Developing evidence-based policy and practice for North Yorkshire Police: Research Methods Training

What are we providing?

The research methods training course will build sustained capability amongst NYP officers and staff to understand, critique and use research. The one-day course in introductory research methods will be open to management and senior management, consisting of Inspectors, Detective Inspectors, Superintendents, Detective Superintendents, Chief Inspectors, Chief Superintendents, the Command team, targeted police staff, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Executive.

The course encompasses various short (45 to 90 minutes) ‘mini-modules’ on a variety of research areas linking evidence to policy and practice.

The mini-modules will include: an introduction to qualitative research methods; testing different levels of evidence; randomised controlled trials; systematic reviews; preparing a logic model; and a discussion and review of the learning. The training content will be tailored to be relevant to the police, with research examples from ’policing’ where possible. We will also draw upon the research methods and projects within the Connect project: the session on qualitative methods will include a review of the qualitative interviews we will be conducting with front-line officers who participated in the mental health training intervention; the session on systematic reviews will explore the systematic review of mental health training for non-mental health professionals which informed the development of the training intervention; and the session on randomised controlled trials will take as an example the trial of the mental health training intervention and the ways in which the control group and intervention group were created and the way in which outcomes will be measured to enable us to measure the effectiveness of the training intervention. By the end of the course attendees should have a better understanding of the research process from identifying a research question, or a problem to be solved, through to developing a logic model to summarise a project, applying research methods to answer the question and produce evidence, and how that evidence can then be utilised to promote change in practice or policy.

This short course may impact on use of, and understanding of, evidence, which may be applied when commissioning or considering new activities, and appraising existing programmes. The training will thus have the potential to produce ‘evidence champions’ to support a step change in evidence application.

The one-day course will cater for up to 20 members of staff, and will be run three times to ensure coverage (n=60). Research methods training will be provided at an appropriate level for professionals without a degree-level qualification and with no prior knowledge of research to ensure its accessibility to all participants.

Why is this important?

The research methods training for police officers is important because ‘an evidence-based approach to mental health will provide more efficient services and better outcomes.’ (page 5, Connect bid) Training is crucial in supporting officers and staff to conduct, understand and use research effectively, and thus develop an evidence-base for policy and practice within North Yorkshire Police. This meets the first objective of the overall Connect project.

Who is working on this?
What is the timeline for this training?

We have already developed a draft programme for the training day. We aim to deliver the research methods training in September and October 2016, and have this written up by the end of the year.

How will the findings be made available?

Regular updates will be added to this page and a written report will be available at the end of the project.

More information

For more information about the research methods training for police officers please contact Nicola Moran