Academy pilot boosts Airwave skills

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary has successfully completed the pilot of Airwave’s Academy training service, designed to improve the operational effectiveness of officers while also reducing the amount of time they need to spend in the classroom.

Jun 17, 2010
By Paul Jacques

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary has successfully completed the pilot of Airwave’s Academy training service, designed to improve the operational effectiveness of officers while also reducing the amount of time they need to spend in the classroom.

Academy provides a range of tailored online learning packages that enable officers to work more efficiently and effectively with Airwave services. These are designed with practical content using operational best practice, with a ‘local’ look and feel. They are suitable for either learning new skills or providing refresher training to officers.

The Devon and Cornwall Constabulary pilot, carried out between January and March 2010, demonstrated an average of 20 per cent improvement in embedded knowledge when compared to pre-learning assessment after an average of only 40 minutes training. In addition, an increase of 13 per cent was seen in status messages between the pilot group and the force overall, and a difference of 21 per cent between the two groups on the most used status messages, demonstrating increased willingness to use the functionality offered by the service.

The Academy pilot met all of the key objectives laid out by the force. Officers could access the training at their own pace, enhance their knowledge gained during basic training and increase their understanding of the broad range of the Airwave service functionality.

Importantly, the training aimed to improve officer safety through awareness of the correct operation of the Airwave service and drive internal efficiencies through the better use of officers’ time.

The Academy’s e-learning approach takes 40 minutes to complete compared to three hours’ classroom training, meaning officers needed to dedicate much less time to training and could return to their main duties promptly.

The pilot found that using status messages can help with reducing the amount of voice traffic on the systems, ensuring users who need to talk to the dispatcher have the ability to. Using status messages to book ‘on and off duty’ also helps the control room understand who is on shift and reduces the amount of work it has to carry out to contact an officer to ensure they are safe and well.

Inspector Ian Milligan of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary’s Plymouth basic command unit (BCU), explained: “The Academy has delivered more than we had expected, allowing us to achieve a measureable increase of operational effectiveness at a reduced cost. The training sessions were appreciated by the officers who took them and we have already noticed the practical benefits of the Academy in the way they use their radios.”

 

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