Courses / Uniformed Protective Services

Uniformed Protective Services

This qualification is designed to support learners who are interested in learning about the Uniformed Protective Services sector. It gives them a broad basis of study, designed to support progression to higher education when taken as part of a programme of study that includes the appropriate BTEC nationals or A levels.

Its primary purpose is to support post-16 learners in accessing higher education, and ultimately for learners to progress to employment in uniformed protective services or related areas.


The Extended Certificate is a two-year course and is the equivalent of 1 A level. The course consists of four units (two of which are mandatory and one which is externally marked through an examination). The units have been selected so that there is a strong balance between practical and theoretical units.

In Year 1, students learn about Police Powers and The Law (Unit 15). They examine police powers in relation to search, arrest and detention, as well as considering the safeguards that exist to oversee how these powers are exercised.

Students work closely with local police officers and staff at the neighbouring Justice Centre and undergo practical exercises and benefit from visiting guest speakers and excursions. This means that students are receiving up to the minute operational input from industry practitioners. And it’s fun!

Later in Unit 15, students investigate the different roles in the Criminal Justice System and explore the criminal trial process. This is supported by guest speakers from a criminal defence solicitor, the Probation Service and a visit to a criminal court.

The second unit that students take in their first year is a mandatory unit, Behaviour and Discipline in the Uniformed Protective Services. This unit is externally assessed through a 2hr examination in May/June.

Learners investigate factors that can affect behaviour and their impact on the discipline of individuals and groups in the uniformed protective services. The uniformed protective services are defined as armed services, police, fire and rescue services and custodial services.

There are many influences on the behaviour of those working in uniformed protective services. Some of the influences are within the control of the individual, while others are beyond their control. Understanding the relationship between performance, behaviour and discipline is key to improving the experience and effectiveness of those serving in the uniformed protective services

In this unit, students will examine a range of theories that underpin behaviour and how they are applied in uniformed protective services. They will explore how authority is used to benefit both the individual and society, based on key types of authority in the public sector, making connections between theory and practice.

In this unit, students will benefit from the involvement of our Armed Services in particular – but will also engage with the police and fire service as well as working through real-life case studies.

In Year 2, students begin by studying Unit 10, Skills for Outdoor Activities. As the title suggests, students must research, plan and participate in a minimum of two outdoor activities (such as Orienteering, High Ropes and White-Water Rafting). Upon completion of each activity, students must review and reflect on their performance before creating a personal development plan aimed at improving areas where they have identified a weakness.

This unit is extremely engaging for the students who enjoy the physical and practical challenges involved.

There are costs associated with these activities that are paid for by the students (or parents/guardians). Participation in at least two activities is mandatory, but the college also offers additional activities at no cost.

The final unit that students undertake in year 2, is Unit 5, Teamwork, Leadership and Communication in the Uniformed Protective Services.

A combination of theory and practice, learners study the dynamics of team building and team leadership, participate in team-building activities, and learn the methods of communication used by uniformed protective services.

The ability to effectively lead and support is crucial in the uniformed protective services. When all members of a team understand their role, feel supported and know what is expected of them, an effective team can achieve its objectives. Teamwork and effective communication are embedded in uniformed protective services.

The Armed Services educational engagement team play a crucial role in supporting students during this unit. They will come onto site and put the students through a rigorous and challenging exercise designed to test their teamwork, leadership and communication. Students will also participate in college led practical exercises.

The qualification is intended to carry UCAS points and is recognised by higher-education providers as contributing to admission requirements for many protective services-related courses. When combined with other qualifications in a two-year study programme, such as A Levels or another BTEC National qualification, learners can progress to higher education in a range of disciplines, for example:

•BA (Hons) in Applied Psychology and Criminology, if taken alongside A Levels in Psychology and Sociology

•BA (Hons) in Social Work, if taken alongside A Levels in Sociology and Psychology

•BSc (Hons) in Fire Engineering, if taken alongside the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science

•BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science, if taken alongside A Levels in Biology and Chemistry

•LLB (Hons) in Law, if taken alongside A Levels in History and Law.

Learners should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes with the providers.

5 x GCSE grades 4-9 (incl. English Language)

Not essential but it will help your success…

An interest in the Uniformed Protective Services such as the Police, Fire Service, Armed Services and Prison Service. Commitment to working in an organised way.

Pairs well with Criminology, Law, Sports and Sociology

Students receive 4hrs 20 mins of face to face lessons as part of their overall timetable but are expected to also complete homework, tasks and projects throughout the two year course.


Most units in the sector are internally assessed and subject to external standards verification. This means that teachers set and assess the assignments that provide the final summative assessment of each unit.

Unit 2, Behaviour and Discipline in the Uniformed Protective Services is externally assessed in Year 1. This means that students will sit a 2hr exam in college and their papers will be sent to the examination board for assessment. There are opportunities to resit the exam during the year.

Staff Contact Details

Nick Tomkinson

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