Uniformed public service national diploma Understanding discipline

Topics: Crime, Gang, Discipline Pages: 6 (1935 words) Published: January 13, 2014

Uniformed public service national diploma
Understanding discipline

By Lucy Jones


Page 3: Role of discipline, rules and regulations and following orders

Page 4-5: maintaining order, good and bad effects if discipline

Page 5-6: self-discipline

Role of discipline in the uniformed public services


Role of discipline

One definition of discipline is obedience to authority. However discipline can be used in many different ways. For example it may be used as an order, as a deterrent, as a threat, to control or to train and it may or may not have the authority of a written law to reinforce it.

Rules and regulations

For any organisation to operate efficiently there must be a system of rules and regulations put in place to be strictly followed if an organisation is to serve the public. A rule is a principle where something or someone should follow. Rules may be written laws or they could be customs or codes of conduct. Rules are necessary in the public services to give the correct manner in which to do things so that things run smoothly. A regulation is an authoritative direction given by someone or somebody in authority for example a sergeant in the army giving a order to a private in the infantry. There are many regulations that govern the conduct of serving police officers. If the regulations are broken, then disciplinary action may follow.

To ensure that rules are followed correctly, organisations like the police force or British army impose a penalty on those who break them e.g. for the army military prison. There are many forms of penalties from a verbal warning to dismissal. Penalties are usually fixed and written into the rules that govern them, in the same way that penalties are fixed by law for certain crimes. By penalising someone for a breach of the rules is a way of disciplining them. Discipline in this way is a means of ensuring people follow to rules and regulations.

Without discipline it would be impossible for any organisation including the public services to function efficiently. Discipline is applicable to everyone in the uniformed services regardless of rank or status. It is important that discipline does not mean the same as punishment. Although they can mean the same thing in terms of inflicting a penalty for an offence, discipline is a means of producing efficiently and order which is meant to bring out the best in someone, where punishment is not.

Following orders

Many important decisions that are made during the course of normal days work in the public services, some of these might affect people's lives. In order to prevent this and to ensure the efficiency of the public services and to eliminate the chance of disastrous consequences it is important that orders are followed. For example what would happen if a senior fire-fighter at a house fire ordered a fellow fire-fighter to arrange the evacuation of the neighbours but the fire fighter refused because he or she thought it was unnecessary. People in positions of authority have earned their position because of their valuable knowledge and experience and any refusal to carry out a lawful order not only undermines there authority but it also means the services is less effective. Which can result in disorganisation. To avoid this happening in the public services they have codes of discipline which must be obeyed.

Maintaining order

Usually there are written rules and regulations that help keep order in the public services , for example not taking drugs in an army barracks. This could lead to a dismissal from the armed services. If there where no rules then there would be anarchy this is where discipline comes in, discipline is used in the armed services to unite people together so under the heat of fire...
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