Police College enhances training for Tutor
To provide more support for frontline officers, Police College has revitalised the Tutor Police Constable (TPC) Scheme, which was launched earlier this month after consultation with Major Formation Commanders.
Recruit Training Division Chief Inspector (CIP) Michael Keung pointed out that a number of modifications had been made to the scheme. He explained: "Firstly, the existing Pol 248 has been replaced by a 'New Police Constable (PC) Learning Log', and this will be used as the official training record of new PCs. Each new PC will be issued with a learning log before passing out from the Foundation Training Centre. They will record all the duties they will perform during their four-week tutelage period and each new officer will conduct self-evaluation of his or her own performance in the learning log.
"Their Tutor PCs, Sergeants and Patrol Sub-unit Commanders (PSUC) will closely monitor their performance and progress. Supervisors will also interview the new officers and rectify any weakness detected. The tutelage period will end once the new PC's performance has reached the required standard. If further coaching is considered necessary, the PSUC will make a recommendation to the Divisional Commander (DVC) who will decide whether an extension of the tutelage period beyond four weeks is necessary and whether the new officer should be allocated a different TPC."
CIP Keung further explained that the second key element of the revamped scheme was to ensure all TPCs are competent and have the necessary skills to carry out their tutelage role. "The Police College has improved the TPC training course programme. On being nominated by their DVC, and before being appointed a TPC, the officer will attend a five-day TPC training course. They will also participate in exercises on TPC's role. The course places considerable focus on the application of Force Values in practical scenarios, and on raising awareness of the ways to bridge the gap between experienced and new officers. After an officer has completed the course, an end-of-course report will be compiled, covering the officer's attitude, coaching skills and general course performance. The report will also indicate whether the officer is suitable to be appointed a TPC."
CIP Keung made it clear it was combination of the nomination made by the DVC and the TPC end-of-course report that will be used by District Commanders (DC) to decide whether or not to appoint an officer a TPC. "This enhances the role of the DC in the TPC Scheme. The DC will issue a TPC appointment certificate to each newly appointed TPC in the District and the appointment will be duly reflected in the officer's PICS record as 'Force-related Extra Duty'. The appointment period will normally be for one year. To fully appreciate a TPC's contribution and to encourage continuous good performance, a DC may consider other forms of recognition to outstanding TPCs, for example, compliments, appreciation letters or other initiatives such as a "Best TPC Award".
To provide additional support, Police College will run a one-day TPC Refresher Course, which is designed to update a TPC on the latest developments in the Force, ensure alignment with Force Values and goals, and to provide skills to allow TPCs to bridge the experience gap between themselves and new officers. "We hope the TPC Scheme will help new officers adapt to the challenges of frontline policing more quickly and effectively," CIP Keung said.
"The Force relies on the support and contribution of all TPCs and frontline commanders to ensure the TPC Scheme would succeed. Police College will continue to enhance the overall effectiveness of the TPC Scheme and look for further improvement as and when necessary," he added.
Senior PC Chiu King-sun of Patrol Sub-unit I of Aberdeen Division successfully completed the TPC training last year and has been appointed a TPC in his division. He commented: "The training course was very useful in helping me to acquire tutoring, communication, supervision and facilitation skills. It also helped me understand the roles of a TPC and the importance of providing correct and effective guidance and tutelage to new PCs."
SPC Chiu has recently completed his first month as a TPC. Recalling his initial TPC experience, he said: "It was not an easy job to guide a new PC to get familiarised with frontline police work. You have to identify his strengths and weaknesses and encourage him to keep on learning. Furthermore, you have to ensure he has a positive attitude towards his duties. To achieve these objectives, good communication skills and a high level of patience and EQ are fundamental. It was more difficult to lead a new PC on the beat than to do my own patrol. I have to continuously demonstrate and explain to him every detail of the job and to look after his safety. To communicate with the new generation of officers, you have to appreciate their views and should not always insist on your own views and methods. Effective communication is two-way traffic.
"The Force is undergoing a generation change and a great deal of new blood is joining us. I am willing to help the new generation to maintain our high standards," SPC Chiu added.
TPC Chiu King-sun coaching a new PC on the beat
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