12 Steps To Police Promotion – Part 2

Police promotion UK

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart

Various steps exist to UK police promotion to Sergeant and Inspecting ranks, with police forces each having a ‘Pick ‘n’ Mix Promotion Process. In Part 1, I outlined how to move from your general aspiration, to studying for your legal exam or leadership qualification, and then compiling your best evidence in anticipation for a promotion process to be announced.

So what next?

Free Police promotion steps

Step 5: Panic?!

promotion frustration

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart

A promotion process is announced. Ready?

The promotion journey may well involve panic somewhere along the route. It’s natural, but it can be minimised by effective preparation.

Many qualified candidates are simply too busy ‘doing’ the job to be able to ‘talk’ about it meaningfully in the context of a promotion process. These are two very different things!

When a promotion process opens, it’s not surprising that feelings of panic can set in once individuals realise ‘the time has come’ to articulate in writing and verbally, ‘How’ they do the job. Recognising that the necessary skills to be able to do that are not developed sufficiently, can trigger limiting beliefs, self doubt or can be daunting or unsettling. But if you are reading this, you don’t need to hit the panic button just yet!

Having a CPD plan to plot your personal progress, drafting evidence as alluded to previously to support any future promotion application and learning/using effective structures can all raise your awareness. The HELP BUTTON is an option that is always available. Successful candidates use it on their journey to maximise their potential.


Step 6: Written Application

Police promotion guide
www.ranksuccess.co.uk/downloadable-resources

“The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.” – Walt West

Your promotion application is an opportunity to stand out from the competition.

The aim of a promotion process is to select the best available candidates. Having waited for this opportunity, it is often wasted by qualified officers. Written applications as part of a promotion selection process are used to robustly ‘paper sift’ a significant proportion of candidates in or out of the process. Regardless of whether it forms part of the process, I advise all candidate to write down their evidence in this way.

Evidence is assessed against rank competencies. Structuring your responses makes it easy for assessors to ‘harvest’ what they need from your application. This will be the difference between stopping here or continuing the journey.

There is no guaranteed ‘formula’ for success in writing a competency-based application. So having guidance and support to help navigate this stage of the promotion journey, to avoid hazards and mistakes, is important. Signposts provide direction but can be overlooked. In case you missed the last one here it is again: ‘A Guide to your Police Promotion Application’. Or try some solid examples of police promotion evidence for inspiration.

You are at a crossroad. Have a quick rest whilst reflecting on this question…

Have you just delivered your very best work?

Your promotion application is now with ‘assessors’ and they will assess it against your force promotion framework for the role/rank.

Your application may go over the ‘Back and Forth Bridge’. It might require endorsement from first and second line supervisors. Then depending which force you are with, it may go on to the local Senior Management Team (SMT) for scrutiny, and perhaps onward again to a force sifting process.

For those who aren’t successful to proceed ‘forth’, always ask for feedback. Otherwise you could be stuck at this bridge again without knowing why, but more importantly knowing what you might do better next time.

There are no guarantees with promotion. No one can offer you that. However, if you want to do everything you can to ensure that your application is up there with the best before it is submitted for assessment, ask someone who genuinely has your best interests at heart. Ask someone who cares about your success as much as you do, to look it over and critique it. But do not ask too many people; you’ll get different views and opinions which often results in confusion and a written application which lacks flow and consistency.


Step 7: Assessment Centres & Tests

Police promotion assessment centre tests
www.ranksuccess.co.uk/assessment-tests

“You have to learn the rules of the game,
then you have to play them better than anyone else.”
– Albert Einstein

Just another curveball to contend with: SJTs, IRTs, aptitude tests and more…

Wider assessment tests are being increasingly used in force promotion selection processes, to ensure candidates possess the necessary skill sets to lead the service going forward.

This is to sift out all but the most determined and capable candidates. As such, these tests are also used for fast track and direct entry programmes.

Practice is the best way to ensure you are comfortable with what to expect. Giving yourself the opportunity to build your ability and confidence around these tests is critical to success. The main types of ‘Assessment Tests’ you may face are listed below. Here’s where you can find out more and access practice tests, many of which are FREE…

Situational Judgement Tests

Inductive Reasoning Tests

In-Tray/E-Tray Exercises

Critical Thinking Aptitude Tests


I hope you found this blog useful and see you back for Part 3, where I will cover the final steps to promotion success.

For more support on your UK police promotion journey in the meantime, here’s more free blog content, regular YouTube videos plus the in-depth Rank Success digital toolkit, covering the role at Level 2 of the CVF, providing example evidence, including all stages of the promotion process and much, much more! You can also use code POLICEHOUR20 at checkout, to save 20% on any Rank Success digital promotion toolkits or bundles.

Kind Regards, Steve