” Exploit your talents, skills and strengths, make the world sit up and take notice. No one can discover you until you do. “Rob Liano
Whether or not you aspire to progress on the Fast Track talent management scheme within policing, all police promotion candidates can learn from it…
What is the National Police Fast Track Programme?
Talent management is about identifying, developing and retaining individuals who have high potential for the future, often for senior levels of the organisation. The police Fast Track programme is overseen by the College of Policing (COP) and supports the most talented UK police constables through an accelerated police promotion scheme. It enables and supports successful candidates to progress to the rank of inspector within two years. The overall aim of Fast Track is to engage and support individuals with leadership potential to reach at least the rank of superintendent during their service.
Whether or not you aspire to progress on this high-pressure talent management scheme within policing, all police promotion candidates can learn from it. A detailed overview of the fast track programme is available for any aspiring officer who wants to start preparing ahead of opportunity. The scheme opens in October with the National Fast Track Assessment Centre taking place in the following March.
How do I Apply for Fast Track Police Promotion?
” The only impossible Journey is the one you never begin.”Tony Robbins
So how do you apply for this Fast Track promotion scheme? For those who do apply, selection is tough, robust and competitive. Serving constables interested in applying should first complete the high potential development tool.
The first formal stage of this fast track programme is then the national application form, which requires candidates to demonstrate evidence of the behaviours aligned with the Competency and Values Framework (CVF). Many candidates also face additional local selection tests for example, interviews and a presentation. This is all before being recommended and put forward by their force to attend the next step, the National Assessment Centre.
Successful candidates from the National Assessment Centre are offered a place on the fast track programme by their force. They will then undertake a two-year development programme at sergeant rank, subject to a satisfactory pass at the National Police Promotion Framework(NPPF) Step Two Legal Examination. That’s a massive local and national effort for someone to pass this rigorous selection process! Still interested? Then read on for more insights to your high potential…
What is High Potential?
” People rarely travel far enough along the path of development to realise their full potential. “Sir Tom Whitmore
High Potential describes individuals with the innate skills and motivation necessary to help lead an organisation to a better future. High potential individuals aspire to assume more responsibilities and are rigorously absorbed with their work, sharing certain characteristics including aspiration, ability and engagement. Those who possess high potential are sometimes described as ‘rising stars.’ The challenge for policing, as with all other organisations, is to engage, retain, and develop these people, or otherwise risk losing them. The police fast track programme is designed to do just that. Accordingly, the initial focus of the fast track scheme is on potential not performance.
The high potential development tool is a particularly helpful document to ascertain if you are eligible to apply for the fast track programme and if you have the relevant skills. It is natural to have questions before deciding if the scheme is right for you and these may include:
What is high potential?
How do I know if I have it?
Where can I get guidance?
Either way, it provides all police promotion candidates a different way of looking at some of the CVF competencies, by indicating the desired leadership skills sought in those with ‘high potential’.
The High Potential Development Tool outlines ‘indicators of high potential’. These include emotional intelligence and broader thinking and awareness. Aspiring candidates can align their skills and abilities against these descriptors, as part of a self-assessment exercise. The infographic below is from the fast track development tool. It summarises the criteria of high potential into three areas:
Leadership and Communication
Aligning yourself with these descriptors and completing the development tool as part of your preparation will help you decide whether the fast track programme is for you.
Fast Track Success: Case Studies
” If you aspire to great things, it’s going to be hard. but it’s supposed to be hard. “Gary Vaynerchuck
Police officers aspiring to promotion need different levels and methods of support. For example, some may start by downloading a digital promotion toolkit or attending a promotion Masterclass, from which they are able to hit the ground running and they can take it from there. Others may seek additional one to one support prior to a promotion opportunity, a deeper dive to explore specific skills and/or to build confidence. I also offer a bespoke fast-track service for those seeking more extensive support over a 3-month period.
My aim in all these is to challenge, support and respectfully provoke your thinking on achieving promotion. The whole topic of promotion and selection can be demystified for police promotion candidates, to the extent that some constables see the fast track programme in a new light! Occasionally that ‘penny drops’ during a masterclass and individuals leave with enhanced ambitions.
” Some people dream of success, while others wake up every morning and work hard at it. “Wayne Huizenga
In my experience of helping police officers achieve promotion success,they work hard for it. Those who attempt the fast track process tend to back themselves. In gambling terms, they are ‘all in’. They may not have everything worked out yet or be able to see all the steps ahead, but are happy to work without certainty or guarantees. A