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Are you promotion ready?

DCI Ben Ewart outlines common problems faced by officers during stage three of the new promotion process and how bselected Police Promotion Success can help.
Published - 30/10/2015 By - Ben Ewart - bselected

“Eighty per cent of people who work in policing will never get promoted because of the structure and number of people needed at higher ranks”, according to Chief Constable Alex Marshall, the Chief Executive of the College of Policing.

In the current climate, police officers now face a flatter rank structure with fewer promotion opportunities.

Nearly 5,000 candidates sat their sergeants OSPRE part 1 exam in March 2015, with only 1,800 (42 per cent) passing.

Officers seeking promotion to the rank of sergeant or inspector now undergo the National Police Promotion Framework (NPPF).

The third stage involves officers providing evidence of their potential for promotion under relevant rank related competencies, as outlined by the Policing Professional Framework (PPF), National Occupational Standards (NOS) or local force-specific competencies.

More forces are now introducing highly competitive assessment centre style processes, including interview board presentations and psychometric tests.

It’s a sad reality that the vast majority of promotion board candidates are woefully underprepared. This has a hugely negative effect on performance on the day, more often than not resulting in frustration, panic and ultimately disappointment and failure.

In our experience, promotion board and interview candidates rarely understand the competency based framework and assume their results in the work place, and a few ‘big job’ examples during interview, will achieve success. They are unfortunately mistaken.

Many officers invest a tremendous amount of time and commitment into their everyday job; the same cannot be said for achieving promotion.

For the individual this means a poor and chaotic approach to promotion preparation, causing unnecessary stress and worry during the months, weeks and days leading up to the promotion board, which is frequently the first thing the interview panel notice!

From an assessors perspective it is very clear that promotion board candidates need to know: what to expect, how to prepare and how to deliver.

Preparing for promotion starts long before your force promotion process is advertised and even before the OSPRE part 1 examination.

bselected Director and Recruitment and Selection expert Neil James, qualified and experienced in designing and administering assessment centres and psychometric tests, highlights the importance of ‘marketing yourself’ during the selection process. However, Neil emphasises preparation should start from the moment you think about progressing your career to the next rank.

“You are the product for sale – make the board want to buy you”
Candidates who don’t adequately prepare significantly increase the chance of promotion board failure. But many officers just don’t know where to start and are in clear need of expert help and advice.
bselected provides a comprehensive Police Promotion Success package designed for police officers and police staff preparing for promotion at all ranks and grades, including National Police Promotion Framework (NPPF) Stage 3 applications, the College of Policing Fast Track (Police Constable to Inspector) programme and other competency based selection processes (ICIDP or role selection).

Police Oracle subscribers benefit from an exclusive £50 discount on our Police Promotion Success Masterclass.

The Masterclass is a highly interactive one-day event including a unique Video Role-Play module. We focus on the competency based framework in detail and develop understanding of the leadership expectations and behaviours for your organisation.

Our expert support and tuition equips you with the skills to prepare and deliver effective answers for both your paper application and subsequent interview and assessment stage, in addition to 1-2-1 coaching and psychometric and Situational Judgment Tests support services.

Ben Ewart is a police promotion board consultant with ‘bselected’, a serving DCI and holds an MSc in Strategic Leadership and Change. bselected specialises in preparing officers for the promotion: 

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