PSC Invests in Three Year National e-Learning Program

The Police Sector Council is making a major investment in the future of Canadian police training. Following the success of six previous collaborations, the PSC has partnered with CPKN to deliver an extensive national e-learning program over the next three years. Beginning in June 2009 through to March 2012, the PSC, by way of the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program, will fund the development and evaluation of at least twelve nationally relevant training courses.

"This is a million dollar program investment that will provide real returns to the Canadian policing community for years to come," says Geoff Gruson, Executive Director of the Police Sector Council. "e-Learning has proven to be an ideal tool for managing training needs in this sector. This initiative will not only produce valuable training resources but will also yield important research that will allow us to steadily improve upon police training in this country."

Overseen by a national steering committee of police training professionals, this project will merge an ambitious development schedule with an applied research agenda that will gather and analyze pertinent learning data. As in past collaborations, each course will be offered on the CPKN learning portal at no cost to Canadian police and law enforcement personnel for a four month introductory period. In exchange, learners will be asked to complete a brief online survey to provide feedback on their learning experience. In some cases, additional follow-up telephone surveys and focus groups will be conducted with some learners. CPKN will further investigate up-take by police professionals, costs and benefits of e-learning on a national scale, and the impact of learning on officer performance.

"The program objectives are twofold - - on the development side, it will focus on creating a series of nationally relevant e-learning courses that build competencies and capacity where they are needed most," says Gruson. "The research component will not only assess the impact of individual courses but will also examine and incorporate trends within the learning industry to ensure we're continually innovating to deliver the most effective learning to frontline officers."

"We're extremely pleased to partner with the Sector Council on this initiative," says Sandy Sweet, President of CPKN. "The PSC has been fundamental in building support for online learning in police training curriculums. Our past collaborations have produced significant benefits to law enforcement professionals across the country and we're confident that this project will amplify those benefits."

In fact over the past two years, learners have successfully completed more than 8,100 PSC-funded course events on the CPKN portal. PSC funding has not only enhanced the range of bilingual training resources available to the sector, but has made those resources available to policing agencies if not for free, then at a fraction of the cost of traditional training.

"Furthermore, the cooperative nature of this project will continue to strengthen the network of stakeholders," continued Sweet. "It offers an opportunity for services, training organizations, and other policing agencies to contribute and share knowledge for the betterment of the Canadian public at large."

Based on input from the police community, the first courses in this bilingual series will include Seized Firearms Safety, Radar Recertification, Frontline Supervisor Training, and Stress Management for Officers. Further courses will also be based on priority needs determined in consultation with the sector.

"Canada's police forces are among the best in the world," concludes Gruson. "A progressive approach to training is a huge part of that and the PSC is very happy to fund an initiative that supports Canada's leadership role."