University of Chester

Programme Specification
Neighbourhood Policing ProfCert
2016 - 2017

Professional Certificate

Neighbourhood Policing

Neighbourhood Policing

University of Chester

Cheshire Constabulary and the University of Chester

University of Chester Warrington Campus

Continuing Professional Development


Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year part time

3 Years




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Social Science Institute of Policing

Skills @ Justice - sector skills council 

QAA Foundation degree qualification benchmark:


Policing Module Assessment Board

Friday 1st January 2010

The current structure of Neighbourhood Policing units (NPUs) has been in place in Cheshire since April 2005. Staff who are attached to NPUs undertake specific roles in order to deliver community policing. As a result they have specific training requirements. In all there are a number of officers working in Neighbourhood Policing Units, these include, inspectors, sergeants, constables, PCSOs, Special constables and support staff.

The Professional Certificate in Neighbourhood Policing is a one-year part time course for officers working in Neighbourhood Policing Units. It will form a 'basic training' for all those officers involved. For PCSOs it will be the first formal training provided for them at Level 4.  

The Certificate will:

  • Offer an appropriate vocational and professional training and qualification
  • Develop an understanding of the concepts and principles of Neighbourhood Policing
  • Develop intellectual skills appropriate to Neighbourhood Policing
  • Develop a range of practical skills appropriate for Neighbourhood Policing and partnership working
  • Offer opportunities for students to audit, evaluate, interpret and enhance their own and others skills
  • Reflect the different experience of officers coming onto the programme and relate to their personal development as police officers whilst meeting the changing needs of the force.  

Students will develop knowledge of key concepts, principles and practices of Neighbourhood Policing and an ability to evaluate them (SO4607 - SO4612).

Students will demonstrate basic intellectual skills appropriate to Neighbourhood Policing and reflect on the different approaches to problem solving while understanding the logic of the legal process and police procedures (SO4607 - SO4612).

Practical Skills:

Students will develop their ability to demonstrate basic practical skills and the application of knowledge appropriate to Neighbourhood Policing and to reflect on such skills and actions in a way that improves professional action (SO4607 - SO4612).

Professional Skills:

Students will develop their ability to:

  1. Communicate accurately within a structured and coherent argument
  2. Work effectively in a challenging and sometimes hostile working environment
  3. Follow procedures in an appropriate way
  4. Evaluate their own action and analyse appropriately
  5. Understand the legal foundation for action (SO4607 - SO4612)

Students will develop:

  1. Oral, written, non-verbal, presentational skills; the ability to communicate with a wide variety of individuals and groups in appropriate ways and in a variety of settings
  2. Problem orientated policing
  3. IT data retrieval and general IT literacy, internet knowledge, data protection
  4. Working with other local services and agencies, team working, working individually, and understanding the importance of listening, advocacy and intervention
  5. The practice of life long learning, reflective practice and personal development
  6. Decision-making, resolving conflict and problems of some complexity, identifying and addressing need (SO4607 - SO4612).

The Professional Certificate in Neighbourhood Policing is a Level 4 qualification and an initial training certificate for all officers working in Neighbourhood Policing Units.  The programme is part time and delivered by means of day-release classroom activity and experiential learning within the community. The University of Chester and Cheshire Constabulary will work in partnership to develop, teach, administer and assess the Certificate.

The Certificate will include six 10 credit modules covering the following topics on:- Introduction to Neighbourhood  • Community Engagement • Problem Solving With Partner Agencies • Managing alcohol related offences • Working with the Media • Criminal offences specific to NPU officers • Antisocial Behaviour • Community Road Policing Module • General NPU Policing duties.

Students are required to take 60 credits to complete the Certificate. The exact combination of modules taken by each student will depend on their prior experience of Neighbourhood Policing.

Please note that this programme has been granted derogation from the University's Regulation, and therefore all components of assessment must be passed with a minimum mark of 40%.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
SO4607 4 Introduction to NPU Training 10 Comp
SO4608 4 Presentational Skills for Community Engagement 10 Comp
SO4609 4 Problem Solving with Partner Agencies 10 Comp
SO4610 4 Alcohol Issues in NPUs 10 Comp
SO4611 4 Media Skills for NPUs 10 Comp
SO4612 4 Crime Issues in NPUs 10 Comp
SO4613 4 Vehicle Issues in NPUs 10 N/A
SO4614 4 General Policing Issues in NPUs 10 N/A
SO4615 4 Interview Skills for Police Officers on NPU's 20 N/A

60 credits at Level 4.

Please note that this programme has been granted derogation from the University's Regulation, and therefore all components of assessment must be passed with a minimum mark of 40%.


Normally recruits will have at least a minimum of 80 UCAS points, of which 60 points must be obtained from GCE and/or VCE A levels (12 or 6 unit awards) the remaining points may be achieved from GCE and/or VCE A/AS Levels, VCE double award, or from Level 3 Key Skills certification 

  • BTEC National Diploma: pass profile.
  • Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: D in 4 subjects.
  • International Baccalaureate: 20 points
  • European Baccalaureate: 60%.
  • Kitemarked Access course, Open College Units or Open University

Credits Applications are welcomed from students who have the NPAC’s requirements and an interest in and an aptitude for the programme and commitment to the values and practice of Policing, but who lack formal educational qualifications.

