An exploratory study on views of station commissioners and trainees in the Pretoria area on training methods used in the South African Police Service.
This study explores the views of managers of Police Stations and trainees in one of forty-two (42) Policing Areas in the South African Police Service. It probes the feelings of the managers (herein referred to as Station Commissioners) and trainees regarding training methods used during In-service training. The study starts by analysing the environment in which the SAPS operates. The Management Problem identified is the lack of transfer of training at station level. This problem exists in the SAPS at the time when it grapples with transforming from a militaristic form to a service organisation. It is the time when the organization's training interventions are very critical for their members to providing better service. In finding out the views of Station Commissioners and trainees, a communication survey was conducted in all police stations found in the Pretoria Area. A questionnaire was administered to two groups from this Area. One was a group of Station Commissioners and the other made of trainees that attended training programmes at least twelve months before the survey. The questionnaire consisted of instruments probing views on off-the-job training and on-the-job-training methods as well as organisational climate instrument. The organizational climate instrument was a modified version of Likert & Likert (1976) scale. The trainees and Station Commissioners positively viewed goal setting and decision-making at these police stations. Leadership, motivation and communication were the dimensions of organisational climate that need improvement or reinforcement. Both methods of training, that is off- and on-the-job, were deemed necessary in the SAPS. The act of travelling long distances before the training was identified as a problem for off-the-job training. It was also highlighted that both methods are necessary for all members regardless of their level of skills or position.