HPDS Programme Details

Learn about the HPDS programme

The HPDS is a five year programme designed to provide all delegates with high level learning and the opportunity to embed this operationally without the added pressure of continued academic learning at every stage. It takes place in three phases:

Years 1 and 2 - Postgraduate Diploma

The key development activity in this phase is the completion of a Postgraduate Diploma in Police Leadership and Management, which is delivered in partnership with Warwick Business School.

Scheme members will follow a bespoke course designed and delivered in collaboration with Warwick Business School. They will be exposed to leading edge thinking concerning the policing, business and executive skills needed to succeed both now and in the future.

The programme will consist of six three-day modules based either at Warwick or College of Policing sites:

  • Leadership and Public Value
  • Managing People and Change
  • Operations and Performance Management
  • Partnership working, Stakeholder Management and Community Engagement
  • Project Management
  • Managing and Using Resources

Delegates will be part of an action learning set and take part in master classes during the programme. They will be assigned a development adviser and have the opportunity to undertake various attachments.

At the end of the two year period delegates will undertake a workplace related dissertation. Successful completion of this work leads to the award of Post Graduate Diploma in Police Leadership.

Years 3 and 4 – Professional Consolidation

During this period officers will consolidate and build on their learning, undertaking a development plan incorporating activities that reflect their particular needs and circumstances.

The nature and extent of the activities undertaken in this two year period will reflect the needs of the individual, and it is recognised that scheme members will have a wide range of needs at this stage of the programme. Some may still be constables while others may have reached the rank of Chief Inspector or higher. Their circumstances and development priorities will vary accordingly.

In the consolidation period, as at all other times on the HPDS, individual scheme members and forces retain ultimate responsibility for learning and development, supported by the College.

Scheme members will be expected to devise a development plan for their consolidation period which is supported by their force. The HPDS Development Advisers will provide guidance and advice to scheme members and forces as part of the process.

We will provide or facilitate a range of development activities in the consolidation period. The HPDS Development Advisers will also work with scheme members and forces to determine which, if any, of the following will be appropriate during this period:

  • Access to a 360 degree tool and related feedback
  • Utilisation of a Continuous Professional Development Diary
  • HPDS-specific Masterclasses or Modules provided by the College, potentially including elements delivered in partnership with Warwick Business School
  • College of Policing leadership and learning programmes such as those provided by the Leadership and Talent unit
  • Action Learning Sets
  • Attachments and Secondments

Attachments and secondments may involve attachments to other departments in their force, secondments to other forces or police organisations such as HMIC, secondments to other public sector organisations such as the Home Office, or secondments to private sector organisations. The College will support forces and individual scheme members in organising and identifying development opportunities which must have demonstrable value for the individual and the force.

It is anticipated that delegates may undertake one or possibly two secondments in the consolidation period depending on their situation.  Abstraction from the workplace will normally be short-term.  However, each individual’s needs should be considered on a case-by-case basis and secondment will not always be appropriate, or feasible for the force concerned. 

Year 5 – Final year

In the final year we will aim to ensure that scheme members have the capacity and capability to manage their careers successfully as they move beyond the scheme.  This will involve further development of career management skills and self awareness, linking scheme members with other development and training opportunities provided by the College, forces, and other partners, such as the Senior Leadership Programme. 

Scheme members will have the opportunity to apply to undertake study towards a master's degree as a development activity in their final year.  This will again be delivered by Warwick Business School and will build on the Postgraduate Diploma completed in years one and two. 

The master's degree will include both residential modules and a substantial piece of research which is relevant and beneficial to their force or the wider service. The residential modules will cover the following topics:

  • Advanced Leadership and Strategic Management
  • Research and Evidence based Policy Making
  • A dissertation demonstrating a substantial piece of research which is relevant and beneficial to their force or the wider service.

Undertaking the master’s element of the scheme is not a requirement, but is a development opportunity which will be appropriate for some scheme members.  It is accepted that by this stage in the scheme further study would not be suitable for all members and it may be counterproductive.  However, it is anticipated that many scheme members may wish to undertake the master's degree.

There will be a limited number of opportunities to undertake the master’s degree, and specific criteria will apply.  Due to the time commitment that can be involved, HPDS members selected to undertake the master's may not complete that course of study until after their fifth year concludes.

In their final year officers will undertake development that will prepare them to move beyond the programme and will have the opportunity of pursuing a master’s degree building on the postgraduate diploma.

Membership of the HPDS is considered in terms of calendar years, with each cohort commencing the five year programme in the year following selection.  A member of cohort 1, which was selected in 2008, is therefore regarded as commencing their first year on the HPDS programme on 1 January 2009.

Promotion during the programme

HPDS officers are subject to a specific provision in the police promotion regulations which means that they are to be promoted as soon as they satisfy their Chief Officer that they are competent in the new rank. This can speed up their progression as they do not have to wait for a vacancy to become available.

For the purpose of HPDS promotion regulations and other policies, officers are considered to be scheme members from the point they are informed of their success in the selection process until they are either removed from the scheme or complete their final year.

Officers who wish to apply for promotion should complete the relevant Promotion Assessment Review (PAR) form available in the downloads on this page.

Note: The programme structure provided gives a general outline of the scheme, this information is however subject to change. For further details about the scheme please consult the Manual of Guidance.

HPDS Manual of Guidance

HIgh Potential Framework

The College of Policing uses cookies to collect and analyse information about the users of this website. We use this information to enhance the content and other services available on the site. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing for us to set a small number of cookies. You can manage your preferences for Cookies at any time, for more information please see our Cookies Policy.