A Comparison of Higher Education and Previous Work Experience on Military Police Academy Performance
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This research is an attempt at understanding the value of higher education with respect to police officer performance. This study used a sample of 331 Canadian Forces Military Police (CFMP) recruits who attended the Canadian Forces Military Police Academy (CFMPA) from January 2012 to April 2013 for the six month Military Police Qualification Level 3 (MP QL3) course. It examines between group differences in performance, among MP recruits with higher education – a college diploma or higher – and those with previous work experience – five years experience in another branch of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) or another police agency. The study used demographic and performance data obtained from the recruits’ CFMPA files. Descriptive statistics described central tendencies, standard deviation, kurtosis and skewness. This was used to assist in the description of recruits between groups and in order to determine distribution characteristics. Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was conducted on 34 tests – 14 percentage and 20 pass/fail – administered during the course to determine their factor structure. Chi-squared was used to explore between group differences in course completion. Finally Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) analyses were used to explore between group differences in performance based on the factor structure determined during EFA and the recruits overall course average. No significant between group difference with respect to performance were discovered, however, it is hoped that the results of this study will be used to inform the debate of the requirement for higher education in the field of policing and what factors contribute to police professionalization.