Strengths and limitations of early career mentoring schemes: Case Study, the New Zealand Police Field Training Officer programme
Korach, H. C. (2015). Strengths and limitations of early career mentoring schemes: Case Study, the New Zealand Police Field Training Officer programme (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10175
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10175
This study focuses on the Field Training Officer (FTO) programme that the New Zealand Police adopted as an early career mentoring programme in 2003. The purpose of the research was to understand the nature of workplace mentoring and how such mentoring schemes are experienced by the mentor and the mentee. A qualitative approach was used to achieve this purpose which drew on literature, policy, internal review documents and interviews (practice). Specifically, the New Zealand FTO programme was compared to broader mentoring literature, including a comparison is research on early career mentoring in teaching, nursing and policing outside of New Zealand. To gain an understanding of the New Zealand Police FTO programme, three reviews and a range policy documents were thematically analysed alongside three in-depth interviews which were carried out with resigned New Zealand Police members, exploring their experiences as both probationary constables and FTO mentors. This information was used to determine the strengths and limitations or issues with formal early career mentoring systems generally and more specifically in relation to the FTO programme. Based on the findings from the literature, policy documents and interviews, the central arguments of this research are: 1) that workplace mentoring has benefits but also common implementation problems, including; time management: a) balancing mentoring with normal duties; and b) building a strong relationship between mentor and mentee, selection of the ‘right’ mentor, and lack of access or insufficient training for mentors. 2) The FTO programme is beneficial to the development of both probationary constables and the FTO mentors alike. 3) The reviews and interviews demonstrated the FTO has all the implementation issues identified in the literature demonstrating that some of the issues in the programme are symptomatic of workplace mentoring schemes. 4) That the issue of inconsistent implementation across districts is different and can and should be addressed. 5) That the funding constraints associated with neoliberal influenced policy and practice means that it is likely that some of the issues identified in the FTO programme will continue. 6) The thesis argues that despite the funding constraints it is worthwhile putting aside some resources to ensure effective socialisation of new police officers, including: a clearer career path and/or different forms of recognition for FTOs; develop a centralised position to co-ordinate the recruitment and training of FTOs; increase the amount of training provided.
University of Waikato
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