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Free and informal Learning

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We have selected a range of free-online learning resources that are relevant to policing. These free resources are known as Open Education Resources (OERs) or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and can be used to support your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or your general interest.

These courses contain a mixture of resources including videos, audio, learning activities and interactive quizzes, along with the option to download iBook learning materials.

More about OERs and MOOCs

Open Education Resources for Policing

These free resources are organised into categories aligned to the College of Policing Curriculum and in agreement with police experts. You can study them at any time and anywhere.

If you are unable to find learning relevant to you, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss or identify learning opportunities with you

Click on a category and you will be able to see the list of OERs in that cateory, more information on the resourse and the duration of study for that resourse

Achieving Evidence-based Policing
Business and Organisation Studies
Community Engagement and Leadership (PSNI)
Computing and Technology
Criminology and Forensics
Judicial and Law
Management and Leadership
Professional and Personal Development
Protecting Vulnerable People
Religion and Culture
Skills for Learning
Society and Social Work
Wellbeing and Mental Health
Youth and Youth Offending

What are OERs and MOOCs?

OERs and MOOCs are free short informal online resources available over the internet (via a laptop, tablet or smartphone), accessed by anyone, anywhere.

  • OERs consist of a variety of OpenLearn resources that vary from bite-sized courses to concise blogs to short video clips
  • MOOCs are structured courses from FutureLearn that run on set dates throughout the year

These free resources focus on work-related topics (such as public leadership), explore a specialism in policing (such as cyber-security or forensics), or prepare you for future study, and connect to a formal accredited course or qualification.

Find out more by visiting the Frequently asked questions on OpenLearn.

Study Levels

There are three different levels of study (introductory, intermediate and advanced) that can be used to support Policing CPD and career progression. Each level indicates the amount of previous educational experience expected to be able to study the unit within the stated hours. If you are new to higher education, we recommend that you start with free courses at an introductory level. You can use the filter to search for the different study level, type of activity and your preferred duration of study. These courses can be used to support your progression through Level 1 to 5 within the Competency and Values Framework (CVF)​, which will replace the Policing Professional Framework (PPF).

Certificate of Participation Most OERs offer a Statement of Participation (SoP) after successful completion, which can be downloaded and printed as a PDF. This can give evidence of learning achievements for CPD, work appraisals and supervisory meetings, or used to gain prior learning recognition for future study. To obtain a SoP we recommend you register with OpenLearn, Registering also gives you other features, such as progress tracking (on OpenLearn courses), personal activity reports and commenting on articles. You can easily un-enrol at any time.
Badge of Completion After finishing a MOOC the Badge of Completion (BOC) will be awarded and can be used as evidence of CPD for work appraisals (in agreement with your supervisor) or to support professional supervisory meetings (subject to professional standards body agreement). This can be used to assess your prior learning for Higher Education credit, subject to specific University regulations for RPD (Recognised Professional Development). Specific police badging for policing professional development will be agreed with the College of Policing and forces, in line their CPD Policies.

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