This week the National Enabling Programme (NEP) has been bringing senior leaders from across policing together using the NEP Microsoft Teams environment.
The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) quarterly meeting brings together the Chief Officer teams in all UK forces and other key law enforcement agencies to discuss the important national policing issues. During sections of the meeting other colleagues were able to virtually join them, allowing representatives of staff associations to get involved.
At the same time learning and development teams across UK policing joined together on the platform to discuss the virtual learning opportunities enabled by the National Enabling Programmes. Forces are maintaining the vital momentum required to achieve the increase in police officers required under Operation Lift-Up, and other mandatory and development training needs.
Over the Covid-19 Crisis forces have quickly adapted to using remote learning sessions to reduce the risk of infection, and it’s clear that there is an opportunity for a step-change in training approaches for many subject areas.
Mike Cowley-Freeman, Training Lead at the National Enabling Programmes said “Yesterday saw the National L&D Networking Event being held virtually for the first time. It was great to see over 130 colleagues from across the Police L&D community get together via Microsoft Teams to hear from Mark Stevenson (NPCC Lead for L&D), Jo Noakes (Director of Workforce Development from the College of Policing) and Peter Ward (Lead for the Police Uplift Programme - L&D Workstream) as well as seeing the capabilities and opportunities that Teams can offer to deliver virtual learning through a webinar delivered by Alex Robinson (Customer Success Manager – Microsoft). Judging by the questions asked during the Teams demonstration, there is a great deal of interest in adopting the new approaches now available to forces.”
Two Webinars hosted by the NEP and Microsoft are available to support force training departments see below
Yesterday the National Police Technology Council forum also took place on the NEP teams environment which allowed the senior technology leads to discuss and plan how forces could exploit the opportunities created by the step change of the last few months and how we maintain the momentum around the adoption of the National Policing Digital Strategy, working closer together across the UK to deliver better IT services and products to the front line.
All these sessions would have previously involved significant travel and expense to achieve the same outcomes. Whilst some teleconferencing was used during such meetings before, attendees on the phone often felt less connected and involved in the meetings and decisions. As a result of the use of Microsoft Teams we are able to bring together the whole of policing, across a range of disciplines to ensure they can have perhaps even more effective meetings than previously and allow more of those people to be involved in the thinking and decision making about our future approaches.
Whilst this highlights the use of teams behind the scenes, over the past month the use of Microsoft Teams at the front line by officers and staff has significantly increased again. An example includes in just two forces (Thames Valley & Hampshire) where 2,500 ‘teams meetings’ took place in seven days and colleagues have used Teams over 1,000,000 times to exchange information securely since enabling the functionality just three weeks before.
All this happens in a secure and fully audited environment laid out by the national blueprint designs of the NEP and under the protective view of the National Management Centre team, who are helping to protect both the cloud and on-premise infrastructure, so critical to enabling local forces to keep the communities safe.
Colleagues across policing have an opportunity to find out more about the NEP and the Microsoft solutions at the Microsoft & NEP Modern Policing series of Webinars on July 28th and 29th. Colleagues can express an interest to join and see the agenda for the different sessions via this link.