Police Now won Best Learning and Development Initiative – public/third sector, and Best Inclusion and Diversity Initiative at last week’s CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) People Management Awards 2021.
Police Now won the awards for its investment in diversity and inclusion and ability to deliver strong results in police recruitment and training, in the face of the significant challenges that the policing sector and the graduate recruitment sector has faced over the last year.
In 2020, Police Now adapted quickly to the challenges posed by COVID-19, moving to a digital assessment centre at 24 hours’ notice and successfully delivering a blend of both online and face-to-face learning during the National Graduate Leadership Programme training academy, and the January 2021 National Detective Programme academy, to enable participants to begin their policing careers safely and effectively.
On top of the challenges presented by the pandemic, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement last year again highlighted the need for a more representative police workforce that reflects the communities it seeks to serve. Despite these challenges, Police Now recruited the largest ethnic minority diversity to be achieved in national police recruitment in this country via their programmes in 2020/21.
Every element of Police Now’s recruitment and marketing strategy for its National Graduate Leadership Programme and National Detective Programme was focused on addressing the barriers preventing Black, Asian and minority ethnic graduates from considering a career in policing. The campaigns, including Change the Story, You’ll Be There and Do you Notice featured videos of Police Now participants being honest and open about their experiences of joining the police and called for graduates to ‘be the change’ they want to see in society through joining the policing frontline.
Following analysis that revealed that candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds were twice as likely to decline conditional offers, Police Now focused on the speed of their recruitment process and offered tailored communication. For example, the organisation held a friends and family event, which provided information and reassurance about a career in policing to offer holders’ loved ones – something the judges were particularly impressed with because it enabled a “stronger impact”.
Judges praised the “great results” that Police Now achieved and commended that it was done “by focusing on the impact that the recruits can have in the community and steering away from usual recruitment and attraction strategies.”
The CIPD judges “loved” the National Graduate Leadership Programme and National Detective Programme’s focus on “keeping leaders in the community and not in the classroom”, adding that this was a clear example of how to “integrate learning and work to make a difference”. They also said that it was an “impressive evidence formed process with excellent design”.
Police Now competed against a number of well-established employer brands and graduate programmes to win the awards, which were presented at a ceremony in London at JW Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel on Tuesday 28 September. The awards were judged by a panel of senior leaders from CIPD and from across the public and private sectors.