Committee Reports::Report No. 07 - Recruitment and Training in the Garda Síochána::29 May, 1985::Appendix


Extracts from Conroy Report (1970)


683. It is clear from the evidence that the basic minimum educational requirement does not reflect the standard of education of the modern recruit. There is a gap between the minimum recruitment standards and the actual standard of education of the modern Garda which is higher. The evidence points to the fact that in general a standard higher than primary education is required to qualify.

684. The minimum educational standard at entrance should not be static but should be adjusted periodically to meet the rising level of education in the community and the growing demands of the job. This is recognised by the Garda Commissioner who stated in his evidence that although the entrance examination had provided a suitable type of recruit, the time might be opportune to review the standard of examination for Garda entrants.

685. We are of the opinion that the standard of entrance examination should be investigated by the Civil Service Commissioners and the Garda Authorities and should be raised so as to narrow the gap between the present minimum basic requirements and the actual educational standards of the applicants having regard also to the needs of the future. We are of the opinion that it would not be advisable to provide that a certificate from a particular public examination, such as the Intermediate Examination, should be a condition precedent to applying for entrance to the Garda. It would be quite sufficient to specify a standard similar to the standard of the Secondary Schools Intermediate Certificate or its equivalent. The educational standards at entry should be reviewed periodically.

686. We accept the suggestion that each candidate before he is accepted as a recruit should undergo an aptitude test administered by a qualified psychologist. Such a test would help to screen individuals who would not make good policemen. This test should be administered at an early stage in the recruitment procedure.

687. We recommend that -

(1)(a) the standard of the entrance examination should be reviewed so as to bring about a closer relationship between the minimum entrance standard and the standard of the candidates who qualify; and

(b)there should be a periodic review of the standard of the entrance examination.

(2)Each candidate who qualifies at the written examination should before acceptance undergo an aptitude test administered by a qualified psychologist at an early stage in the recruitment procedure.

Recruit Training

697. We recommend that the Research and Planning Unit should make a thorough examination of all training courses including those for recruits.

Post-Recruit Training

707. The Devlin Report states at Page 178 that it is an essential part of career development that training should be given where it is required to fit an officer for his future responsibilities:-

“We would emphasise that the volume of training in the Public Service has been too small and, in the new Public Service, training must be on a far greater scale”.

This statement applies with equal force to the Garda Siochana as to the Civil Service.

708. Consideration should be given to releasing personnel to undergo full-time courses in Universities, Vocational Schools, and Colleges of Technology, Personnel selected for these courses should be drawn from all ranks and selected by competitive tests and interviews. If a member is required to undergo training courses he should not have to pay fees for enrolment or registration at educational establishments, or tuition fees, examination fees or the cost of text books, note books or other equipment.

709. All personnel wishing to avail of further education should be afforded every reasponable facility for so doing. Members of the Force promoted from the Inspector to the Superintendent ranks should undergo comprehensive training courses.

710. We therefore recommend that -

(1)a comprehensive scheme for the training and development of personnel should be adopted;

(2)selected members of the Force from all ranks should be released to attend full-time courses in Universities, Vocational Schools and Colleges of Technology and all their fees, and expenses for books et cetera should be supplied; and

(3)a more comprehensive series of courses for members of the Force who are promoted from the Inspector rank to the Superintendent rank and from the Superintendent rank to the Chief Superintendent rank should be initiated.

Extracts from Ryan Report (1979)

Recruitment and training of recruit Gardai

8.53 We therefore recommend that:

(i)Changes in the size of the Force should be planned for some years ahead and an attempt should be made to achieve the target numbers in the Force by a more even pattern of recruitment.

(ii)Vacancies in the Force should be advertised in February and again in April of each year, with a closing date of 30 April. The educational examination for applicants should be held immediately following the Leaving Certificate Examination and successful candidates should be informed not later than 31 August of the date on which they should report to the Training Centre. Within each Division, steps should be taken to draw the advertisement to the attention of those responsible for career guidance in secondary, vocational, comprehensive and community schools.

(iii)A pamphlet or brochure should be prepared describing the history, role and functions of the Garda Siochana, and the wide variety of work and prospects for advancement which a career in the Force offers. This brochure should be distributed as widely as possible to those responsible for career guidance in schools.

