After You've Joined > Tutoring
Once you've got through your initial training, you'll be assigned a tutor constable and let loose on the streets! It's true to say though that with the new training structure, there is more emphasis on "protected learning" which means that you may get out of the classroom and onto the streets a bit sooner than recruits used to.
In either case, you will be with a more experienced officer and the two of you will be a team for the next few weeks. The tutoring period typically lasts about 10 weeks but can be extended if there are difficulties.
The tutor's job is to expose you to a variety of policing situations, from the mundane (filling out a traffic ticket) to the dramatic (a street fight) and see how you cope. They are there to help, guide and assess your performance.
At the end of the tutorship period, if all has gone well, you should achieve your "independent patrol". This is when they send you out on your own - how scary is that?!
If you're not quite ready for independent patrol at the end of the tutorship period, then don't panic, your tutor period will most likely be expanded. But you have to take the bull by the horns and address those issues which are still outstanding, to ensure you are signed off in due course!
Gathering Evidence for your Development Portfolio
During the first two years of your service, you will be completing your development portfolio, a big thick book of tasks that the police service wants you to complete to evidence that you are a competent officer.
Some forces are now formalising the learning process during the first two years, requiring their student officers to complete evidence for an NVQ (Non-Vocational Qualification) or even to earn a degree in policing. Your first two years will be busy, no doubt about it - not only will you be getting to grips with your new and exciting career, but you'll have to document and evidence everything you learn to a high standard. Be prepared for some long nights in front of the computer, sorting out the paperwork!
Ideally during your tutorship you will face a wide variety of situations which should give you evidence to knock off quite a few of the tasks they want you to achieve. Your tutor should help you with this. Usually you will attend a job, deal with it, and then debrief it afterwards. This helps you to learn from the experience, what went well and what didn't, and also to identify areas where you need to gain more experience.