Thames Valley

Meet A Police Sergeant Andy Blagrove, Foundation Skills Trainer

Foundation Skills Trainer Andy Blagrove
With the recent opening of a new training centre within our force, we took the opportunity to speak with one of our Foundation Skills Trainers, Andy Blagrove, about his role and what it’s like to train the next generation of Police Officers.
Why did you decide to become a Foundation Skills Trainer?
Having had various roles across the force, I decided that I wanted a change and that my personal skill set would work well in the training environment. I felt I had knowledge and experience that would benefit new recruits. I have always enjoyed sharing my experience and knowledge with colleagues to help them with their work and this was the chance to take that to the next level.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a Foundation Skills Trainer?
Seeing student officers develop their skills and confidence as the courses goes along. Some of my ex-students were recently acknowledged during the Police Federation Bravery Awards and to see just how far they had gone was brilliant.
What skills do you need to be a Foundation Skills Trainer?
The first thing is great communication skills. Your main function is to impart knowledge and understanding to your student officers so that is absolutely key. A good sense of humour, a fair bit of empathy and a knack for problem solving and multi-tasking are also really important.
What does a day-to-day look like for you?
At the moment I am Acting Sergeant so it’s all changed recently, but as a trainer your day-to-day can vary loads. One day you will be presenting to the class, the next day you will be assessing statements, and then the next day you will be leading practical role play sessions, where the students get to apply what they have learned in the classroom in a realistic scenario. Courses last between 19 and 22 weeks so there is lots of variety to get stuck into.
What’s been your career highlight?
There are genuinely too many to mention. I have had the chance to work across many areas on some really interesting investigations. The highlight has probably been the people I have worked alongside to bring offenders to justice and keep people safe. It sounds a bit cheesy but it’s true. Across each department I have worked on, I have been surrounded by individuals who care about our work and helping those that need us the most.
What would be the next step in your career?
Ultimately promotion, but for now carrying on doing what I can to hopefully produce the best student officers that we can for deployment onto the Local Policing Areas (LPAs).
What would you say to others considering becoming a Foundation Skills Trainer?
If you have a passion for bringing people on at the same time as developing your own skills and knowledge, then do it. As the title suggests, as a trainer you have the ability to set the foundations on which a student officer will build their career. In my view, it is a privileged position to be in.

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