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Jan 25, 2008

The title Traditional - You Tell Me challenges thinking in relation to Police training. There is a perception that still exists about traditional, old fashioned methods in the way that officers are trained and groomed for service. Nothing, in this modern day could be further from the truth.

Current training and development of officers whether recruits, specialists or leaders is designed in the application of academic practice, principles and accreditation. The training and development delivered now is at the forefront of progressive and lateral thinking and in this risk managed environment while endeavouring to maintain the standards values and ethics that the public rightly demand of their Police Service. Whilst such standards are the same, the developmental process that officers go through to achieve them differ greatly from previous years. The Police professionalisation in this regard has changed significantly.

In addition there is now a strong drive to add meaningful personal development to the professionalisation package and recognise this through the enhancement of a qualification that hopefully encourages future growth. The investment in Police Officers has been extended now to an educational and development investment in Police Staff who now have a similar raft of opportunities available to them.

The Scottish Police College is being recognised within the United Kingdom and International Policing Arenas as an exemplar in the continued exploration of development in training and education. This recognition has also extended into academic circles through the achievement in the past six months of two SQA Awards (including the Pride of Worth Award) and a UK National Training Award for the Probationer Training Programme. While such awards go a considerable way to providing assurance that the right path is being taken, this journey of development and improvement is only beginning.

Assistant Chief Constable Geates started off his career in 1981 in Ayrshire. He subsequently worked in Glasgow Divisions in uniform and CID, has been attached to the Serious Crime Squad and was Head of Strathclyde Police's Surveillance Unit. In 1998, he was appointed Detective Superintendent and given responsibility for the investigation of serious/major crime, strategic CID management functions and policy making responsibilities, together with territorial accountability.

Since then Mr. Geates has been Deputy Divisional Commander within the Maryhill Division in Glasgow, has introduced a Professional Standards unit into Strathclyde Police and also served as Head of Corporate Planning and Development.

In 2004 Mr Geates headed a joint external review team who conducted an investigation into Fife Constabulary and Fife Councils Management of a non registered sex offender who had murdered a 16 year old girl. Their report, which contained 20 strategic change recommendations, was fully endorsed by the Scottish Executive.

In August 2005 he was appointed head of the Engaging Criminality review Team, where he led a review of the work of the CID within Strathclyde Police. In January 2006, he headed a reinvestigation into the Nat Fraser murder enquiry and subsequently reported the findings to the Lord Advocate for Scotland. He was appointed as Deputy Director of the Scottish Police College which took effect from Monday 12th June, 2006 and on 21 August 2007 took up the post of Director.
Recorded at Practical learning: achieving excellence in the human services, EICC, January 23-25 2008.