Appointment of chief officers

This section provides guidance, information and access to services designed to support Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), Chief Constables (CCs) or Commissioners with the selection and appointment of chief officers.

Home Office Circular

The release of Home Office Circular 020/2012 on the Selection and Appointment of Chief Officers sets out the legal requirements and principles for the appointment of Chief Officers within police forces in England & Wales. This has been amended by Home Office Circular 005/2015.

The College of Policing, working in collaboration with key stakeholders, has developed the guidance and documentation referred to through this page in order to support Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), Chief Constables (CCs) or Commissioners with the selection and appointment of chief officers. 

This includes the 'Guidance for the Appointment of Chief Officers' and the 'Toolkit' to support chief officer selection and appointments which are outlined below, as well as information on additional support services, Independent Members and Policing Advisors.  This additional information can be accessed using the links on the left hand side of this page.

Guidance for the Appointment of Chief Officers

This Guidance was commissioned by the Strategic Command Course (SCC) Professional Reference Group and developed under the direction of the Police Advisory Board for England & Wales (PABEW) Sub-Group on Chief Officer Appointments which included representatives of the stakeholder bodies from across policing.  It was endorsed by the full PABEW and is now owned and maintained by the College of Policing.

The guidance builds on the legal requirements and principles for the appointment of Chief Officers as outlined in Home Office Circular above.  It is intended to provide further advice on the principles, processes and responsibilities relevant to these appointments that Chief Constables and PCCs will find helpful in managing their selection and appointment processes.

Following the release of Home Office Circular 005/2015 updated guidance notes have been issued and should be used in conjunction with the original guidance notes.

Toolkit on the Selection and Appointment of Chief Officers

This Toolkit was developed by the College of Policing, in agreement with ACPO and the APCC, to supplement the guidance document on the appointment of chief officers.  The aim of the toolkit is to provide support for PCCs/CCs and Commissioners in the appointment of Chief Officers through the provision of advice on guiding principles and example templates to assist those responsible for Chief Officer appointments to adhere to the principles of merit, fairness and openness.

The toolkit is intended to be used at the discretion of those responsible for the appointments where helpful and required.  It is not a legal requirement to use the toolkit for any appointments process nor is it exhaustive in terms of its content.

Contact Details

For further information on any of the above information or items please contact the College of Policing at exams.coappointments@college.pnn.police.uk

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