Equality & Diversity Training Case Study: Bedfordshire Police
25th April 2016
‘This is a great training opportunity for all staff. The training is pitched at the right level and provides an insight into unconscious bias without being judgemental.’
- 87% completion rate since launch
- Partnership led to development of new product now available to all UK police forces
In police departments all over Europe and North America, the commitment to equality and diversity training has become a growing, important focus as our communities become more diverse and discrimination is being examined. Not only that, but communities are stronger when they have a strong relationship with the police officers who serve them.
Police departments hear about the diversity training happening at technology giants like Facebook and Google, but do not have the budgets to replicate the same kinds of expensive efforts. When Police departments are faced with severe budget cuts, the first thing to be slashed is the training budget.
The police department in Bedfordshire, up until 2015, had no training materials or e-learning provisions of any sort to train their staff on the idea of Unconscious Bias. In seeking a reasonable and affordably priced partner, they decided to engage with Marshall E-Learning to develop an interactive and bespoke Unconscious Bias programme aimed at both Front-Line staff and Support staff.
With staff who are strapped for time, efficiency and engagement were key challenges. Minimal onboarding and a strong emphasis on visual and interactive learning over heavy text-based content, and a use of realistic and very relevant scenarios to the organisation were also front-and-centre.
With a diverse community in the local area, Bedfordshire’s police department understands the strong need to counter the issue of unconscious bias. Though unable to bring in a consultant on a rolling basis, the Bedfordshire Police combined its in-house knowledge and engaged Marshall E-learning, a London-based e-learning company who specialises in diversity and inclusion bias to help them do this.
In terms of designing the course, The Police department themselves had a wide breadth of subject matter and the context, and Marshall provided their expertise on technology implementation and diversity.
The five-part course consisted of distinct units, designed to take the new learner through the concept of unconscious bias. Starting with a comprehensive introduction on the subject of unconscious bias and diversity-at-work in general, the learner is given a basic overview of the types of unconscious bias and how it benefits an organisation to challenge it.
The learner then moves on to examine the positive benefits, followed by real-life examples, understanding the diagnostics involved, and finally, some specific challenges to test their knew knowledge in practice.
With the course rolling out to time-pressured managers from varied departments such as HR though to site services and suppliers, the learning program would have to be suitable for everyone and take into consideration the different learning environments, so Marshall blended interactive surveys, visual animations, images and real-life challenges in a manner that would not only educate but entertain.
Since its launch, the Marshall E-Learning course has been taken by 217 staff members at the Bedfordshire Police department, an impressive 87% completion rate.
The partnership between Bedfordshire Police and Marshall E-Learning allowed the development of a new product which is now available to all police forces across the UK.
To date, the feedback from learners has shown that the course has been received well by many members of the team, prompting individuals to deeply challenge their own perspective for the harmony of the organisation in the community.
As far as qualitative data goes, the Bedfordshire Police has come back to Marshall E-Learning with very positive and interesting anecdotes. These learner testimonials help to paint this picture:
‘I would be seriously concerned if anybody in the organisation once faced with heightened alertness around unconscious bias, group bias and group-thinking through this programme should ignore the need to be more considerate, supportive and challenging around any indicators.’
‘The course is extremely informative providing clear evidence behind the statements made and is very thought provoking in parts. The real world scenarios are an opportunity to contextualise what you are being told and test your understanding.’
‘The training isn’t overly long and therefore your concentration remains throughout the course. The course provides practical tips on how to check yourself and what you can do to recognise your own behaviour and change it if you require.’
‘It got me thinking and made me more aware which is very positive I hadn’t really thought about my own unconscious bias before and in terms of that alone it was worthwhile doing it. The idea of tailoring training to the role that people have is a good one.’
Contact Marshall E-Learning
If you want to find out more about Marshall E-Learning’s work with Bedfordshire Police or about our products for UK police forces, please get in touch or take a look at our Equality & Diversity training course.