A case study to investigate the application of programme evaluation theory to the Metropolitan Police Diversity Training Programme
The Metropolitan Police Diversity Training Programme was a major part of the Metropolitan Police Service's response to the requirement for change brought about by the failures in the investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. The training programme was designed to address police attitudes to race and inadequacies in police training and development. It was made clear at its commission that a comprehensive Diversity Training Programme evaluation strategy would be required; the outcome of which would be of importance to and heavily scrutinised by the Police Service, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, the Commission for Racial Equality and the public in general. I recognised this as an opportunity to develop the police training evaluation establishment by applying a modern, original strategy to the evaluation of the programme which I hoped would act as a catalyst for change. I identified a mixed method, theory driven programme evaluation methodology that was appropriate to the needs of the evaluation. The methodology was based upon the work of Pawson and Tilley (1998) and Weiss (1998) and contained the STARR technique designed specifically to identify the impact of diversity training. The evaluation process became the focus of 24 case studies designed to identify the adequacy of the programme theory to the evaluation task. The research proved that programme evaluation theory could be successfully applied to the Diversity Training Programme evaluation and provide a robust, effective and high quality training evaluation. The scrutiny applied to the evaluation resulted in the identification of the insufficiency of police evaluator training, the partial rejection of the Kirkpatrick (1998) four level model and the development of alternative forms of police training evaluation. The case studies provided evidence that programme evaluation theory could be built into training design processes and thus provide a high volume, low cost training evaluation model for internal public sector evaluators.