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What are peer learning visits?

Peer learning visits involve visits by representatives of police forces to areas of interest and promising practice either within police forces or other public, private or third sector organisations with lessons to offer police and public services generally.

The visits are about both practice and mobilising change and have been found in other sectors to be productive in embedding change and innovation.  The visit is based on key strategic issues of national interest.  For example, a peer learning event can focus on promising or innovative approaches to tackling child sexual exploitation or to managing staff well-being. Peer learning visits are carefully organised to ensure that visitors (police and academics together) have undertaken preparation and have clear questions for the visit, and that a short time after the visit, host organizations receive a report of visitors' key learning points as valuable feedback on their promising practice.

Peer Learning Visits

 The full programme of Peer Learning Visits, previously known as enquiry visits, consists of six visits which are taking place in 2017. The visit programme is organised through the Centre and led by Dr Annette Stansfield, Research Associate at The Centre for Policing Research and Learning at The Open University. Annette has extensive experience of peer learning in local government and has written about peer learning.  She is contactable on

Previous visits:

  1. How to manage staff wellbeing and develop personal resilience - hosted by Lancashire Constabulary, 19 January 2017
  2. Improving patient flow: capacity/demand management – hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, 24 March 2017
  3. Customer First: experiences of Jaguar Land Rover – hosted by Jaguar Land Rover at JLR Retail Centre Milton Keynes, 28 March 2017
  4. Child sexual exploitation – hosted by Thames Valley Police, Thames Valley Police Training Centre, 30March 2017
  5. Tackling modern slavery linked to Child Criminal Exploitation – hosted by Merseyside Police, 23 May 2017

The following further visit is planned:

  1. More effective emergency services through collaboration – hosted by South West Emergency Services Collaboration Programme Board, date to be confirmed.

Consortium members are now invited to register their interest in places on visits by completing application forms which can be downloaded from the Member Access part of the website.

The number of visitors will vary by visit, according to the theme and capacity of the host’s venue.  Previous experience suggests that, in order to maximise the impact of learning and action from visits back in the home forces, visitor groups should include at least two colleagues from each visiting force.  All visitors will be invited to join a phone-based conference call in preparation to the visit but if work pressures make this difficult, background material will be circulated by email.  Visitors are supported for six weeks after the visit in reflecting how their learning can be applied within their own force and short reports on each visit will be made available on this website soon after they have taken place.

For information about the purposes and activities in a peer learning visit please click here see the original paper (March 2016) called “Enquiry visits: Bringing innovation and change back home through knowledge sharing”.



Knowledge creation and transfer

An image showing a framework for knowledge creation and transfer

A framework of knowledge creation and transfer in organizational settings

(adapted from Hartley and Rashman, 2007)