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NEP facilitates vital legal training for force communications colleagues

The National Enabling Programmes (NEP) has facilitated the delivery of vital legal training for communications colleagues across the country by hosting virtual training sessions. 

Normally these lectures, which focus on developments in media and social media law, are conducted face-to-face. However, due to the pandemic the Association of Police Communicators (APComm) needed to adapt the delivery of these sessions to be compliant with Covid-19 restrictions – so called upon the NEP to help. 

As a result of hosting the events on the NEP deployment of Microsoft Teams, APComm was able to open up the training to more colleagues across more forces than ever before. Just under 100 delegates joined each ofthe two sessions, including part-time colleagues who previously may have struggled to physically travel and attend these types of opportunities. The technology worked well with delegates joining from all corners of the UK. 

The training team were able to work remotely to deliver the interactive sessions, and the feedback showed that the virtual nature did not negatively impact on the quality of the training, and for some colleagues the experience was actually better than the usual in person approach. 

An additional benefit was a significant reduction on the costs of providing the training, including the savings in travel and time away from the workplace for delegates.  

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive with comments including:

  • Very engaging session and easy to follow, even virtually.
  • In a way, virtual has been really good with being able to ask questions in the chat function. And great that so many colleagues across the county can be involved and learn from each other.
  • I have previously had an in-person training session and actually thought this was even better and much easier to follow along and make your own notes!
  • In a strange way it felt more like a 1-2-1 learning session despite being over 90 people on the course!
  • It saved lots of time traveling to another location and I felt it was still really interactive. 

David Bailey, Head of Communications for the National Enabling Programmes, said: “We worked hard as a delivery team to ensure we did every thing we could to ensure colleagues were able to interact and get real value from the learning opportunity. The technology is no longer a barrier, in fact it provides lots of fantastic opportunities to enhance the way we share and learn. In many ways the online sessions were more inclusive than the traditional approach and certainly we could never have hoped to achieve the same levels of involvement without the use of Microsoft Teams.” 

Kate Quilley, Co-Chair of APComm, added: “We are committed to supporting police communicators through their continuous professional development, particularly in knowledge areas of such importance to their roles.  Not only is this key to maintaining professional skills and capabilities within the profession but sessions such as this also provide important opportunities to learn from each other and share best practice. This all helps professional communicators continue to provide the very best levels of service to policing and achieve the positive outcomes required to protect people from harm. 

”This year police communication professionals have had massive challenges to overcome as we play our part in supporting our colleagues and partners to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.  However we still recognise the need to continually support and develop the expertise across the dedicated teams in forces.  We are thrilled that so many of our members have benefitted from these virtual sessions and that many more have already signed up to the next sessions planned for December.”

 

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