Can I firstly thank everyone who took time to cast a vote during the recent electoral process, the 78% turn-out was a positive indication of the continued interest in the work of the Association. I would like to thank Andrew Allan and Martin Fotheringham for standing for the President role and for their continued support post the result. Their experience and commitment to ASPS is invaluable for the Association and me alike.
So, after 2 weeks in the hot seat it’s all been very much about attending introductory meetings as well as representing you all at various meetings. I won’t deny that it is a steep learning curve for me but can assure you it is one that I relish and will channel all my energy into representing you to the best of my ability.
As of Monday 27 June I will be looking to visit each division, as well as national units, to gather your views on what are the key issues for the association moving forward. After 3 years of Police Scotland, a new Chief Constable and a new President I believe the time is right to ‘put a foot on the ball’ and have a critical review of the Association to see how we can improve it for the benefit of members. There has been a lot of excellent work carried out by the Association so I see this as an opportunity to build on that therefore I welcome your views on the role and position of ASPS.
You may have noted that I am not personally ‘tweeting’ at present. This is by design as I have commissioned a review of the ASPS internal and external media strategies that will include up to date media training and guidance for the ASPS Executive Committee. I believe it prudent to review how we communicate with others to ensure our messages are understood and representative of the members. More on this at a later date.
What I can say at this early stage is that there is a clear change in focus within the Executive team where conversations are positively directed at Wellbeing, change in culture and empowerment. I am sure you will agree that these are some key areas we have been challenging over the past few years therefore I am encouraged by the initial soundings however there is still much to be done and I am looking to support the Executive in looking for ways of improving efficiency, effectiveness and wellbeing.
I was delighted at the success of the ASPS Conference with an excellent balance of positive and challenging comments that remind us all that we are on a journey, one that will not always be smooth however if we are ‘in it together’ we can deliver on Mr Gormley’s vision of providing ‘Excellence in Service and Protection’. My personal thanks to everyone who came along for the day and a special thanks to the ASPS management team (Martin, Craig, Ruth, Fiona and Brendan) for arranging the day.
Senior Leadership Forum
I am keen to get your views on the Senior Leadership Forum day and will canvass your views during my visits. Scheduled to take place every four months, I personally thought it was an interesting day, challenging the senior leaders of the service to help shape the future. It was refreshing to be genuinely consulted/considered in the process for identifying the performance framework as we move forward. A few quotes spring to mind:
‘Hit the target, miss the point’
‘Are we too efficient at doing things wrong?’
‘Malicious compliance v Discretional effort’
‘The way we treat staff informs the way we deal with communities’
‘Targeting values not valuing targets’
‘End of transition…. Now time for transformation’
‘Building a National Force while maintaining local relevance’
ACC Malcolm Graham is leading the 2026 Vision and I am due to meet with him and his team in the near future to discuss the project and offer any support and guidance (from an Association perspective) at the earliest stages. This work is in effect going to shape our operating model going forward therefore it is vital that we are sighted and consulted therefore I am delighted that ACC Graham has offered this early engagement with ASPS. I will of course keep you informed of the project as it develops.
Priorities for ASPS
I am also acutely aware of the challenges around on call allowance, access to vehicles, the on duty v on call pilot, defined working day, flexible working etc and I plan to gain your thoughts on these as I travel around the country which will allow me to prioritise the issues on your behalf.
I am informed that the promotion process to the rank of Superintendent and Chief Superintendent will be formally announced later this week. This will be a new process with the earliest interviews taking place from around early August although the exact date has yet to be finalised. The process will be open for a period of time so as to reduce the impact on officers who have annual leave commitments over the summer period.
Angela Terry (Head of Leadership and Professional Development) and her team will deliver briefings to candidates prior to the process opening. This will provide detail of the process, projected vacancies (including locations) as well as advice on how to complete the new Situational Judgement Test and application form.
ASPS has been pushing for a promotion process for some time now due to the high number of temporary superintending posts. While we are not fully sighted on the process as yet, I do welcome the fact that the process will be underway soon and will also have an element of independent adjudication to improve on the fairness and transparency.
Should you have any concerns regarding the process I would encourage to you let me know so we can do our best to address them at the earliest point.
Keep an eye on the intranet for more detail later this week.
ASPS Executive Committee Vacancies
Finally, as outlined at Conference, there are a number of positions available on the Executive Committee and I would like to appeal to you all to consider taking a more active role in ASPS. For me the Association needs a balance of officers from across the force so as to be truly representative of the superintending ranks. As the number of superintending officers reduces it is crucial that we have an Executive Committee who can represent the views of members so I would like to encourage you to give this some positive consideration. I am happy to have a chat with you regarding the role and the expectations for committee members.
As outlined at the start of this Blog I am really looking forward to delivering for you in my tenure as President and welcome your thoughts and views on issues as they unfold. My contact details are as follows:
Mobile: 07585 508026
Please feel free to contact me on anything you wish to discuss.