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Tutor Constable Phase 3

The Centre for Research and Learning (CPRL) have been involved in a programme of work with the Uplift Team exploring the role of Tutor Constables. 

This work was planned in three phases. Phase one, based on a collection of data from all 43 forces, explored the different models operating across England and Wales and is now complete. Phase two which involved interviews with tutors themselves about their experiences of these different models is due to report in November. This third phase of work will build on the evidence and data collected from Phase one and two of the tutor research and from survey data collected for a further project undertaken for Uplift at CPRL developing an onboarding map for new recruits.

Work-based assessors track the progress of the student, and formally assess the competency and compliance with the academic requirement of the PEQF e.g. reflective practice. Assessors are not necessarily police officers and can be police staff. Additionally, assessors may undertake a role to verify the assessment decisions to ensure they are valid, authentic, current and sufficiency. Phase three will seek to apply a similar research methodology and approach to explore the roles, perceived effectiveness and processes related to the assessment of occupational competence in the workplace.

Research questions

  1. What are the essential and desirable attributes of the assessor role according to a review of best practice from other sectors?
  2. How is suitability / skill set for the assessor role judged and who are the decision makers?  What parts do organisational-selection and self-selection play? 
  3. What are the key features of effective tutoring and work-based assessment delivery models? To include a consideration of costs, performance management of work based assessment, structures, roles, learning and development input
  4. Compare and contrast the current assessment models (case study approach following a review of data from phases 1 and 2) being deployed considering perceived effectiveness in terms of: 
    • Learner satisfaction,
    • Operational performance,
    • Links with university or “academic” competence assessment and timing of assessments
    • Cost of assessment activity including identification and costing of any “hidden” assessment activity (such as pastoral care)
  5. How assessment activity links to attrition
  6. How does this match the model applied by other professions who deliver comparable roles?


Phase three of the research would build on the findings from phase one and would have three parts:

  1. Review of the learning from data collection in phases 1 and 2, and data collected from new recruits in a recent ‘onboarding’ survey, to pull out perceptions and experiences related to work-based assessments 
  2. A thorough literature review, including grey literature, to explore good practice for assessing the workforce in similar practitioner-based occupations (research questions 1 and 6). The team also plan to hold conversations with individuals from other occupations to broaden understanding of other models. 
  3. A survey to be undertaken with tutees1. This would provide insight about tutee experiences of assessment processes in terms of timing / satisfaction with process / perception of their own performance and effectiveness of the current structure (research question 4)
  4. Identify three deep dive sites to deliver case studies of work-based assessment models (research questions 2 and 3), to include:
    • Interviews with strategic leads and managers, examining the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement of work-based assessments. Up to five interviews will be undertaken in each site, 15 interviews in total. 
    • Observations during assessment periods, capturing insights about both practical delivery of the model, and tutee and assessor engagement and feedback, including timing of assessments alongside academic assessment. Two days observations in each site, 6 days observations in total. 
    • Review exit interviews documentation, to explore primary reasons for leaving and any association with assessment processes. Officers that resigned and conducted their exit interviews within two years of joining the police (from day one of training), would be included. 
    • Maximize tutee survey responses from the three case study sites. 
    • High-level mapping of each of the three work-based assessment models, including capture of information related to costs, capturing the model structure, roles, processes, ongoing costs and resources.


  • Summary report outlining key findings and recommendations drawing on all three phases of the research
  • Short ‘best practice’ paper, summarising the learning from the literature review
  • Phase three report discussing impact of current assessment process in developing tutees as police professionals and how this matches with current reviews of best practice in other comparable professions
  • Regional workshops / webinars / evidence cafés (to be agreed with the team, bringing together key findings across all three phases)
  • Final ‘principles’ document incorporating phase three findings
  • Potential ‘Tutor Constable’ conference for strategic leads on the implications of the research for PEQF and professionalisation agenda

Funding body

Uplift via Durham Constabulary 

1Sampling to be discussed with the Uplift team to ensure we gain the most representative sample