40. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent of training and continuous professional development provided for members of An Garda Síochána when amending or new legislation is passed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51990/17]
Deputy Charles Flanagan: As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who has statutory responsibility for arranging for the training of personnel and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. I am informed by the Commissioner that each Garda division has a continuous professional development school which provides for professional development on a variety of topics and issues, ranging from procedural to legislative changes and the implementation of new initiatives. The Garda College also designs and delivers a range of professional development programmes for members of An Garda Síochána, including leadership, management, applied skills and crime training.
The Commissioner's modernisation and renewal programme for the period 2016 to 2021 which is under way recognises that it is critical that all personnel are kept up to date on relevant policies and changes in the law and that continuous professional development must be a constant within An Garda Síochána. I have been informed by the Commissioner that, as part of this programme, investment in learning and development in An Garda Síochána will be enhanced in order that all personnel will receive the training, mentoring and leadership development they require to continue to develop their skills in order that they can perform more effectively in their roles and will be in a position to progress and advance their careers.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Crowe Horwath report on mandatory alcohol testing checkpoints and fixed charge notices emphasised the need for mechanisms and training for informing and updating Garda personnel on developments in legislation and changes to the systems and procedures for processing the notices and all other offences. In addition, the Policing Authority, in its third progress report on the implementation of the Garda Inspectorate's report, highlighted the lack of an organisational training strategy in An Garda Síochána. In that regard, I understand the preparation of a learning and development policy for all Garda personnel is at an advanced stage and expected to be published early next year. I fully expect the development of this policy to facilitate an examination of whether further enhancements are required to the mechanisms in place for informing and updating Garda personnel on developments in legislation, practice, procedures and system changes.