About the project

What characterises the semi-formal guidance interviews between police students and colleagues in practice?

In the police students’ practice period (2nd year), the significance of formal supervision for the student’s learning has garnered the most attention. The informal mentoring dialogues which students have with their colleagues throughout the year of practice have attracted rather less attention (for example those taking place in the police vehicle to and from the assignment or in the duty room). Equally, there is reason to presume that these are important for the students’ learning. There is no research-based knowledge about the conversations’ form, content, extent or a consideration of how important they are for the students’ learning. The objective of this research project is therefore to garner such knowledge. This will be achieved through the response of students and practice supervisors to these research questions:

  • What characterises the INFsemi-formal guidance interviews between police students and colleagues on police practice?
  • How do the students and practice mentors relate to the INFsemi-formal guidance interviews?
  • What significance do the semi-formal guidance interviews have for the police students’ learning processes and learning outcomes?
  • What similarities and differences are there between the semi-formal and formal guidance interviews with regard to characteristics, the relationship between student and mentor, and their significance for learning outcomes?
  • What is the position of the INF semi-formal guidance interviews in relation to the intentions of police training in general – and practice in particular?

Data collection was carried out during the spring semester of 2014 and commenced in 2 phases:

  1. Focus group interviews with 2 x 6 supervisors and 2 x 6 students in Agder. 17 and 18 March 2014.
  2. Based on the qualitative study, a nationwide, net-based survey was carried out in May 2015, and was sent out to 720 supervisors and 720 students. 

Project employees

Petter Mathisen 
Project Manager
Centre for Teaching and Learning
University of Agder


Cato Bjørndal
Professor, Dr.Polit.
Department for Education
University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway


Collaborative partners

The project is a collaboration between the University of Agder, the University of Tromsø and the Norwegian Police University College.

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