The integrity of policing in our society is dependent upon ‘rightful policing’ practices. These practices reside upon the ability of police and law enforcement officers to demonstrate exceptional judgment and appropriate application of force if and when necessary. Officers must assess critical situations and decide how to best respond in a risk-effective manner in what can often be time-compressed situations.
How individual officers respond during such incidents is heavily underpinned by how the officers were trained. This places an immense responsibility on law enforcement trainers and use of force instructors. As we continue to discover more about human performance and decision-making in complex, high-consequence, rapidly unfolding events, there is an absolute nexus between the quality of an officer’s decision-making and survivability and how the officer was trained. “An officer never ‘rises to the occasion; they fall to the level of their training.”
Bad training exists and should be categorized as education built without the foundational research and science in neurology, cognition, and motor learning principles. Training is both art and science. Therefore, the responsible law enforcement trainer’s focus and efforts necessitate creating training programs that reflect current research centered on correct skill selection, training design, and delivery for optimal learning and retention of critical police skills.
An officer never ‘rises to the occasion’, they fall to the level of their training.
The Methods of Instruction – Training Practical Professional Policing Skills course fills a critical void in modern-day law enforcement training. During this intensive course, participants will be challenged by diving into paradigm-breaking scientific principles that can be immediately and directly applied to their academy or agency training program.
This learner-centric course utilizes an adult learning, problem-based approach. Individuals can expect to do a minimum of 20 hours of pre-class reading/viewing and assignments in addition to 40-hours of in-class instruction. Successful completion of this course requires the student to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the material and its application in a variety of contexts.
At the end of this course, participants will have a broad understanding of identifying critical training needs and building and instructing an evidence-based training program to address the essential skills required by law enforcement. In addition, instruction will include developing realistic, verifiable, and justifiable course training standards (CTS) to guide future teaching while protecting the agency and trainers.
The course is immensely challenging. It requires a willingness of the participant to leave behind strongly held biases and traditionalism and embrace a growth mindset.
This course is delivered over a series of twelve modules with materials presented in scaffolded and interleaved methods, utilizing the same research-based learning methods participants are encouraged to use in their training programs.
In addition, each day will consist of both ‘priming’ and ‘booster’ sessions to reinforce and cement the critical aspects of the course into long-term memory. The instructor will utilize various learning tools throughout the course to create ‘desirable difficulties’ and ‘effortful retrieval’ of the the following topics:
Chris Butler retired as an Inspector after 34 years in law enforcement.
Prior to joining the Calgary Police Service, Chris was a Search and Rescue Technician for six years responsible for conducting high angle mountain rescue, swift water rescue and avalanche rescue. During this time Chris was involved in developing and delivering intensive training for Search and Rescue Technicians. This began his interest and study in human factors, human error, decision making and motor learning principles.
This course is delivered through in-class instruction. This will include didactic instructional delivery, drills and exercises, memory retrieval exercises, individual metacognition, and dynamic group problem analysis, and class presentation.
For the class to be successful, everyone involved must contribute. This includes preparing for class by completing the pre-course reading/viewing materials on time, full class attendance, and engaging in-class discussion, group work, and class presentations.
Participants will be provided a digital student manual that contains all class presentations as well as the complete research bibliography and course outline. Students are not required to print the manual out prior to course attendance but may choose to do so as a matter of personal preference. Registrants should bring notepaper and pens and a laptop if that is their preferred method of taking class notes.