Better Processes For Sergeant And Inspector Promotions

Hampshire Police Federation has welcomed the College of Policing’s proposed new process for Sergeant and Inspector promotions, but said its force was already doing on-the-job assessment.

The College of Policing reviewed its current promotion and progression process and heard from officers that it was overly complex, there was not enough focus on leadership skills, and that good potential candidates are put off by the time and resources needed to prepare for the exam.

So it is working with several forces to test the new Sergeant and Inspector Promotion and Progression (SIPP) process, where candidates will demonstrate their readiness for leadership in various ways including leadership training and practice-based evidence.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said she had already challenged her Chief Constable on the promotion process and that positive changes had been made in force.

She said: “When our Chief Constable arrived last year, I asked him at our Federation open meeting: ‘Why are we assessing whether someone is good enough to be a Sergeant or Inspector based on what they say in a 40-minute interview? Why aren’t we assessing them on their ability to do the job?’. He listened, he scrapped interview boards for Sergeants, and this year Sergeants had to submit their application forms and those that scored high enough were promoted.

“Those that don’t score high enough are given a three-month job as an acting Sergeant, where they are evaluated and monitored, to help develop them towards promotion, so that next time they apply hopefully they’ll be successful. I think this is a much better way of doing it. They’re actually looking at their day-to-day skills of doing the job, to make sure that they are good enough for promotion.

“I think it would be a good idea to do a similar process for Inspectors, because the majority of Inspectors manage frontline teams, so you need someone who’s still very operational, who will put their stab vest on and come out with you – they need that operational credibility.”

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