20 July 2020

Five-year report on Direct Entry published

Two recruitment schemes which saw members of the public join the service at senior ranks, along with a scheme to accelerate the promotion of serving constables to inspectors, have been evaluated and the results were released today.

Direct Entry for superintendents and inspectors is a major break with traditional police recruitment in England and Wales and is aimed at attracting people into the service who have diverse career backgrounds, different perspectives and leadership skills.

Today's reports were independently peer reviewed and found the schemes successfully prepared officers for the job, with some superintendents already promoted to more senior posts. 

Direct Entry Superintendent Findings

This scheme had been running for the longest. The evaluation found:

The concept of Direct Entry at this level can work – individuals from outside policing can be prepared for superintendent rank within 18 months and made ready for the job

The officers were often not constrained by hierarchy and willing to challenge upwards

Chief officers interviewed in participating forces (seven in total) said the officers had challenged norms, offered different perspectives, problem solved and encouraged others to do the same

Some of the officers were being actively sought out as mentors, including by some who had not worked with them

The small number of direct entry superintendents recruited presented a challenge to making a positive difference to an entire police force

In total 16 of the 33 people recruited through the scheme were women and three of the 33 were people from a black or minority ethnic background.

 

Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, College of Policing CEO, said: "Today's reports have shown us that we can recruit people from outside policing, or accelerate serving officers and staff to be highly effective in very senior roles.

"The officers who have been on the schemes are a credit to their forces and continue to lead a service with increasing demand and ever more complex crime.

"Now that we know the schemes can work, our next step is to talk to the service and understand the demand for Direct Entry in the future."

Chief Constable Cunningham added the next steps involve consulting with the service to understand the demand for future Direct Entry and Fast Track schemes taking into account the cost and the diversity it can brings to the service. 

Direct Entry Inspector launched in 2016 and one cohort has completed to date. While it is too early to evaluate the two-year scheme fully, initial findings show the concept can work. As with the superintendent scheme, success relies on a rigorous selection process and effective development opportunities and support in force. 

The Fast Track Inspector report showed the public, and existing police staff, can be recruited at constable rank and made ready for temporary inspector positions within three years. Serving constables with strong leadership potential can be made ready within two years.

 

Evaluation report by numbers

Direct Entry Superintendents

- Training started: November 2014

- Recruitment: During the evaluation period, new officers were recruited every November 2014 to 2018

- Training time: 18 months

- Training type: Intensive classroom and on the ground training; rotations through the ranks to superintendent;

- Forces which recruited one or more Direct Entry Superintendents: 14 (out of 43 in England and Wales)

- Cost: The cost for designing the training, recruiting the officers, marketing and carrying out the training over five years was £3.57m.

Breakdown of officers:

  • 33 started training (November 2014-2018). As of June 2019:
  • 25 had completed and are in post
  • Of the 25 in post, three have become chief superintendents and one has become an Assistant Chief Constable.
  • Four were still in training
  • Four left the training


Direct Entry Inspectors

- Training started: November 2016

- Recruitment: New officers were recruited every November from 2016 to 2018

- Training time: 24 months

- Training type: Intensive classroom and on the ground training; rotations at the every rank to inspector;

- Forces which recruited one or more Direct Entry Inspectors: 21 (out of 43 in England and Wales)

- Cost: The cost for designing the training, recruiting the officers, marketing and carrying out the training over three years was £2.75m.  

Breakdown of officers:

  • 54 started training (November 2016-2018).  As of June 2019:
  • 11 had completed and are in post
  • 34 were still undergoing training
  • Nine left the training


Fast Track

NOTE: This scheme was open to members of the public in 2014 and 2015 before being replaced by the Direct Entry Inspector scheme in 2016. The below information relates only to the internal Fast Track scheme (serving officers). 

- Recruitment: New officers were recruited every April from 2015 to 2019

- Training time: 24 months

- Forces which took part: 39 (out of 43 in England and Wales)

- Cost: The cost for designing the training, recruiting the officers, marketing and overseeing implementation over five years was £1.95m. 

Breakdown of officers:

  • 252 joined the programme and, of those, as of June 2019:
  • 98 completed and are in post
  • 140 were still undergoing training
  • 14 left the training


Notes 


Typical ranks in England and Wales

  • Chief Constable
  • Deputy Chief Constable
  • Assistant Chief Constable
  • Chief Superintendent
  • Superintendent – Direct Entry
  • Chief Inspector
  • Inspector – Direct Entry and Fast Track
  • Sergeant
  • Police Constable


Read the full Direct Entry and Fast Track evaluation reports online.



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