December 26, 2023

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Difference Between Policy Review & Policy Training

Gordon Graham
Category: Public Safety

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today I want to talk to my public safety friends about policy review versus policy training. They may sound like the same thing, but they’re actually quite different. 

Daily training on core critical tasks, those high-risk, low-frequency, no-time-to-think situations.

Back when I started in law enforcement, my first priority at an in-service class was signing the roster. That’s because a lot of the time, in-service training was a one-way data dump. A parrot could have read the policy in front of the class. Since then, we’ve learned there’s a better way: Daily training on core critical tasks, those high-risk, low-frequency, no-time-to-think situations. These are the incidents that produce the most risk and the highest opportunity for tragedy. 


So, Gordon, what’s the difference between review and training? Well, when you go to the gym, do you just look at the equipment, or do you interact with it? To call it training, folks, some effort must be applied. Review is passive, but training is active. 


Lexipol customers know about our Daily Training Bulletins. But anyone can start policy training today. In law school, I learned about the IRAC method. No, not the country in the Middle East! IRAC stands for Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion. 


What’s the ISSUE, or question at hand? What’s the policy RULE that governs the issue? How do I APPLY the rule? And what’s the CONCLUSION based on this analysis? When you give people a scenario and ask them how to apply the policy, it requires critical decision-making to find the answer. 


This creates memory markers for core critical tasks. It encourages creative thinking about situations not specifically covered by policy. Both become invaluable when there’s literally no time to think. 


Remember to keep a record of the policy training you do. It may be necessary for court, to receive annual training credit from your state, or to help conduct performance reviews. 


And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Until next time, Gordon Graham signing off. 

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