Senior leadership in policing: Supporting development and appointments

Jo Noakes, the College lead on leadership and talent, talks about the new Senior Leaders Hub which has been set up to support Chief Officer appointments and development and aims to increase the numbers and diversity of senior leaders in policing.

The Senior Leaders Hub

The development of the Senior Leaders Hub is a response to the issues raised in the Chief Officer Survey about barriers to progression and movement in policing and as a result of the work we started last year as part of the review of the Senior Police National Assessment Centre and the Strategic Command Course (SCC).

The Hub is a great opportunity to bring together a range of activities and services that we already deliver, build on these and offer new activities and services that aim to do three important things:

Why are we focusing on senior levels?

We are here to support everyone working in policing and help policing meet the current and future challenges.

It is important to have capable, resilient, collaborative senior leaders, in the right roles, leading their organisations and developing a learning culture.

Research tells us that there will not be enough qualified chief officers to fill future vacancies. We already frequently see this when a Chief Officer vacancy is advertised, and there are only one or two applicants.

What the Senior Leaders Hub provides:

The Hub provides one place where all Chief Officer vacancies can be advertised.

We have an experienced team of occupational psychologists who can support Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables right from the outset of the recruitment process with the aim of attracting the widest possible pool of candidates as well as delivering fair, open and effective selection processes.

The SCC has developed and restructured, its content is reviewed and redesigned each year.

We want to do more support to officers and staff to continue to develop after the SCC as they take on demanding roles in policing.

The third function of the Hub is to support progression. We do not have enough officers and staff progressing through the service to the most senior levels, the pool is not diverse enough, in every sense but particularly those from under-represented groups. 

Looking forward to future opportunities:

The activities carried out over the last 18 months as part of the review of Senior Police National Assessment Centre and the SCC, such as career development workshops, development centres and demystification events have shown great early indications of impact. 

The 2018 SCC was the most diverse for at least a decade, with more BAME and female officers, police staff and superintendents than in recent years taking part in the course.

Whilst I am extremely proud of all the team have achieved, there is still much to do, and I am excited about the opportunity the Hub provides to build on this work.

For more information visit the Senior Leaders Hub or email

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