The aim of a promotion selection process is to fill positions in the police service and to promote the best available people. These are usually individuals whose depth and breadth of preparation underpins hard-won success.
The Free Dictionary describes the ‘greasy pole’ as being used to talk about someone’s attempts to reach a more successful position in their career. You don’t hear the term so much today but economic and political drivers acting on the police service are constantly changing the landscape, not least in the field of promotions.
A mix and match approach with selection processes across various forces currently includes supervisor recommendations, applications, psychometric tests, presentations and interviews.
Whichever system is in place some people will always be dissatisfied. There is no one best system, but achieving a promotion is a significant challenge. It should be. It’s a competition, with many more qualified individuals than vacancies.
Preparing for nine months leading up to a competitive Sergeants selection process (involving an application stage, a situational judgment test and an interview) was the approach taken by one of my successful clients.
“It’s a very hard process, but so worth it if you are willing and able to put the time and work in”.
Entering a promotion selection process can be like purchasing a ticket for a roller coaster ride, with highs of elation and lows of dejection. The experience of many who embark on this aspect of career progression is that there are no guarantees. Not everyone succeeds. Resilience and perseverance are called for. Some individuals repeat the same things whilst expecting a different outcome. The right support at the right time can make a significant difference to how you approach a promotion as this client discovered.
“I’ve tried for 9 years and sat 7 boards. This year I fully embraced your masterclass and passed”
Different routes exist and promotion is not referred to as the greasy pole for nothing. Some people believe the promotion is owed to them, a reward for past performance. This is a mistake. Promotion is awarded to those offering the best future for the organisation and you may need an overwhelming appetite to advance in what is a highly competitive environment.
Despite all this, promotions still tick over as does policing. With some hard smart work, you too can achieve promotion success. A continuous professional development plan, taking responsibility for your learning and a positive attitude are vital considerations if you want to be ‘match fit’ for opportunities that may arise. A clear focus on working towards your goal is required and solid preparation is the key to success.
If you choose promotion as your future it’s wise to be prepared today.