In a groundbreaking move, the Guyana Police Force has raised the bar for potential recruits, now requiring that they have at minimum Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) qualifications or a higher level of education in order to enter the Police Academy.
This decision comes as the Police Academy receives official accreditation, opening doors to a diverse range of recognized academic courses.
The accredited Police Academy is set to revolutionize the training of law enforcement officers, incorporating not only essential policing skills, but also a robust academic curriculum. The courses offered would lead to attainment of various certifications, enhancing the educational profile of officers.
In a recent programme, Police Superintendent Sonia Hubert disclosed that what sets this initiative apart is the composition of the training staff, all of whom hold no less than a degree, and are highly qualified within the Police Force.
“Our training staff at the Guyana Police Force Training Academy are all ranks in the Guyana Police Force who have no less than a degree in some area or the other. We have a few who have their master’s(degrees); so, the lecturers are fully qualified to conduct training in various topics in the academy”, she explained.
This cadre of seasoned professionals is poised to deliver comprehensive training, ensuring that recruits not only excel in policing, but also in academic pursuits.
The GPF has extended invitations to its partners, including Caricom member states and sister services, to foster a collaborative approach to law enforcement training.
“We have invited our partners, like the Institute of Distance Education and various institutions…to come and lecture to the participants in various areas, like critical thinking, crisis management, and so on…”, Superintendent Hubert added.
To complete the course, recruits will now need to achieve a minimum score of 70 per cent, emphasizing a commitment to excellence in both practical and theoretical aspects of law enforcement. This standard also applies to the rigorous entrance exam, which has been elevated to reflect the heightened educational prerequisites.
Prospective candidates can now sign up on the Guyana Police Force’s website to initiate the recruitment process. The entrance exam, previously regarded as rudimentary, now demands a higher level of proficiency, aligning with the Force’s dedication to enhancing the literacy and educational standards of its officers.
“Because we would have acquired academy status, our exams will be set by the University of (Guyana); so it is at a higher level, which therefore means you must have a CXC level of education or you should have at least attained some higher level of education to pass…that also applies to our entrance examination”, Hubert explained.
This proactive measure comes in response to public scrutiny, with concerns having been raised about the educational qualifications of Police officers. In this regard, the Guyana Police Force has said it is taking a significant step forward in not only addressing these concerns, but also setting a new benchmark for law enforcement education in the region.
Just recently, Head of the Force’s Administration Department, Allison Moore, related that even though some officers might not be academically qualified, they are capable enough to conduct their duties.
“…you would hear people, some say it publicly, some whisper. Persons genuinely believe that members of the Guyana Police Force are illiterate; but throughout my career in the Guyana Police Force, I try to be the best Police I can be, to behave as intelligently as I can, and to speak as intelligently as I can…the Guyana Police Force does not comprise of illiterate ranks,” she contended.
Moore highlighted that the Police Force, in collaboration with the Government, has been giving Police officers second chances by providing training programmes for them. As such, she argued that it is up to the individual ranks to prove the public wrong on the topic of literacy.
In this light, Moore has said that, so far, there have hardly been ranks who do not try to further educate themselves by taking advantage of the opportunities that are provided to them.
In August last year, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) Academy received its institutional accreditation, making it the first public entity to be accredited. It therefore means that GPF ranks would also be recognised regionally and internationally. The accreditation has been granted for five years.