The Garda College is the national centre for police training, development and education within the Irish State. It is a modern university campus type structure on eight acres within the town of Templemore, Co. Tipperary.
The Garda College provides education, training programmes and interventions ranging from M.A in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility), B.A. in Applied Policing, B.Sc in Police Leadership and Governance, Higher Diplomas, Certificates to Firearms, Driver Training, Public Order and First Aid Programmes. It is an accredited Third Level training and educational centre within the National Qualification Framework (NQF) of Ireland providing accredited programmes from level 6 to level 9 on the NQF. In addition the Garda College partners with other third level institutions in the facilitation of programmes.
These training areas are:
1. Foundation Training
2. Reserve Training
3. Continuous Professional Development
4. Strategic Operational and Tactical Management Development
5. Crime Training
6. Communications & Information Technology Training
7. Operational Skills
8. Firearms Training
9. Driver Training
10. Facilities Management
11. Central Administration
Further details in respect of training courses provided by each training area are outlined below:
1. FOUNDATION TRAINING
The Trainee/Probationer Education, Training & Development Program is a 2 year course leading to a B.A. in Applied Policing (Level 7) which is currently accredited by the University of Limerick (UL). It is a competency based programme consisting of five separate but integrated phases that are conducted both at the Garda Síochána College and at designated Garda training stations throughout the country. All Trainee/Probationers are expected to take responsibility for their own education and professional development.
The training seeks to develop the behavioural patterns and competencies which are necessary for a member of An Garda Síochána.
2. RESERVE TRAINING
The Garda Síochána Act, 2005 provides for the establishment of a Garda Reserve. The Garda Reserve is a voluntary unpaid body drawn from the community to assist the existing Service at times when extra personnel are required.
Reserve Gardaí have certain Garda powers while on duty and perform their policing duties as determined by the Commissioner under the supervision of, and supported by, regular Garda members.
The principal role of the Garda Reserve consists of local patrols and crime reduction initiatives, targeted at specific local urban or rural problem areas.
Members of the Garda Reserve are also involved in policing major incidents and events, and in providing other operational support to regular Garda members on the basis of an individual Garda reserve member’s skills or local knowledge. They are expected to provide a quality service at all times and are a clear sign of partnership between An Garda Síochána and the community.
3. CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Continuous Professional Development has responsible for Developing, Co-ordinating and Facilitating Garda Training on a national basis. Continuous Professional Development (C.P.D.) develops core training programmes on a yearly basis which are then delivered to all Garda personnel through the Continuous Professional Development (C.P.D.) centres throughout the country. A wide variety of specialist courses are also run for sections within Human Resource Management, Garda National Traffic Bureau, Crime and Security, Garda National Immigration Bureau, Community Relations, Security and Intelligence and Information Technology sections.
4. STRATEGIC OPERATIONAL AND TACTICAL MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT
The Strategic Operational and Tactical Management Development Section (S.O.T.M.) is managed by a Superintendent and supported by one Inspector, three Sergeants, one Civilian Teacher and one Clerical Officer.
The remit of the sections is to develop, deliver and facilitate the leadership and development training for newly promoted Garda and Civilian personnel.
S.O.T.M staff are highly qualified in areas of training and education, Supervisory and Leadership GRID, MBTI and 16pf Psychometric Tools, Synergogy Training, Stress Management, Emotional Intelligence (EI), Emotional Capital report (ECR) and EQI and Executive Coaching and Mentoring.
5. CRIME TRAINING
Established since 2007, Crime Training is primarily focused towards the training and development of members of the Garda organisation in the investigation of crime, in particular the support structures required by investigation teams in Garda Districts and National Units. Crime Training now provides a significant suite of courses which are delivered by experienced personnel from various specialist units within An Garda Síochána and relevant outside agencies. Currently the Crime Training Faculty delivers training in over twenty five different disciplines. The current approach to this training schedule is interactive and builds on the core skills of policing that participants will already have acquired. Training is based around adult learning principles and has high levels of interaction centered on group work, problem based exercises and case-studies. The underlying principles of participative learning are adopted in the faculty and participants are engaged in the learning process. For this reason class size is limited to between 12 and 20 participants per course.
