Leadership across all ranks and roles “needs to change” in order to help policing meet future challenges

The College of Policing is examining leadership within the police service

The College of Policing is examining leadership within the police service

According to a final report published by the College of Policing, “leadership across all ranks and roles [of the police service] needs to change in order to help policing meet the challenges of the future”. Indeed, the new Leadership Review identifies a need to address issues around hierarchy, culture and consistency in policing and also makes no less than ten recommendations for change.

The Leadership Review examines leadership across ranks, grades and roles in policing and is applicable to both officers and staff. Chief Constable Alex Marshall QPM, the College of Policing’s CEO, commented: “The Leadership Review was designed to make sure everybody in policing is equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Only by investing in and valuing the people who work in policing will we succeed in overcoming the tough challenges posed across the next few years. Policing must support its people to make a full contribution, operate with greater autonomy and exercise independent professional discretion.”

The recommendations made include a structure of exit and re-entry of the police service, a new model of leadership and management training which is accessible to everyone in policing, advertising all vacancies for recruitment and promotion nationally, increasing flexibility in assigning powers and legal authorities to staff and bringing forward Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for chief officers. In full, they are as follows:

Recommendation 1: Existing police leaders should influence and drive the required culture of change by demonstrating their own commitment to personal development and supporting the implementation of the Leadership Review

Recommendation 2: Review the rank and grading structures in policing across both warranted and staff roles

Recommendation 3: Embed the values articulated in the principles from the Code of Ethics in all local and national selection and promotion processes

Recommendation 4: Provide a structure of entry, exit and re-entry points to allow career flexibility

Recommendation 5: Advertise all vacancies for recruitment and promotion nationally

Recommendation 6: Create a new model of leadership and management training and development which is accessible to all within policing

Recommendation 7: Increase flexibility in assigning powers and legal authorities to members of staff

Recommendation 8: Develop career opportunities which allow recognition and reward for advanced practitioners

Recommendation 9: Introduce national standards for recruitment and promotion into all roles, ranks and grades

Recommendation 10: The Home Office should review whether existing structures, powers and authorities in policing are sufficient to support consistent implementation of these recommendations

Chief Constable Alex Marshall QPM: CEO at the College of Policing

Chief Constable Alex Marshall QPM: CEO at the College of Policing

Marshall continued: “I don’t underestimate the challenge of delivering these recommendations. While the College has a significant part to play, the recommendations outlined require a much wider response from across the police service, Police and Crime Commissioners and the Home Office. Implementing the recommendations inevitably comes with a cost attached, but we accept that investment is crucial if we’re to improve the ways in which our leaders are developed. Delivery of all the recommendations may take time but, in the long term, it’s essential that policing makes this investment. To this end, the College will work collaboratively across policing to implement these recommendations and shape the future direction of police leadership.”

Rapidly changing patterns of criminality

College of Policing chairman Professor Dame Shirley Pearce stated: “Leadership and management in policing need to change to deliver effectively against the increasingly complex challenge of providing a trusted local presence while coping with rapidly changing patterns of crime and demand from the public. Leaders at all levels in every force or agency need to be able to ensure that those they work with have the right skills for their role, make decisions on the basis of the best available evidence, act with integrity and are motivated to do their very best.”

Continuing this theme, Professor Dame Shirley Pearce added: “The Leadership Review is the result of widespread discussion and debate across all parts of policing and I’m grateful to all those who have contributed. The joint letter of commitment to the Leadership Review from some of the most senior leaders in policing is a clear sign of the widespread recognition of the need for change which addresses issues of culture, hierarchy and consistency across policing. I look forward to working with colleagues across the policing landscape to implement the Leadership Review’s findings.”

In the course of the Leadership Review, the College captured detailed opinions from staff at all ranks and grades, a cross-section of roles and from organisations across the policing landscape.

The Leadership Review recognised the importance of capturing the lessons of leadership development from the widest range of sectors outside policing. To this end, the chairman of the College engaged on a one-to-one basis with high profile, successful leaders from academia, the healthcare sector, the political realm and religious and commercial environments both here in the UK and on the international stage.

Continuing Professional Development for chief officers

Adding more detail, the Leadership Review recommends the following:

*creating CPD for existing chief officers

*from this year, graduates of the Strategic Command Course will be expected to undertake annual CPD

*a review of the rank and grading structures mostly enacted under the Metropolitan Police Act 1829

*a strategy to review the evidence around the need for a change in the law surrounding positive discrimination in order to enable policing to address the under-representation of BME communities

*a structure whereby officers and staff can exit and re-enter the service, bringing with them their new skills and experience

*creation of a a new model of leadership and management training and development which is accessible to all within policing

*offering staff and officers reward and recognition for advanced skills and knowledge

Chief constables are looking forward to working toegther and with the College of Policing to implement the Leadership Review’s recommendations. National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Workforce, chief constable Giles York, said: “I have been very pleased with the breadth and depth of engagement with the police service on the part of the research team on the Leadership Review. It’s gratifying that the document recognises the existing strengths of leadership in policing, but there’s always scope for improvement.”

York also explained: “The recommendations put forward in the Leadership Review will undoubtedly help modernise the service, as well as making it more transparent and building on progress already made. I would like to thank the College of Policing for its work on this and look forward to working with colleagues on the implementation.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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