23 March 2018

Updated guidance for appointing chief officers

The most senior officers in policing could be recruited from other law enforcement agencies and some overseas forces under newly published College of Policing guidelines.

The updated guidance aims to give clear and simple support to chief constables, police and crime commissioners and police and crime panels on the legal and eligibility requirements for promotion to a chief officer rank.

The document also sets out good practice for forces around managing the assessment and selection of chief officers.

Louise Meade, Head of Selection and Assessment, said: "We recognise that chief officer roles are incredibly demanding so we have developed new guidance to ensure the best and most talented individuals apply, and the most suitable candidates are appointed.

"Our priority has been to provide guidance that is relevant, informative and easy to use. The team have incorporated good practice in selection and assessment, in line with industry standards, and also worked closely with legal advisers and the Home Office to ensure the document is as up to date as possible.

"The 2015 Leadership Review recognised the value added by those with experience outside policing and recommended a structure of entry, exit and re-entry points into the service to allow career flexibility."

The new guidance has been developed, following consultation with chief constables and PCCs during summer 2017, to reflect changes in the law and the latest evidence on good practice.

The changes mean candidates from law enforcement agencies other than police forces and those who work for police forces in a number of other countries, such as the United States and Canada, could apply to become chief officers in the UK.

Chief constable applicants need to have held an assistant chief constable role previously and all candidates still need to have successfully completed the Senior Police National Assessment Centre and the Strategic Command Course to ensure consistency with the qualifications to chief officer ranks set out in the Police Regulations 2003.

The guidance is not statutory but it sets the national standards which forces would be expected to refer to during any recruitment process.

The document is available on the College website and will continue to be updated as and when there are changes to policy and legislation.

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