(iv)The minimum age for entry to the Force should be reduced from 19 years to 18 years.

(v)The present educational examination should be supplemented by aptitude and other relevant psychological tests. Each candidate who is successful at the examination and in the tests should be interviewed for at least half an hour by a Board consisting of three members of the Force who have been trained in interview techniques and are of a rank not lower than Superintendent. The Interview Board should have the right to reject a candidate, who had passed the examination, if the Board deemed him or her unsuitable for membership of the Force.

(vi)The emphasis within the 22 weeks course for recruits should be shifted more towards training in practical police work. An experienced Sergeant should be appointed as a full-time in-service training officer in a large Station in important centres (such as Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Dundalk, Sligo and Waterford), and paid an allowance equal to that paid to a Sergeant in the Training Centre. Recruits who had passed to 22 weeks course should be allotted to these Stations for six months but they should not be counted on the strength of the Stations to which they are allotted. In each of these Stations, the in-service training officer should be responsible for ensuring that the recruits allotted to it received a thorough grounding in practical police duties, and for sending an assessment of each recruit’s performance and potential to the Chief Superintendent in charge of the Training Centre. On completion of the six months of practical training, the recruits should return to the Training Centre for an eight weeks’ course, in which the emphasis would be more on theory, of which the relevance would then be clearer to them. A recruit would formally “pass out” at the Centre when he had successfully completed the 22 weeks course, the six months of in-service training and the further course of eight weeks - that is, fourteen months after joining the Force - and his pay would be increased from £3,004 to £3,475 p.a. Thereafter, the recruit would be allotted to a Station, and counted on its strength, to complete the balance of his two years’ probation. During this period he should be interviewed and his progress assessed by his Superintendent at least once every three months.

Assessment and training of all ranks

9.11 The present arrangements for assessing the progress and development of individual members of the Force and for training members within each rank (especially that of Garda) in preparation for the duties and responsibilities of each higher rank to which members are promoted are all inadequate. Training programmes have been the main casualty of the increasing demands that have been made on the Force over the last ten years.

9.12 Training programmes can be abandoned or reduced without any apparent and immediate effect on the effectiveness of the Force. However, the adverse effects are cumulative and probably irreversible. The stage has now been reached at which training programmes, for all the ranks within our terms of reference, must be established as a matter of urgency.

9.13 In Chapter 8 above, we recommended improvements in the arrangements for training recruits. In Chapter 7 above, in the context of our recommendations on promotion, we recommended training courses for Gardai promoted to the rank of Sergeant and for Sergeants promoted to the rank of Inspector. We attach particular importance to these recommendations, and we hope they will be accepted and quickly implemented.

9.14 Training programmes are equally important for those promoted to the ranks of Superintendent and Chief Superintendent. Given the smaller numbers involved at these levels, it may not be economic at this stage to attempt to provide all these programmes in this country. If this is the case, members of the Force who are promoted to Superintendent or Chief Superintendent should be sent outside Ireland to participate in suitable courses.

9.15 In the course of our work, we learned that there are now no arrangements for the continuing training of members within the rank of Garda. In the past, it was the practice for Sergeants (at least in the larger Stations) to give hourly lectures twice weekly to the Gardai under their supervision. These sessions were discontinued some time ago. We understand that this occurred (inter alia) because their continuation could have involved the payment of overtime to those who attended. In our view, these training and briefing sessions should be reintroduced. Without them, we cannot see how Gardai can be expected to keep abreast of the increasing demands being made on them.

9.16 The back-log of training is now so great that we can make no useful suggestion about how it might be cleared, given the resources that are likely to be available and the need to ensure that essential duties continue to be performed. However, to the extent that our recommendations are accepted, it should not grow larger still.

9.17 While members of the Force are attending training courses, they cannot at the same time perform their normal duties. However, these duties must be performed given the nature of the Garda function. The complement of the Force must therefore be large enough to enable members to attend training courses while normal duties are still performed. This conclusion cannot be avoided. Unfortunately, it can be (and has been) ignored, but only to the detriment of the future effectiveness of the Force.