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Transforming police leadership

Our ambition for everyone working in policing to demonstrate and experience effective leadership at every level.

First published
Corporate strategy 2022 to 2026

Where we are now

Everyone in policing has a leadership role, and the complexity of the current and future operating environment demands effective leadership skills at all levels. The response to previous policing challenges has been to increase regulation and oversight. This has left us in a position where more is spent on scrutiny and inspection in forces than on leadership and development.

Over the next few years, there will be almost 50,000 new recruits entering policing. This will create an increase in the proportion of relatively inexperienced and young-in-service police officers, placing additional pressures on frontline supervisors.

While the leadership offer is considered better established for more senior ranks, there has been no consistent offer of development support for those on the front line, despite their significant leadership responsibilities. There is also insufficient focus on – and insufficient investment in – the full range of leadership, management and command skills needed at all ranks. It is essential that everyone in policing is developed and supported to be the best they can be.

Our ambition for policing

Our ambition is that everyone working in policing demonstrates and experiences effective leadership at every level.

Directly investing in the development of effective leadership skills at every level will ensure that all officers and staff are properly supported and developed to realise their potential.

Our ambition is to transform leadership skills throughout the service, ensuring that everyone, including those in frontline roles, is equipped with the leadership skills necessary to protect, inspire and support their colleagues to deliver the best possible service to the public.

Investment in leadership capability will lead to more diverse leadership, improved morale within the police service, improved performance in a rapidly changing operating environment, and improved public trust and confidence in policing.

Our commitment over the next four years

As part of the joint plan for policing leadership with the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and the Home Office, we will establish the National Centre for Police Leadership. This will function as a centre of excellence for the development of leadership skills in policing, providing world-class learning and development opportunities for all.

Drawing on the best available evidence of public leadership, we will set modern leadership standards as a benchmark for effective performance at all levels of leadership in policing. New programmes will be developed at key levels of leadership, linked with promotion and progression. Beginning with frontline supervisors, development and promotion processes for every rank will be reformed. This will enable progression by under-represented groups and, in time, will ensure greater diversity across senior leadership.

As part of the Fundamental review, we heard from the service about the importance of a home where police officers and staff of all ranks and roles can come together to train and develop. We will explore options for how best to deliver this for policing.

The transforming police leadership section in our Business plan (pages 23 to 28) contains specific steps that will support progress towards this ambition, as well as how we will measure our impact.

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