Guidance, information and access to services for appointing chief officers.
If you are a police and crime commissioner (PCC) seeking to appoint your next chief constable or a chief constable about to recruit someone to your chief officer team we offer a range of services to help you with your search.
- help to maximise the pool of potential candidates and ensure the right candidate is identified for your particular needs
- support you with delivering a process which is objectively seen to be fair and open in line with our guidance for appointing chief officers
- ensure that you are able to fulfil your statutory functions in accordance with the regulations that govern appointments and selection, and assessment good practice
Our services are designed to support you in attracting and assessing candidates in a way that accurately reflects the requirements of the role and force. We can help you to assess candidates so you have detailed reliable and relevant data to inform your decision making.
The College of Policing – working in collaboration with PCCs (via the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners), the National Police Chiefs' Council, Chief Police Officers Staff Association, the Home Office and PSAEW – has developed the guidance for appointing chief officers document.
The guidance will be useful in promoting and enabling good practice to ensure the best and most talented individuals apply for the most demanding roles and that the most suitable candidates are appointed.
The guidance builds on the Home Office Circular 013/2018 which outlines the legal requirements and principles for the appointment of chief officers.
The document is a supportive guide covering:
- eligibility and legal requirements
- good practice in assessment and selection
- making the appointment itself
- post-appointment considerations
The document does not provide guidance on:
- HR procedures and other services that are provided by force/OPCC HR functions
- the appointment of police staff chief officers, as there is no specific legislation and roles vary significantly across forces. However, the general guidance on attraction and selection will apply
- areas that are under development (eg, appointing chief constables in a single employer model where the PCC oversees both the police and the fire service)
Establishing assessment criteria
We develop bespoke job descriptions, which reflect national role profiles and your specific requirements.
Ensuring job descriptions are tailored to your needs is a fundamental part of the appointment process and will enable you to identify the right candidate who meets the short-, medium- and long-term requirements of your force and community.
Attraction and advertising
Providing comprehensive and transparent information to candidates is one way of facilitating a larger and more diverse pool of applicants to select from.
We develop application materials which promote the fairness and transparency of your application process.
We inform potential suitable applicants of your vacancy and future opportunities to interested candidates which assist you in maximising the number of applicants for your vacancy.
Developing assessment exercises
Assessment exercises which identify and measure the assessment criteria required for performance in the role are crucial to the success of your appointment process.
We design a range of bespoke exercises which are tailored to the specific requirements of your vacancy and reflect the key issues and challenges facing your force.
We also develop tools which provide all candidates with an equal and fair opportunity to demonstrate the requirements you identify as important, which differentiate between candidate performances and minimise subjective bias.
Appointment panel briefing
We brief or train your appointment panel or exercise assessors, taking into account their experience and contextualising to your appointment process.
Ensuring all appointment panel members are briefed in the selection and assessment principles contributes to the reliability and fairness of your appointment process.
We support you in delivering the appointment process, including providing advice on timetabling and resources, which can also include attending assessment stages to support your delivery team.
When done successfully, this is an opportunity to market your appointment processes transparency and provide candidates with the reassurance that your process is being delivered fairly and consistently.
Personality assessment and profiling
We provide access to personality assessment tools which can reveal valuable information about how applicants are likely to operate in the role and fit with the organisation's culture.
Through exploring applicants' values, attitudes, beliefs and motivations, our trained psychologists can help you to determine whether these represent strengths or areas for development in relation to your vacancy.
This guidance complements other activities the College is undertaking to support effective chief officer appointments and progression to chief officer roles more widely. This work includes:
- chief officer appointments page
- senior careers development centre
- online careers fairs
- role profile development
- relocation support for chief officers
Feedback from forces
We have supported about a third of forces with their executive team recruitment.
The guidance and support that was provided by the Senior Leaders Hub was second to none, and provided us with a robust, transparent and branded chief constable recruitment process. Having the College with us at both the stakeholder panels and the interview panel was a real benefit in the delivery of our appointments process.
Devon and Cornwall OPCC
This was the first time Devon and Cornwall OPCC has had to recruit a chief constable for nine years and it was useful to have the College’s insight into all aspects of the process and have someone to check ideas and processes with as the process was being delivered.
The psychometric testing was also of significant value as this provided insight into the shortlisted candidates prior to the interviews and assessment centre.
Provided information, reassurance and support at a time where this was a process that as an OPCC we had not embarked on before. The advice received was invaluable and really helped shape the process for us to manage. The College of Policing was always available and supportive and quick to respond to any questions, issues or concerns.
The College provided us with expert guidance, advice and assistance on what was a complex and fast-moving process. Having the Senior Leaders Hub on hand to help us sense check our process, documentation and who we involved was reassuring and it ensured a high level of confidence in the integrity and credibility of the process. They were excellent at navigating our candidates and various panel members and providing support through critical stages such as psychometric testing, pre-shortlisting and interview briefings.
The College provided excellent advice and support in the design of the process for the selection of our next chief constable.
They provided feedback to the interview panel on each applicant from the panel exercises and psychometrics, which helped the panel to consider in detail specific elements that they could explore further during the interview.
West Mercia OPCC
Being clear about what you are looking for in a candidate is critical. The College were extremely useful in helping me hone exactly what I was looking for in West Mercia’s next chief constable. They were also helpful in being available to bounce ideas for assessing candidates off.
Responses and advice were prompt, helping ensure we stayed on track.