Chalker claims police college’s failings are being addressed, offers no evidence: Estimates

by | Jun 21, 2021 | Cops, News | 0 comments

NT Police commissioner Jamie Chalker told Estimates hearings the police college had failed to meet national standards but it is working towards addressing its non-compliance issues that saw unqualified instructors employed and recruits graduated before being properly assessed for competency.

It’s the first time Mr Chalker has discussed the college after the NT Independent revealed it had failed a 2017 external audit to gauge its compliance with national standards and was still hiring unqualified instructors as late as October 2019.

Mr Chalker said the college was undergoing “some treatments” after failing the audit, which had found the college employed unqualified instructors, failed to keep proper records of recruit training and could not determine who its managers were or if they were “fit and proper” people.

The audit also found recruits were graduated despite failing basic literacy and numeracy tests and that the college could not explain why it had passed some recruits.

An internal document from October 2019 showed the college had not improved two years after failing the audit and did not have a process for verifying if its instructors were qualified.

The officers being put on patrol before being assessed was identified in the internal memo as posing a “significant risk” to the NT Police.

The scandal had Civil Liberties Australia suggesting that criminal convictions could be called into question and millions in damages paid out because the college was graduating recruits without proper training.

Mr Chalker claimed the 2017 audit was “to understand their compliance with the RTO (Registered Training Organisation) status”, which it failed. He did not provide any evidence of the college’s improvements.

He also did not address the consequences of graduating recruits trained by unqualified instructors or the lack of proper record keeping.

“My understanding is that that was a snapshot in time and that post the audit, the college undertook a range of actions to address all of the areas identified,” he told the hearing.

“And quite clearly the training standard that I’ve had in place since returning as the Commissioner is, is a high one.

“The most recent audit was conducted in March of this year and the college complied with the ASQA requirements in relation to notification of the compliance audit undertaken and provided the 2021 requisite annual RTO declaration. So, those matters were historical but appear to have been treated.”

Mr Chalker did not release the findings of the March audit for the public to see.

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