Developing the Best Leadership for Policing

The College of Police Leadership Review looked at leadership across ranks, grades and roles in policing and is applicable to both officers and staff and found that leadership across all ranks and roles needs to change in order to help policing meet challenges of the future.

​The Leadership Review identifies a need to address issues of hierarchy, culture and consistency in policing and makes 10 recommendations for change.

The recommendations 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 creating continuing professional development for chief officers.

College of Policing CEO Chief Constable Alex Marshall said:

“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 in the next few years. Policing must support its people to make a full contribution, operate with greater autonomy and exercise their independent professional discretion.

“I do not underestimate the challenge of delivering these recommendations. While the College has a significant part of play, they 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, but we accept that investment is crucial if we are to improve the way that our leaders are developed. Delivery of all the recommendations may take time but, in the long term, it is essential that policing makes this investment.

“The College will work collaboratively across policing to implement these recommendations and shape the future direction of police leadership.”

College of Policing chair Professor Dame Shirley Pearce said:

“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.

“The leadership review is the result of widespread discussion and debate across all parts of policing and I am grateful to all those who have contributed. The joint letter of commitment to the 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 review’s findings.”

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

The review recognised the importance of capturing the lessons of leadership development from the widest range of sectors outside policing. To this end the Chair of the College engaged on a one-to-one basis with high profile, successful leaders from academia, health, political, religious and commercial environments from the UK and internationally.

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 review.

Recommendation 2: Review the rank and grading structures in policing across 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 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.

The recommendations include

  • Creating continued professional development (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, which were mostly enacted under the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829
  • a strategy to review the evidence around the need for a change in law surrounding positive discrimination in order to enable policing to address the under-representation of BME communities
  • a structure where officers and staff can exit and re-enter the service, bringing with them their new skills and experience
  • create 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. We recommend that the Home Office should consider what amendments to pay and conditions are required to allow professional expertise to be appropriately recognised and rewarded

The full report can be viewed via the link: Leadership_Review_Final_June-2015