Our Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Chief Constable Rob Beckley, takes us through these new programmes.
"Later this month, recruitment starts for the first police officers to join the service under the fast-track constable to inspector and direct entry programmes being developed by us. "About 20 forces will be involved in at least one part of the programme and, whatever your view of the need or appropriateness of direct entry and fast-track leadership, the ambition for the programme is clear: to identify and develop the very best leadership to take the police service into the future. It is my responsibility to create and support a team to deliver that outcome.
"But I also have a wider responsibility. This work is about much more than bringing people in from outside policing, and it does not exist in isolation from our wider leadership and development ambitions for the service. Of course, serving constables will also be able to join the fast-track to inspector programme from next year, after their colleagues from outside the service have served a year as constable. But we will go beyond that and use the learning and experience from these programmes to review all leadership courses the College of Policing offers.
"We know from our work with College Frontline Champions that many colleagues find the development process confusing, and it is seen by some to be unfair. What's worse, the feedback from many is that the way the service currently develops people overlooks talented colleagues. The introduction of this programme is a great opportunity to take stock of how we train, equip and skill every officer and member of staff to lead, from constable or police staff through to chief constable and executive level, so that we identify and nurture the very best leadership talent for policing.
"These programmes will not sit in isolation for a favoured elite, but will instead drive improvements in leadership training across the board. This will be crucial as policing continues to become more complex. The people taking part in these programmes will not just help us serve and reflect the diverse needs of our communities better; they will also make a positive difference to how we train and develop everyone within the service as we go into what is sure to be an exciting and challenging future together."