6. COMMUNICATIONS & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TRAINING
The Communications & Information Technology Training Section (CITTS) have responsibility for training in current and new innovations within An Garda Síochána. The office is in existence since 1999 when PULSE was first introduced into the Organisation. It is currently involved in numerous national projects including the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) 2007, PULSE Release 6.8 and Property & Exhibits Management System (PEMS).
The section is also involved with the design and delivery of PULSE training as part of the B.A. in Applied Policing.
As well as developing and delivering these courses the section trains a number of Divisional personnel in certain courses to instructor standard ensuring training can be delivered within a division by local personnel. The section is also responsible for collating the training returns for course which come under it remit. It is responsible for information technology training within An Garda Síochána.
7. OPERATIONAL SKILLS
The Garda Operational and Occupational Training Unit are a section within the Operational Training Faculty who delivers practical based training programmes for Garda Sergeant and Inspectors. The provision of the courses is subject to the demand of each division throughout the country.
The unit also provide practical expertise and advice to major Public Order Incidents Protests and Chemical Biological Radiological & Nuclear incidents.
8. FIREARMS TRAINING
The Firearms Training Units are attached to the Garda College, Templemore and Garda Headquarters.
The responsibilities of the Firearms Training Unit are the provision of both basic and refresher firearms training programs, development of training strategies, research into new firearms, equipment and matters related to firearms training within An Garda Síochána. The Firearms Training Unit at the Garda College is responsible for the initial training of the Emergency Response Unit and the Regional Support Unit. It provides ongoing annual refresher training to the Regional Support Unit.
The unit carries out training at both Garda and military facilities around the country.
9. DRIVER TRAINING
Garda Driver Training courses are delivered from two centres, the Garda College Templemore and Garda HQ. The role of the section is to provide driver training instruction and assessments in all categories of vehicles, utilised by the Garda Organisation. The courses in most demand, and delivered on an ongoing basis, are the Standard Response Driving Course and the Standard Motorcycle Course, reflecting the most common vehicles in use throughout the country on a daily basis.
Other courses delivered cater for the driving of vans, personnel carriers, four wheel drive vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, Incident Command vehicles and trailer towing. More advanced training is also given to specialised units, given their role within the Organisation and the variety of vehicles allocated to those units.
All instruction is delivered in accordance with Roadcraft. Roadcraft has been the proven, recognised and successful method of Police driver training for many years. Garda Driver Training works closely with many external agencies and regular contacts with these agencies such as the RSA and the National Police Chief’s Council Police Driver Training forum in the U.K. ensure that course content and delivery continues to meet international best practice, in this highly specialised section of Garda training.
10. FACILITIES MANAGEMENT
The Facilities Management Office in the Garda College has responsibility for coordinating the accommodation for all courses and maintenance and up keep of the Garda College premises. The day to day duties involve the booking of bedrooms and classrooms for courses and ensuring the facilities and premises are working throughout the college and adjoining sports grounds. Both General Operatives and Housekeeping staff work under the direction of the Facilities Office. This office works under the supervision of a Superintendent.
The Garda College Library aims to provide academic support to all members of the Garda Organisation, and in particular those involved in education and training and those pursuing educational courses. Subject areas include Law, Criminology, Policing, Management, Psychology, Social Issues and Health. Other references include Dissertations and Theses completed by participants of the B.A in Police Studies, BSc in Police Leadership and other M.A. and P.H.D’s through other universities. The Library also facilitates the purchasing of books for the organisation.
11. CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION
The Central Administration Office, which is staffed by one Executive Office, two Staff Officers and two Clerical Officers, undertake the core functions of administration. This office processes all correspondence and queries in relation to training delivered at the Garda College. They also have responsibility for maintaining and updating our training database and compile weekly and monthly returns as required. Human Resource, Finance and Procurement are also managed from this office.
The Garda College can be contacted at: