Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Department of Justice and Equality
69. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the action being taken to expand the professional development of An Garda Síochána and encourage more members to seek more specialised third level training and qualifications.; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27380/16]
As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for carrying on and managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, which includes arranging for the training of Garda members and civilian staff and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.
I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that each Garda Division has a Continuous Professional Development School (CPD) which provides professional development on a variety of topics and issues ranging from procedural to legislative changes and the implementation of new initiatives. The Garda College also designs and delivers a range of professional development programmes for members of An Garda Síochána including leadership, management, applied skills and crime training. In addition Garda members and staff are actively encourage to pursue third level courses through financial support and study facilities such as annual leave and research topic approval.
I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that as part of An Garda Síochána's Modernisation and Renewal Programme (2016-2021) investment in learning and development in An Garda Síochána will be enhanced to support the development and skills of all members and staff who will receive the training, mentoring, leadership development that they require to continue to develop their skills, to perform more effectively in their roles and progress their careers.
The Deputy may also wish to be aware that those recruited to An Garda Síochána since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014 are undertaking a new training programme that leads, after 2 years, to a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Policing. This Programme which is accredited by the University of Limerick is subject to external scrutiny. I am looking forward to the graduation of new Gardaí from this Programme later this year.