Three hundred students at the Garda College in Templemore are the first batch of new recruits to be trained under a newly revamped training programme, which is accredited by University Limerick. This two-year programme is split into three phases which involves 3 groups of 100 students. Emergency Times spent the day at the Garda College.
Report by: Declan Keogh
The programme involves Problem Based Learning, which is scenario-based training. Students are put into actual scenarios themselves, and are forced to research legislation in relation to that particular scenario.
Garda students will undergo training into basic power of arrest, powers of detention, roadside checkpoints and the various interviewing techniques of suspects, injured parties, witnesses and victims. These are all of the basic function that is performed by a Garda on the street.
University Limerick oversees the principals and achievements of the trainees. Professor Shane Kilcommins is Head of School of Law at University Limerick. He has been involved in revamping the course. “They decided to do a root and branch reform in 2008. The first thing they did was went out and spoke to key stakeholders in the field. The second thing they did was they went around and looked at best practices. One of the issues which was constantly coming back around best practices was that it’s not enough to put garda trainees simply into a lecture hall and give them content”.
When students leave the college, they are just one third of their way through their training, and the Gardai rely on its members on the outside, to bring the students to the operational standards expected of them.
Garda Inspector Brian Conway is over Foundation Training at the College. “The programme is Problem based Learning (PBL). This is based on scenario-based training where students are put into actual scenarios themselves and are forced to go away and look up legislation in relation to that particular scenario. The difference is when students leave here, they have a rationale in terms of when they come to a scenario they go through a process of what do I need in terms of the information that I got and how do I assess that, what powers and procedures should I consider and what action are they going to take”.
Management aim to build on the long tradition at the college and provide a sense of service. Superintendent Pat McCabe is based at the College. He spoke to EmergencyTimes.com and said “The purpose of the open day is to demonstrate to the public what goes on in the Garda College, with a particular emphasis on the foundation training. It’s the service we give to the community, firmly embedded in knowledge and accountability and that has been the ethos throughout the organisation which may be suffering from certain feedback in relation to it but it’s a very strong ethos we have in the organisation”.
The programme is as a result of a number of recommendations set out following a report by the Garda Inspectorate, which focused on the foundation training and education regime, provided by the Garda College.
Successful Gardai will be awarded with a degree in Applied Policing at the end of the programme.
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