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Improving diversity in policing leadership: Police Now’s 200 Frontline Leadership Programme promotions

Police Now’s 200 Frontline Leadership Programme promotions

Friday 7th June 2024

This week, Police Now celebrated its 200th Frontline Leadership Programme officer to achieve promotion. These officers have all successfully passed the sergeant board and are posted or awaiting posting into sergeant positions across England and Wales.

The Frontline Leadership Programme launched in September 2021 as a one-year development programme which supports talented constables to achieve promotion to sergeant rank and succeed as exceptional policing leaders. The programme has a particular focus on increasing diversity and representation in senior ranks and breaking down barriers often faced by officers from underrepresented groups.

Of those recruited to the Frontline Leadership Programme to date, 24% are from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority background and 50% are women. Of the 200 officers who have been promoted, 19% are from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority background and 54% are women. Nationally across England and Wales, 8.4% of police officers are from Black, Asian or ethnic minority backgrounds and 34.7% of officers are women*.

Police Now’s Programmes Director Rachel Kershaw said: “Police Now is working hard to help build a better, more positive policing culture in line with public expectation. A key part of this is to support the development and progression of policing’s best and most diverse officers. Those on our Frontline Leadership Programme receive continued support even after completing the programme, and alumni of all our programmes can additionally receive support if applying for promotion routes.

“Those on our Frontline Leadership Programme – officers from every walk of life and length of service – are passionate about inclusive leadership, and leading from the front in ways which build public trust and confidence in policing. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to work with and support these officers. I want to wholeheartedly congratulate all those who have successfully passed their promotion exams and board and wish the best of luck to those who are sitting it soon.”

Police Now has partnered with 20 forces across England and Wales to deliver the Frontline Leadership Programme. 340 officers have completed the programme so far, with an additional 222 currently still training and another cohort due to begin in October.

An incredible 90% of Police Now Frontline Leadership Programme officers passed the challenging sergeant board – the final stage of the promotion process – on their first attempt. With sergeants supervising 78.5% of the police officer workforce in England and Wales**, participants who have benefited from the Frontline Leadership Programme training will go on to support and influence thousands of officers nationally.

Police Sergeant Katie Thompson became the 200th officer to successfully pass the sergeant board and reach the promotion milestone this week, thanks to the programme’s support. She said: “Whilst working on a crime team in Northumbria Police I applied for the Frontline Leadership Programme to assist me in my promotion journey. The programme helped me prepare myself for the various hurdles that I faced, such as dealing with imposter syndrome and understanding team issues as well as how to get the best out of people. They provided helpful training on neurodiversity and managing critical incidents. After completing the programme, the continued support I was given from my coach was outstanding. They helped to prepare me for my assessments and provided practical advice from start to finish. As I continue towards the next rank, I am committed to providing the same support to other officers and therefore the training will hopefully cascade down and benefit further officers in the future.”

Police Sergeant Katie Thompson

Detective Sergeant Oliver Hodgkinson was the first ever Frontline Leadership Programme participant to be promoted to sergeant rank, in February 2022. He said: “Whilst working as a detective constable in Humberside Police, I applied for the Frontline Leadership Programme to assist me with my promotion journey. The programme helped me to prepare for the promotion board through mock interviews with experts in the field and guidance on structuring my answers as well as leadership advice from development coaches. It helped me to feel confident in applying my skills as a detective sergeant, to lead officers to deliver quality investigations and motivate them to be the best they could be. After recently transferring to Lancashire Constabulary, the leadership foundations built through the programme enabled me to establish myself as a strong leader. I have a passion for supporting officers to develop themselves and deliver an efficient service for the public and will continue to do so as I continue into the next rank and beyond.”

The Frontline Leadership Programme is open to all eligible officers from Police Now’s partner forces and consists of in-person taught days and online learning. Officers on the programme additionally receive support from dedicated Progression and Development Officers, who provide mentoring and coaching to ensure officers have a comprehensive understanding of the material and are supported to reach their full potential.

*See Police workforce, England and Wales: (second edition) – GOV.UK

**78.5% of the police officer workforce in England and Wales are police constables – supervised by sergeants – according to the UK Government National Statistics for Police workforce, England and Wales: (second edition) – GOV.UK


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