What does 'good' equal opportunities training look like? A model of fair treatment training in the police service derived from the experience of police officers and civil staff engaged in training design and delivery
'Equal Opportunities' (EO) in this research is taken as an umbrella term to encompass all forms of training in fair treatment issues including Community and Race Relations. The literature reveals that training police officers in EO issues falls short of what is needed and yet little research has been done into how trainers and learners engage with the content of EO training. A measure of the importance attached to this area of research lies in the fact that in April 1999 this project attracted Home Office Police Research Award Scheme funding. Police training in EO was examined from the point of view of the trainers who engage in it by exploring their experience. The consistent theme and the core question "what does good EO training look like?" had the object of constructing a model of good EO training where "good" has been defined out of the trainers' own expenence. Thirty interviews were conducted using well established phenomenographic principles to explore the experience of those engaged in the design or delivery of EO training for police officers. For the subsequent qualitative analysis of the data an approach similar to grounded theory was used. The results demonstrate that good EO training has four elements expressed in terms of its objects, the act of engaging in EO training, the process, and issues surrounding the skills and attributes required of trainers engaging in its delivery. Each of the elements had a number of component themes that were also used in the construction of the model. A key finding, consistent with other studies, was that learners and trainers alike may selectively emphasise or focus on a particular part of the model, and, in doing so, will inhibit the effectiveness of both the learning and the training.