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About our police leadership programme

Published on 23 September 2022
The National Centre for Police Leadership will support forces to deliver the leadership programme.
4 mins read
Police officer

The National Centre for Police Leadership (NCPL) will support forces to deliver the police leadership programme. This will help to deliver a consistent standard of leadership development for each stage of a career in policing – whether someone wants to broaden and develop their skills, or progress through the ranks. 

We're working with a range of forces to develop and roll out the new leadership programme, so that everybody who works or volunteers in policing can have the same opportunities to develop their leadership skills at every stage of their career.  

How the programme is being delivered

The programme will be delivered in stages, with delivery of stages one to three being embedded within police forces across the country, supported by a range of resources available from the College.

To ensure we set clear standards and produced a course suitable for all forces, we've worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders. These included representatives from the Police Federation and unions representatives who will continue play a key role in the development and implementation of each stage.   

The first stage of the programme is already being delivered through our new entry routes and stage two will be rolled out nationally later this year. 

As forces are already battling with competing demands on time and resources, we wanted to ensure stage two of the programme was designed with as much flexibility as possible. This means forces can adapt it to suit operational needs and timescales.   

To make sure we achieved this, and that the modules have a practical relevance to situations that arise in policing, we piloted the programme in three force areas. We'll continue to work closely with forces to review and adjust where necessary as the programme is rolled out.   

Each programme will be delivered in force but with support and quality assurance by the College to ensure that a core suite of standards and requirements are met and maintained.   

There are nine modules to choose from that can be completed as a whole, or officers and staff can choose to pick and mix which elements they want to study. The modules include building effective relationships with communities, multi-agency partnerships and operational leadership.    

The stages of the leadership programme 

Stage one of the programme is already available for all new recruits through the policing education qualifications framework (PEQF). This was introduced in 2018 in response to a need to modernise the training provided to new recruits. It's designed to ensure our new recruits are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to successfully cope with the complexity of policing in the 21st century. The PEQF covers seven different entry routes, which include:

  • three routes for constables
  • two routes for police community support officers (PCSOs)
  • one route for detectives
  • one route for special constables

Evaluations have shown that new student officers enjoy higher confidence, feel better prepared and suffer reduced attrition when compared to people undertaking the previous initial police learning and development programme (IPLDP).  

Stage two of the programme is specifically for first line leaders. This include police constables, sergeants, police staff and volunteers who are keen to develop their leadership skills in their current roles, as well as those seeking promotion.

This stage of the programme is designed to equip all police constables, special constables, sergeants and staff equivalents with the skills they need in their role. This is whether they're the first officer on scene at a homicide, taking ownership of a crime scene, leading a complex domestic harassment investigation or anything in between.  

Stage three is targeted at mid-level leaders including inspectors and staff equivalents. Stage four includes our current senior leadership development programme (SLDP) for superintendents and senior staff.  

Stage five of the programme is our executive leadership programme for chief officers. This replaces the police national assessment centre (PNAC) and the strategic command course (SCC). 

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