The Police University College passed FINEEC's audit – strengths include working life-oriented police training and a functioning quality system

Release Higher education

The audit team praised the Police University College for the design and delivery of working life-oriented police training and a strong ability to identify their own areas for improvement through an effective and systematic quality system.

Working life-oriented training as a strength 

The skills of graduates from the Bachelor and Master of Police Services degrees (provided in Finnish and Swedish) and Bachelor of Rescue Services degree are well suited to current workplace needs. The strengths of the degree programmes include the relevance to working life, close cooperation with employers and the use of stakeholder feedback in the development of the degree education. The Police University College is well placed to respond to changes in the security environment through its multi-stakeholder cooperation and forward-looking approach to education design.

The degree programme of the Bachelor of Rescue Services is delivered by the Emergency Services Academy and awarded by the Police University College. There is still room for improvement in terms of cooperation and harmonisation of practices in the design and delivery of education. The audit team recommends the Police University College to intensify its cooperation with the Emergency Services Academy to develop the quality of the Bachelor of Rescue Services degree.

"Updating the cooperation agreement between the Police University College and the Emergency Services Academy provides a good opportunity to clarify the steering responsibilities of the Bachelor of Rescue Services degree", comments Vesa Taatila, the chair of the audit team and Rector of Turku University of Applied Sciences.

The teaching methods, assessment of learning and learning environments in police training provide excellent support for the achievement of the learning outcomes. In addition, the internships included in the studies contribute to students' professional growth. However, the course feedback system, the feedback system for internships and the induction of internship supervisors still need to be improved. The development of teachers' methodological and pedagogical skills is well-planned and sustained. Teacher development days and the introduction of a co-teaching model to support the implementation of the new curriculum are excellent practices. The needs of staff and students are consulted in the development of support services in a comprehensive way.

There is a wide range of continuing education available for police staff, but the Police University College could raise its profile as a national unit for continuing education and by strengthening international cooperation in the planning of further education. The audit team recommends that the Police University College clarify the procedures for the development and management of further and continuing education.

Proactive monitoring of the operating environment provides an excellent link between the Police University College and the whole police service’s Situation Awareness function

Proactive monitoring of the operating environment and the UAS’s integration into the Police Situation Awareness function further strengthen the strategic management of the Police University College. The new delegation function creates good opportunities to promote the UAS’s social impact. The reorganisation of the Police University College provides an opportunity to strengthen the link between education and research, development and innovation (RDI).

The management of RDI projects includes many good examples of knowledge-sharing and knowledge-enhancing working models, such as a round table of project actors. However, the results of the UAS’s RDI work are not sufficiently disseminated to the police departments.

"The Police University College should link RDI activities more strongly to the development of policing and ensure that the results of projects are put into practice", says Taatila.

The quality system supports the Police University College in identifying well its areas for improvement  

The Police University College's quality system and the information it generates are systematically used in strategic management. The Police University College's Operational quality manual, which is openly available on the UAS’s website, clearly describes shared practices and the development of activities.

"The audit team was convinced that the Police University College has a strong ability to identify its own development needs through the quality system and to continuously improve its activities on this basis. However, the management information systems need to be streamlined", stresses Taatila.

The Police University College's strength is its motivated and committed staff. The development of the staff’s skills is strongly supported. There is scope for further strengthening the management of competences.

The Police University College passed the audit conducted by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) and was awarded a quality label for six years. Passing the audit shows that the activities and the quality system of the university of applied sciences meet both the national criteria and the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. The audit focuses on the higher education institution’s procedures for maintaining and enhancing the quality of education, RDI actitivities and societal interaction. The audit criteria have been published in FINEEC's Audit manual for higher education institutions. 

The audit report is available on FINEEC’s audit platform

Further information

  • Vesa Taatila, Chair of the audit team and Rector at Turku University of Applied Sciences, +358 50 598 5761, 
  • Sirpa Moitus, the audit’s project manager and Counsellor of Evaluation at FINEEC, +358 29 533 5518,