Written answers

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Department of Justice and Equality

Garda Training

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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26. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the amount invested in leadership and CPD within An Garda Síochána; her plans to invest in leadership and CPD initiatives in the future; the recommendations The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland has made in this area; the actions she plans to take to support leadership and CPD; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41515/20]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The Deputy will be aware that the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, published in September 2018, emphasises the importance of policing being seen as a profession.  A commitment to continuous professional development, competence and a body of knowledge about policing, which is continuously developed and updated, and empowerment of all personnel were identified as some of its key characteristics.

A Policing Service for our Future – the Government’s Plan to implement the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland – is a living document which is reviewed and updated, as required, to maintain ambitious but realistic commitments, timeframes and milestones.

Along with an emphasis on the need for a strong leadership team with critical skills, expertise and diversity, the Commission made a number of specific recommendations in respect of strengthening the focus on professional development across all ranks and grades, including the development of a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Strategy with professional development plans available to all personnel to meet the challenges of modern policing.

It also recommended that development programmes be put in place to prepare personnel, before promotion, for new management and leadership responsibilities. These specific recommendations will form part of a wider Leadership and Development Strategy, encompassing recruit and in-service training and continuous professional development.  

The Leadership and Management (LMD) section within An Garda Síochána provides development programmes to newly promoted personnel ranging from Sergeant to Chief Superintendent rank and Executive Officer to Principal Officer grade. Each programme takes place over a period of 18 - 24 months and a total of 3,614 members and staff have participated to date.

In addition, several bespoke Leadership Programmes are provided by third level institutions. There have been 763 participants in these programmes over the last 3 years.

I am further informed by the Garda authorities that Continuous Professional Development in An Garda Síochána takes two forms:

1. The Leadership Development as mentioned as above, and

2. Skills type In-Service Training, which is delivered locally through Divisional CPD Units.

For Garda members, In-Service Training includes a core Programme consisting of child exploitation, domestic violence, victims of crime, custody management, Supreme Court judgements affecting present practice and procedures.

For Garda Staff, training includes induction Administration courses and bespoke training to facilitate the integration of Garda Staff to non-front line policing procedures as well as the facilitation of training to enable the change/transformation programme encompassed within the Commission on the Future of Policing Change Framework.

International training is also availed of in a partnership approach with CEPOL, the EU Law Enforcement Training Agency.

In addition to the above, a Senior Leadership Development Programme is currently being designed to be delivered in 2021. This will satisfy a number of recommendations in the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland - Culture 2020, Psychological Safety, Support for and communication with the frontline & Unconscious Bias.

I understand that the budget for learning and development programmes for 2021 is yet to be finalised, but that it is expected to be in line with the approved budget for 2020, which was €2.1m.

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