Effects of Recruit Training on Police Attitudes Towards Diversity: a Randomised Controlled Trial of a Values Education Programme

Thumbnail Image
File version

Version of Record (VoR)

Platz, Deborah
Sargeant, Elise
Strang, Heather
Griffith University Author(s)
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors
File type(s)

Research Question: Did a values education programme taught to Queensland police recruits change their attitudes towards police workplace diversity and equality, relative to recruits in the same cohorts who did not receive the programme? Data: A survey designed to measure attitudes towards workplace diversity and related issues was administered three times to 260 police recruits, who were randomly assigned to receive a values education programme or not over the 25-week initial police recruit course. The surveys were conducted in week two of the course, at the conclusion of the values education programme and six weeks after the programme concluded. Methods: Three separate cohorts were split by batch random assignment into experimental and controls, for 132 experimental recruits and 128 controls. Using a variety of validated scales and items, the attitudes of the two groups were compared at all three survey waves and in comparative longitudinal trends. Findings: While the values education programme did not improve experimental group recruit attitudes towards diversity in the workplace over time, it protected that group from a clear decline in support for diversity associated with the standard recruit training experience. Because the design was a randomized controlled trial (RCT), the study clearly revealed that the benefit of the programme was as a successful buffer against what happened to reduce diversity support among the other recruits. Conclusions: The findings show that in at least one police recruit experience, there is a clear shift away from support for diversity by race and gender in the police workplace in the course of initial training. Fortunately, the results also provide at least one possible preventative measure for that problem, in the form of a values education programme similar to one used widely in many countries.

Journal Title

Cambridge Journal of Evidence-based Policing

Conference Title
Book Title




Thesis Type
Degree Program
Publisher link
Patent number
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
Rights Statement

© The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Item Access Status
Access the data
Related item(s)

Criminology not elsewhere classified

Persistent link to this record