CPKN Co-hosts Police Training Conference

CPKN, the Police Sector Council, and the Canadian Association of Police Educators recently hosted more than 50 police trainers from across Canada to discuss the pertinent issues facing training in the police sector.


On October 10th and 11th, members of CPKN's e-Learning Advisory Network and various representatives from police training institutions, sector organizations, and associated government departments met in Stanhope, Prince Edward Island to analyze challenges, share best practices, and explore options to improve and enhance police training in Canada.

Central to the issues at hand, Geoff Gruson and Portia Dewhirst of the Police Sector Council presented the findings from the PSC's recent HR Diagnostic Study. Described as three converging low pressure systems, researchers found that the changing demographics of the police sector, increasing workloads with greater demands and complexity, and the current structure of budgets and governance models are all contributing to a 'perfect storm' in Canada's policing community. Recognizing the relevance of these issues within their own services, many delegates took heed to report recommendations regarding the urgent need to develop strategies around competency-based management, training and education, leadership development and succession planning, and recruitment and retention. Participants also recognized the value of collaborating to facilitate the integration of cross-jurisdictional issues and the need for collective action to support the continued delivery of quality service to communities across the country.

Building on this information, the conference featured several break-out sessions where participants discussed various aspects of training. In one session, the group analyzed the current gaps in police training, particularly as it relates to e-learning. Facilitated by Dale Sheehan and Lisa Gilliss of the RCMP, participants identified a wide variety of themes - - from communication and infrastructure to accreditation and collaborative effort among services as areas that require more attention. This was the basis for numerous discussions around best practices. Services such as Toronto, Calgary, Durham, and Winnipeg shared their first-hand experiences on implementing e-learning training models -- what worked and what didn't -- with the group. While every service has unique training requirements that reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, participants found much value in the opportunity to extrapolate the lessons learned by these organizations to their own services' situation and needs.

Sessions were also held on selecting and developing e-learning courseware. Representatives from CPKN's Design and Development team led a Q & A session on the processes involved in the selection, design, development, and delivery of CPKN courses. Following this, the group mapped various topics that CPKN might consider for future development, focusing on those issues that are of national relevance and would service to decrease duplication of effort among services.

For some, e-learning is new territory; for others, it's a well-traveled road. This conference was a forum for delegates to network, share experiences, and gain a greater understanding of the potential that e-learning offers and how it can be used to address the needs of individual services. All agree that this event was a positive step forward as the sector navigates the challenges ahead.