“It’s all about choices; wherever you go, there you are.” – Pooh Bear
To achieve promotion to Sergeant, Inspector, or Chief Inspector, there are various steps to the promotion process in UK policing. Police forces take a Pick ‘n’ Mix approach to their police promotion processes.
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 police promotion process to be announced. Part 2 of this police promotion series outlined what you can do ahead of your force announcing a promotion process, outlines the value of compiling a written application, and gives an introduction to UK police assessment centres.
Passed the steps so far? Then here’s the finale…
Step 8: Promotion Interview
Passed your written application? Congratulations! You passed a significant step and you now know that ‘on paper’ you have what it takes. Now for something a bit more practical.
When you reach the police promotion interview stage, wider preparation is necessary. Most forces use competency-based interviews, against the behaviours of the Competency & Values Framework (CVF). Here are some free materials to get you orientated:
7 Things the interview panel ALSO inherently look for.
Depending on your force, your interview might have forward- or rear-facing questions.
You may face a strengths-based interview.
Your interview might include a presentation.
Last but not least, here’s a blog dedicated to the CVF.
You will also find free video content on the CVF and interviews on the Rank Success YouTube channel. If you want more in-depth guidance on interviews, why not download a copy of the newly updated and comprehensive Interview Success Guide? It includes content around the whole promotion interview process, the CVF, role play preparation and a detailed bank of practice promotion interview questions.
Step 9: Success?
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain or difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Pass or fail the interview, your journey is not yet complete!
If you’ve made it through the interview, that’s a special moment. A return on investment of your time, money and energy. It’s an achievement you worked hard for, so enjoy the feeling! Here are some more success stories, where officers have shared their experiences and journey of promotion, in their own words. Sound familiar?
If not successful at promotion this time, what did you learn? How can you make a CPD plan to do better next time? Have you considered outside support? Many officers are still sceptical of coaching, mentoring or support generally from outside their own organisation.
Step 10: Progress
“It ain’t over till it’s over.” – Yogi Berra
Continue your CPD, developing yourself & others around you.
The main focus at this stage is the last leg of your route to promotion. You are still working to consolidate your goal.
For most forces, there is a 12 month ‘probationary’ period where you will be assessed on the job against the role requirements. This is to demonstrate competence in the new rank prior to final confirmation and is described for example by the College of Policing as ‘NPPF Step 4’ for forces in England & Wales. The subject of your CPD is often the killer question asked at police promotion interview boards.
Step 11: Arrived
“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.” – John Ruskin
Congratulations! You have reached your goal and arrived in your new rank.
Confirmation in the rank means you have arrived. You are where you aspired to be at stage one of your personal promotion journey. It’s a great feeling!
You have realised your goal and have successfully completed all the required steps. You are free to stay. Or at some stage you may wish to move on with the next steps. In which case, don’t forget you will already have the tools to help you on your way…
Step 12: Aspiration?
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe them, and try to follow where they lead.” – Louisa Maria Alcott
Want to progress to the next level? Let’s start from the beginning…
Whatever the next steps in your policing career, your CPD will remain important. Some officers are highly ambitious, for example I recall assisting one Sergeant who declared they only joined policing to become a Chief Constable. They are currently Superintendent. Others I’ve assisted have achieved higher.
Meanwhile, here is a story of an officer embarking on their own journey of police promotion ready for a new year ahead…
I hope you found this series of blogs useful and best of luck for 2021.
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