Policing education and recruit training are more thorough and rigorous than they have ever been, according to Charles Sturt University's Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Ross Chambers.
Professor Chambers, who has academic responsibility for the police education program run in conjunction with the NSW Police Service, was responding to media reports today concerning admission to and assessment of the program.
"The University was not approached for comment on these issues but stands by the strict application and assessment processes it has developed in consultation with the NSW Police Service, for the recruit education program.
"The University has been very impressed by the commitment made by the NSW Police Service to a high standard of education and by the professionalism of Police Academy staff who work with the University to deliver this program," he said.
To qualify for entry to the Recruitment Education Program, applicants must meet the University's academic admission standards and a range of professional suitability requirements set by the NSW Police Service including criminal records checks.
Students must then complete 12 months academic study and practical training before they are eligible for recruitment to the Police Service as probationary constables.
Professor Chambers said the University was responsible for academic assessment in the recruit training program where the normal university assessment policies would apply.
"At no time during this program has the University been made aware of concerns with its assessment procedures," he said.
Since the police education program began in 1998, CSU has received over 5000 applications placing in excess of 2500 recruits into the program.
"In any program of this scale there may be a few people that slip through the initial screening - such as those who don't disclose all relevant information but the long training period provides a number of fail safe checks to detect any possible concerns before the students are employed as police officers, " Professor Chambers said.
"At no time has an inmate of any prison in NSW been admitted into the police education program. There are a number of inmates enrolled in a range of other CSU courses who may choose to study subjects offered in justice studies from the Faculty of Arts. These subjects do not form part of the police training program.
"Reports of a prison inmate being admitted to the NSW police training course are completely inaccurate," he said.