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Mentoring first year police constables: police mentors' perspectives

Mark A. Tyler (Faculty of Education, The University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)
William E. McKenzie (Queensland Police Service (QPS), Toowoomba, Australia)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 25 October 2011




Mentoring as a tool for the support and development of novices in many organisations has been considered a putative success. Nevertheless, the literature reveals a paucity of reporting of the mentoring strategies used within the policing profession within Australia. This paper aims to focus on what mentoring is and how it is deployed from the police mentor's perspective. This inquiry intends to shed light into this contextual gap by illuminating the mentoring experiences of 13 police officers from the district headquarters of a regional city in Southeast Queensland.


These officers, who presented with varying lengths of police service, were interviewed to ascertain their experiences of being a mentor, and to investigate whether they deployed what could be interpreted as a particular model of mentoring. Also considered were their perspectives and impressions of undertaking the role of mentor, their descriptions of how they mentored, and their preparedness for mentoring.


The interviews revealed a group of police officers that reported a belief in the mentoring process. Further, they considered themselves personally prepared for the role of mentor, and related this preparedness to either past experiences of being mentored, or past experience in the role itself. They placed little emphasis on formal training as a mentor, and more often than not, mentored in isolation. These officers rarely requested any collegial support from fellow mentors.


The data highlighted several implications for mentoring within the Queensland Police Service, one of which includes the effectiveness of the present formal preparation for mentors.



Tyler, M.A. and McKenzie, W.E. (2011), "Mentoring first year police constables: police mentors' perspectives", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 23 No. 8, pp. 518-530.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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