Officers Higher Education/PCDA Degrees (661A/23)
Please can you tell me, what percentage of officers serving in the West Midlands Police Force:
a) Prior to 2019, joined the force, as an officer, already having a higher education qualification.
b) How many officer have obtained/obtaining a degree through the PCDA entry route.
c) How many officers have left the force while obtaining a degree through PCDA.
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all this information within the appropriate (cost) limit of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘REASON FOR DECISION’ below).
However, although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached file 661A_23_attachment.pdf). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.
Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.
The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.
If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.
As recommended as good practice by the Information Commissioner’s Office a version of this response may be published on the West Midlands Police website.
REASON FOR DECISION
Information with regard to question a (officers joining the force prior to 2019, already having a higher education qualification) is not held on our electronic recruitment system. Therefore, the only way for us to determine this information is by manually going into the personnel files of every serving officer who joined the force prior to 2019. This however would involve having to examine thousands of records, and such a search would far exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
This means that the cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: