Thames Valley Police celebrates apprenticeship milestone

Thames Valley Emergency Contact Management Centre Officer.

Thames Valley Police has reached an important milestone with the successful completion of its 200th emergency contact handler apprenticeship.

In 2018, Thames Valley Police began recruiting emergency contact handler apprentices to grow its workforce, widen participation across the community and provide a professional qualification for call handlers. Working out of Thames Valley Police’s Kidlington headquarters, Abingdon and Milton Keynes, emergency contact handlers field up to 2,500 999 and 101 calls from the public, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

All trainee Emergency Contact Management Centre officers (999/101 call handlers) and trainee Police Controllers receive a high standard of training throughout their careers and as part of their initial development, everyone is accredited with a Level 3 emergency service contact handler apprenticeship. The Level 3 Certificate in Emergency Services Contact Handling apprenticeship is aimed at learners new to the contact handler role.

Christine Kirby is TVP’s Director of People. Having launched the careers of hundreds of emergency contact handlers, Christine said: “The apprenticeship model is perfect for putting trainees through their paces so that they are ready for the rigours of the job.”

SFJ Awards is the organisation that assesses the skills and competencies of apprentices at the end of their programme. Kit Salt is Head of End Point Assessment at SFJ Awards. She said, “The role of an emergency contact handler is a pressured one, and with such responsibility it is vital to ensure that recruits undergo rigorous training before interacting with first responders and the public. This apprenticeship offers apprentices the perfect blend of classroom learning and hands-on experience to develop the skills, knowledge, and behaviours to perform the role effectively.”