Major police education review to improve operational policing

24 FEBRUARY 2002

Student police officers in NSW will gain increased operational experience in the field following changes announced today to the NSW Police recruit education program.

Student police officers in NSW will gain increased operational experience in the field following changes announced today to the NSW Police recruit education program.

The decision to restructure the recruit education program follows a major joint review by program providers, NSW Police and Charles Sturt University (CSU).

Under the changes, announced by NSW Police Minister Michael Costa, students will still complete the CSU Diploma of Policing Practice (DPP) – the entry requirement of NSW Police – but will be eligible to become probationary constables after two sessions of study rather than three. 

The changes, which take effect from May 2002, place a greater emphasis on combining field-based training with specialised professional education. 

CSU Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Ross Chambers, said the changes were made following the joint review, which incorporated extensive consultation with recent graduates, students, teaching staff and serving police officers.

“The restructured Diploma of Policing Practice better meets the operational needs of NSW Police, and improves the professional preparation of probationary constables,” Professor Chambers said.

“Students still require a Diploma to be confirmed as constables in NSW Police, and the course changes do not impact on this. 

“The study sessions have been restructured so that students entering the field are able to better balance the high demands of being a probationary constable, while continuing their DPP course by distance education. Clearly, this will benefit the operational efficiency and effectiveness of NSW Police.” 

An outline of how the changes follows. Background notes 


Diploma of Policing Practice Review changes 2002, Charles Sturt University

Charles Sturt University and NSW Police have collaboratively offered the Diploma of Policing Practice (DPP) since 1998. The DPP is the basic educational program for people seeking to become a police officer in NSW. 

The changes to the DPP result from a major review conducted by the University and NSW Police. As a result of the review, the DPP has been restructured so that it better meets the operational needs of NSW Police and improves the transition of probationary constables to the field.

The restructure means that undergraduate students will now be eligible to be considered for employment as probationary constables in NSW Police after two sessions of study rather than three sessions under the old course structure.

In 2002, the DPP changes will have the effect that a higher number of recruits will enter NSW Police as probationary constables.

Briefing sessions on course and entry requirement changes will be held with all incoming and continuing policing students.

The review changes will be adopted from May 2002.

The new Diploma of Policing Practice course structure 

Session One: (undergraduate teaching)

  • Ethical dimensions and the Police role 
  • Communications in Policing 1
  • The Criminal Justice System
  • Policing and Crime Prevention (Drugs and Public Places) 
  • Police Placement (80 hours)
NOTE: New Professional Suitability Requirements for session two, requires students to meet approximately 80% of final fitness requirements for entry into NSW Police at this point.

Session Two: (undergraduate and graduate entry students)

  • Operational Safety and Tactics
  • Society Law and Practice
  • Policing Road Safety
  • Communications in Policing 2
  • Simulated Patrol Assessment Centre
  • Graduate Students only – Introduction to Policing B
ATTESTATION: eligible to be a salaried NSW Police probationary constable. 

Sessions three, four and five are studied by distance education.

Session Three:

  • Police Field Practicum
  • Station, Field and Investigative Processes 
Session Four:
  • Police Field Practicum
  • Critical Assessment of Investigative Practice
Session Five:
  • Police Field Practicum
  • Policing, Vulnerable People and Inter-Agency Collaboration
GRADUATION and confirmation as a NSW Police Officer

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