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Personal Development

You may decide to spend the first few days, weeks or even months of your ‘new’ life re-training to develop existing skills or gain new ones, which may include qualifications required for a specific purpose.  Those new skills may generally be in demand within a sector in which you intend to work and therefore could be seen as a basic requirement for entry.  It could be that you want to undertake personal development in order to run your own business, particularly if it is not something that you have a great deal of knowledge or experience in.  Taking the time out to learn more about something that you really want to do, if you can afford the time and the cost of learning, is usually time (and money) well spent.  By making the right choices, personal development is a good way of enhancing what you can offer.

There are a number of things that you can do that can be considered as personal development opportunities, some of which may be less obvious but that can nevertheless contribute to your skills and experience.

  • Classroom learning/Courses
  • Attending conferences
  • E-learning
  • On-the-job experience
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Job shadowing
  • Observing role models
  • Reading books, articles, journals
  • Professional qualifications
  • Participating in formal/informal support networks
  • Or a combination of the above


Academic Study

Formal academic qualifications can range across a number of levels.  The higher the level usually means the more valuable the qualification, and often, the higher the price, the longer to achieve and the greater the difficulty.

  • Level 3 – AS and A Levels
  • Level 4 – Certificate in higher education, NVQ4, BTEC L4
  • Level 5 – HND, Higher Diploma, BTEC L5, Foundation Degree
  • Level 6 – Bachelor’s Degree, Graduate Cert / Diploma
  • Level 7 – Master’s degree, Postgrad Cert / Dip.
  • Level 8 - Doctorate


Vocational Training

Vocational training is training for a specific career or trade, excluding the professions. Vocational training focuses on practical applications of skills learned, and is generally unconcerned with theory or traditional academic skills.

You can pick up vocational training from within the police service, such as a First Aid qualification or a training certificate.


Courses and learning funding advice

Learning usually costs something, whether you're planning to do a full-time, part-time or self-study course. The National Careers Service provides information and advice on how to pay for your learning, what support is out there for you and where to find it.


National careers service course finder

The National Careers Service course finder can be used to find out about learning of all types in your area. If you can't find what you're looking for you can always contact an adviser for a chat.


Resources for Personal Development

As an employee, you are allowed to ask for time to study.  The government sets out the criteria here:

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