Failed police recruits can still become officers due to new system
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    Failed police recruits can still become officers due to new system

    The police have a large shortage of staff as thousands of positions are unfilled. Credit: Belga

    Recruits who fell short during the final exams at the police school could still be admitted to the police force for the first time at the end of this school year, according to a new royal decree.

    Up until now, a candidate police officer had to get a minimum of 12 out of 20 for all parts of the course. An 11 or less in just one part of the programme meant that the recruit could not join the police force, reports De Standaard.

    The decree introduced the system of deliberations, which permits recruits who did not achieve a 12 out of 20 for a course can still pass the programme, with retroactive effect from 1 October 2019, meaning that it will be applied to recruits who started the course this school year.

    “The adjustments must result in candidates with sufficient potential being able to pass after deliberation,” said Erik Eenaerts, spokesperson for Minister for Domestic Affairs Pieter De Crem, reports Knack. It is not the intention to lower the bar for new police officers, but to set it at the same level as it is for students at universities, he added.

    The police have a large shortage of staff as thousands of positions are unfilled. However, the success rates at the police schools are already very high, according to Eenaerts, and the new rules will change very little about the shortage.

    “This system might yield 1% more graduates,” Eenaerts said. “The intention is to treat candidates in the same way as students are treated at universities, where deliberations also happen after each examination block,” he added.

    “It sometimes happens that people get very good grades, except for one course, and then they have to stop,” said Vincent Houssin of the liberal police union VSOA, reports VRT. “This is no longer of this time. We must not be holier than the Pope, or more strict than other schools. Someone with just one 10 out of 20, for example, should be able to pass after deliberation,” he added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times