Garda Síochána College

Garda Sí­ochána College (or Garda College) is the education and training college of the Garda Sí­ochána (Irish police). It is located at McCan Barracks, Templemore, North Tipperary in Ireland. The college has been located in Templemore since 1964.

The training role was previously undertaken at Garda Headquarters (located in the Phoenix Park, Dublin). When in February 1964 training moved to McCan Barracks, it became known as the Garda Training Centre, or locally as the depot.

Courses offered
Two courses are available, both conferred by the Higher Education and Training Awards Council :

  • Bachelor of Arts (in Police Studies): for fresh recruits. The entry requirements are mainly age, character, citizenship, education and health based, competitions for entry are advertised periodically, usually annually and are competitive.
  • Bachelor of Arts (in Police Management): for senior officers. The entry requirement is to be a senior manager at superintendent or officer grade. The course's main function is to serve those members with additional skills and training. This is currently being carried out in a hotel in Nenagh, County Tipperary due to more space being needed for the training of new recruits.

In addition, candidates with other qualifications, particularly technical, may be considered for specific positions where a technical skill set is a prerequisite. This is usually for computer, finance and fraud based branches and investigations. Various other specialist courses are available for serving force members.

Training programme
The training programme for Recruit Gardaí­ remained similar to that conducted in the Phoenix Park, which provided for 18 weeks training before being allocated to a Garda Station. After one year "on the job" each Recruit Garda returned to Templemore for a one month "refresher course". The training was extended to 22 weeks in the late 1970s. The subjects studied were Police Duties, Irish, and Physical Studies, consisting of Physical Training, Drill, Swimming, and First Aid. Following a major examination of all training in the Garda Siochana a new two-year Student/Probationer Education/Training Programme was introduced for trainee Gardaí­ in April 1989. A major building programme saw the facilities developed and modernised to the most up to date standards in Europe and the name of the institution changed from the Garda Training Centre to the Garda College. In 1992 the Garda College was designated by the Minister for Education as an institution which the National Council for Educational Awards (NCEA) could accredit. The following year, the two year Student/Probationer Education/Training Programme was accredited by the NCEA with the award of a National Diploma in Police Studies. A more recent initiative saw the development of a Bachelor of Arts (Police Management) degree for Garda Officers of Superintendent rank upwards.

College Facilities
Following a major building programme in 2001, the College has the capacity to accommodate 520 persons. The College has also expanded its education facilities and included in the new development are three new Lecture Theatres. The Garda College has its own nine (9) hole golf course with a recently completed Clubhouse and leisure facility. It also has three tennis courts - designed and floodlit to meet international championship standards. In addition the sportsfield complex comprises full size Gaelic games, soccer and rugby pitches as well as a modern pavilion with Changing Rooms, First Aid room, Weights Room and facilities for officials. Campus facilities include a Social Club, Indoor Sports Hall with two Squash Courts and separate handball alley, a 25-metre swimming pool, fully equipped gymnasium with accompanying leisure facilities. The Education Block is purpose built to provide for the education/training requirements of a modern police service. In addition to the technological facilities available, there is also a 'Scenes of Crime Room', a 'Mock' Garda Station, Courtroom, Language Laboratory, classroom facilities and a Library containing over 12,000 books.

Probationer Gardaí­ are recognised for effort and endeavour throughout the two year programme and on graduation day the following medals are awarded:

The Gary Sheehan Memorial Medal The Gary Sheehan Memorial Medal commemorates Recruit Garda Gary Sheehan who died on duty at Ballinamore, Co Leitrim on 16 December 1983 and is awarded to the best all-round probationer. The recipient will have contributed significantly to life at the Garda College, distinguished himself/herself in the academic field and will have made a significant contribution to the stations and communities in which he/she served. Additionally, the winner will have, by the initiative shown, and leadership qualities so obviously displayed during the training period, won the respect of his/her peers and authorities. The Commissioner's Medal The Commissioner's Medal is awarded to the Student achieving the highest aggregate marks in academic subjects over Phase I, III and V Education/Training. The winner will have excelled in Legal, Policing and Technical Studies, the Social Sciences, Communications, Physical Education Studies, Gaeilge and Dissertation. The Templemore Town Council Medal The Templemore Town Council Medal is awarded to the student who throughout the Student/Probationer Education/Training Course has demonstrated insight and imagination in his/her approach to the Social Science Studies Course and has displayed, through innovative and practical involvement in the social affairs of the communities, within which he/she serves, an appreciation of the key social role of the Gardaí­ at local and/or national level. The winner will also have distinguished himself/herself academically in the Social Science Studies course.

The recruitment process is by means of a competition where the highest ranked applicants progress to the next stage. The first step is registration with the Public Appointments Service. When the recruitment campaign begins, the applicant is notified and requested to complete an online application form. The applicant will then be invited to book a time and date for the Stage I Aptitude Test. This test consists of three parts: a Skills/Experience Questionnaire, an Analytical Reasoning test and a Job Simulation Exercise. Successful applicants from Stage I will be asked to fill out an application form for Stage II. They will then be given a date and time for interview. The interview stage will consist of three parts: an Interview, a Report Writing Exercise and a Verbal Evaluation Test. Successful applicants will then be requested to fill out a form for their Background checks. Applicants if successful will be asked to participate in a Medical Examination and finally a PCT (Physical Competence Test). Applicants who pass all stages and who are deemed to be acceptable by the Garda Commissioner, will be offered a position as a member of an Garda Sí­ochána.

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