Training And Supervision

One way to improve standards in interviewing is to have appropriate training, both in terms of quality and quantity. One of the reasons that Clarke and Milne (2001) offered for the lack of transference of PEACE was that the trainees were being taught too much, too early, before the basic skills had been grasped. Thus one of their 19 recommendations was that a tiered approach to interview training be developed alongside an interviewer's career. This is not a new concept (e.g. see Shepherd, 1988). It was proposed that Tier 1 would be recruit training and concern only basic communication skills. Tier 2 would start a programme of proactive refresher training (identified in part by supervision assessment—see below) and develop on what the interviewer has already learned in practice. One of the problems found with the content of the PEACE training course was that it could easily become legislation-based, as much new legislation concerns interviewing rather than a skills-based course on how to interview. As new legislation is introduced this is incorporated into the time available for PEACE training, and learning the art of interviewing was being sidelined. Rather, as is being done in other public sector agencies in the UK (e.g. Inland Revenue, Benefits Agency and Department of Health), the legislation ought to be taught, say, as a distance learning module. The Practical Guide to Investigative Interviewing (National Crime Faculty, 2000) is being sent to trainees in advance of the course, and an entrance test is given based on these materials. Trainers can then base their skills training and development upon the materials rather than start from scratch. Research, involving the first author, is at present examining this method of training.

Tier 2 would also involve training of supervisors and managers (as is also being conducted in public sector training in the UK), demonstrating how the PEACE framework is a method for conducting all types of interviews. Tier 3 concerns specialist training for a variety of different roles (e.g. enhanced CI, child protection, vulnerable groups, etc.). Interviewers entering this tier would be required to undertake some form of skills assessment. This happens in some areas of the UK (e.g. Kent County Constabulary Advanced Interview Course and Sussex Police Advanced Interview Course). The final tier (Tier 4) is for interview advisers who are skilled interviewers and investigators. Their role is to advise and plan interview strategies at a local level and during the investigation of major incidents (Clarke and Milne, 2001). In addition, there also needs to be effective training for the trainers of these courses.

Even with good training not everyone will become a good interviewer (Baldwin, 1992). It seems that some people bring an ability to interview to policing and some definitely do not. We are beginning now to examine who these people are and also how to target them in the future. In addition, good quality and an appropriate level of interview training is not enough on its own. This has to be accompanied by good support in the workplace (Stockdale, 1993). Clarke and Milne (2001) found that the interviews were of a better quality where there was an interview supervision policy in the workplace.

0 0

Post a comment