In 2017, the PRSB published Towards a shared vision of police professionalisation in Victoria.
Police professionalisation covers themes such as lifting capability, professional standards, improved education and training, developing the shared body of expert policing knowledge and registration systems. Through this Paper , the PRSB identified opportunities to support this agenda.
The overriding value in police professionalisation is to provide better quality and more consistent police services to the community. Participants identified benefits for individual police officers (status, reward and career satisfaction), police forces (increased capabilities and service quality) and government (value and responsiveness).
The PRSB has planned a suite of projects which are strongly anchored in the professionalisation agenda and the findings of this Paper.
Professional boundaries in policing
Members of the PRSB Review Division observed that reviews of police discipline matters had involved police officers having intimate relationships with vulnerable members of the public, whom they had encountered in the course of their duty. A project was launched to identify how other policing jurisdictions and professions understood and educated their members about maintaining professional boundaries.
Nurses, social workers, psychologists and teachers have a shared language and terminology, foundation training and conceptual frameworks for understanding that such behaviour is harmful and potentially exploitative. Such professions require members to assume responsibility for maintaining the 'professional boundary' between themselves and their clients.
President Andrea Lester and then Senior Project Officer Shay Keating presented on understanding and managing professional boundaries in police work at the 2017 International Women in Law Enforcement Conference in Cairns Australia.