The police force has already put several its most promising future leaders through an extensive training programme with us, with a final follow-up day scheduled, in which they will review how they are putting the training into practice.
The courses have been aimed at improving the participants’ leadership, teambuilding, and people management skills, as well as addressing strategies to improve their mental resilience in challenging situations. The extensive course contained seven modules, the first six of which took place online using our innovative video content. The other sessions have all taken place in-person at our Brecon Beacons headquarters.
Our offering has always been rooted in the incredible surroundings of the Brecon Beacons, but we were quick to pivot when lockdown measures were introduced in March 2020. We swiftly adapted to an online environment and worked hard to develop new and unique ways of delivering our courses, ensuring that they continued to be an immersive and challenging experience – even when completed virtually.
We continued to utilise the incredible landscape and geography around our headquarters by bringing the ruggedness to the screen – filming various scenarios and allowing participants to decide on different outcomes.
One of these virtual training sessions, called ‘Behind Enemy Lines’, uses footage of real geographical features – including rivers, rapids, caves and cliffs – and the physical challenges they present, to offer participants fully immersive scenario-based exercises that replicate the experience of actually being in the Brecon Beacons. Through this virtual world, participants need to work as a team to journey across the wild landscape, while simultaneously completing tasks and challenges to obtain clues. In one scenario, coordinates will lead the team to a downed plane in the area, where they must find the pilot and extract him from the mountains as quickly as possible.
This innovative training programme allowed South Wales Police to invest in its staff without spending excess time travelling to and from a training venue. It also enabled them to limit external contact during the height of the pandemic.
Debbie Williams, Assistant Director of Learning and Development Service at South Wales Police, said:
“The pandemic presented us with a number of challenges, which included a need to adapt our training and develop strategy to ensure we could continue to invest in organisational leadership, while also keeping colleagues safe.
“Thankfully we’ve been able to achieve that, by introducing a solution which is creative and still close to the real-life, high-pressured scenarios our police leaders are likely to encounter during their careers.
“The individuals chosen to attend the courses have all been identified as future leaders within our force, and the skills and strategies they develop will undoubtedly help to ensure that South Wales Police can keep our communities safe well into the future”
Francesca Burrows, our Training Manager, said:
“The courses we provide are tailored to the specific needs of the clients we help. In the case of South Wales Police, we have focussed on building leadership skills and resilience. Due to the Covid pandemic, we have adapted many of the courses we would usually do in-situ into a virtual form, which has been welcomed by clients across the world, and is something we will continue.
“As restrictions open up, we are resuming our Brecon-based outdoor training, but the virtual option will always be there if people are unable to travel to us.”