individual you may be able to set up a project to help support their learning and share it with the team.

There may be a specific objective or priority in your local area that they could focus on?


How will they learn?

This can vary widely depending on which course or qualification provider an officer or staff member applies for.

There may be a requirement to attend lectures and group seminars, or the course may be more distance learning, requiring little face to face interaction.

With distance learning students may be required to use on line facilities and Virtual Learning Platforms, like Blackboard and Moodle to access content on line.

Find out more about the different teaching methods.