As an integrated programme addressing the knowledge, competence and developing the experience of officers in Neighbourhood Policing, the Professional Certificate in Neighbourhood Policing is designed to meet the requirements of the Foundation Degree framework.  The programme matches the FHEQ benchmark for Foundation Degrees in relation to 

  • Employer involvement
  • Accessibility
  • Articulation and progression
  • Partnership
  • Knowledge, understanding and skills

 Learning outcomes are specifically relevant to employer needs.

( see )

The Certificate also meets the requirements of the Cheshire Police for officers working in NPU's

The programme utilises a variety of learning and teaching methods, which provide opportunities for students to enhance their learning skills and personal development during their Certificate programme.  These teaching and learning methods also take account of equal opportunities and inclusive practice. 

LECTURES - will be used to provide an introduction to the main themes, debates and interpretations of their subject, conveying basic information and signposting issues to be considered.  Thus, they provide a common foundation of learning for all students.  Lectures will encourage students' skills in listening, note taking, reflection and their appreciation of how information is presented.  Whilst lectures may be enhanced by the use of audio-visual aids, including electronic presentational methods, as stated above the accessibility barriers that can be created by such tools will be considered.

SEMINARS - will provide opportunities for more student-centred and interactive learning.  These will be organised around themes for discussion and/or designated reading with the aim of enabling students to deepen their knowledge of a particular subject and develop their ability to critically examine alternative perspectives. 

WORKSHOPS - these are intended to provide experience in collaborative and creative problem solving.  Workshops will also aim to develop key skills in information retrieval and presentation, communication skills and team/group work skills.

TUTORIALS - will provide the opportunity for individuals or small groups of students to meet with individual staff members.  The aim is to provide a context whereby students' personal development and progress can be assessed (formative feedback); students can be encouraged to develop learning skills; students can be assisted to make informed and realistic choices within their course and support can be offered for individual or group project work, work-related placements and dissertation supervision.

MANAGED LEARNING ACTIVITIES - these will comprise of formative learning activities that are set with a specific task focus to develop students academic skills in preparation for summative assessments (in line with the QAA code of practice - ensuring students have adequate time to reflect on learning before being assessed).

PRACTICAL PROBLEM BASED ACTIVITIES - these will allow students to conduct practical activities related to a given problem/task and develop their understanding of how research evidence can inform policymaking.  For example, conducting a risk assessment in order to implement crime prevention measures.

GUIDED INDEPENDENT STUDY - this will include preparation for specific assignments but also reading and reflection on issues raised in the formally structured teaching contexts.  This independent study will normally include reading books and journals, including electronic sources.   

The assessments address academic learning outcomes, professional competences and the development of student experience. A range of both formative and summative assessment/methods are used. Each method of assessment is chosen of its fitness to purpose. Many of the methods of assessment reflect forms of recording, reporting and presentation and other work-related activities, which are required of police officers.  Formative assessment is an important part of student learning and form a significant part of the learning experience.

Formative assessments are varied and may include:

  • Presentations
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Debates
  • Knowledge checks
  • Community based learning 

Summative assessments are also varied and include: 

  • Presentations
  • Oral Examination
  • Assignments
  • Development of information packs
  • Professional conversations 

Student officers have to pass all module assessment components of the Certificate.   

On successful completion of the Professional Certificate, students will be able to demonstrate a secure understanding of the concepts and principles of Neighbourhood Policing including the importance of their role in Cheshire communities within the context of ethnic and social diversity. They will understand the nature and importance of Partnership working and will possess the intellectual skills appropriate for this work including the ability to critically reflect on their own behaviour and on the situations in which they find themselves. Holders of the Professional Certificate in Neighbourhood Policing will be in possession of a range of practical skills and the ability to make critical judgements in complex and stressful situations. They will have developed an ability to audit, interpret and enhance their own skills within their working context will be encouraged to use this as a base for taking responsibility for their own learning.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression. 

These policies are embedded in the programme design at the outset, for example:

  • Educational aims (section 22) -  the second educational aim of the programme refers to learning and assessment strategies that will ensure that all students have as equal an opportunity as possible to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to graduate in criminology. 
  • Programme outcomes (section 23) - there is reference to the development of person skills necessary for working in a multi-cultural society. 
  • Programme aims (section 26) - embedded within the programme aims is the requirement that students reach the relevant national occupational standard.
  • Learning and teaching (section 28) - refers to learning and teaching methods taking account of equal opportunities and inclusive practice and cites an example on applying this to the use of technology in presentations.

While the programme will meet all the requirements of the University’s diversities policy, students on this programme will also be subject to the Constabulary policies on Equality and Diversity. Cheshire Constabulary is committed to ensuring that all staff shall be given equality of opportunity to progress within the organization in line with their skills and potential. This policy includes recruitment, transfer, promotion and training. Cheshire Constabulary recognizes and values the diverse backgrounds of its staff and the public it serves.   Cheshire Constabulary policies will also reflect sensitively the particular circumstances and cultures of the communities that it serves. 

To complete the Professional Certificate students have to attain 60 credits. As the students who enter this certificate will have different levels of experience in different aspects of Neighbourhood Policing they will be guided in their choice of modules to ensure they maximise their expertise.

Back - to previous page  Print - launches the print options panel