A NEW approach to officer and staff development has resulted in Cumbria Constabulary collecting two prestigious internationally-recognised training awards.

In recognition of their success in developing a supportive and collaborative culture across the Constabulary, the force were awarded the gold award for the Best Employee Engagement Programme and the silver award for Coaching and Mentoring Programme.

The TJ Awards are part of the Training Journal brand which, for over 50 years, has been supporting those involved in work place learning and development.

The Training Journal Awards recognise the ingenuity, creativity, passion and hard work of learning and development professionals from around the world.

The Constabulary were the only organisation to have been shortlisted for three categories following an innovative approach introducing 'Strength-Based Conversations' into the work place and were the only UK police force to make it to the finals. The force were also the only organisation to win more than one of these awards.

The ‘Chats That Matter’ strength-based coaching programme was designed and delivered by Julia Wolfendale from On The Up Consulting Ltd.

Through an innovative coaching approach, the Constabulary has enabled a platform for all staff to grow, achieve and unlock potential to help people perform at their best. The approach has seen the force transform their performance conversations at work within a more supportive and collaborative culture.

Superintendent Sarah Jackson, who was Head of People at the time the programme was developed, said: “We wanted a programme that built trust between individuals and their line managers, having meaningful conversations that recognised what was important to the people who work in our organisation. All staff are now having ‘Chats That Matter’ and discovering their strengths.”

Detective Inspector Charlotte Nutter and Chief Inspector Gaynor Wardle were key drivers in the Constabulary’s mentoring scheme which scooped the Silver Award. With 50 mentors now signed up to the programme, a buddying system for transferee officers and reverse mentoring in place, all demonstrated to the judges the Constabularies commitment to supporting and developing its employees.

Tania Kirkbride, Blended learning Manager for Cumbria Constabulary, said: “To be recognised on an international platform like this is testament to the hard work of everyone within the Constabulary. From a previous culture focussing on performance and compliance, our new, award winning approach ensures our staff are the focus. These awards reflect two years of work, listening to our staff and officers and implementing a transformative approach to changing culture and improving performance.”

Julia Wolfendale, executive coach from On the Up Consulting LTD, said: “It is a huge privilege to work with Cumbria Police, they do incredible work every day. This will lead the way for other police forces and organisations to follow."