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L78 Selection for Substantive Promotion: Sergeant to Superintendent Ranks

1. Summary of changes

1.1. This protocol has been developed using the previous content of force policy L78.


2. What this protocol is about

2.1 This protocol provides details of the principles and practices of the selection process for substantive promotion for the ranks Sergeant to Superintendent.


Compliance with this protocol/SOP and any governing policy is mandatory.


    3. Detail the protocol


    3.1. Full details of the agreed promotion processes can be found on inSite where protocols are available for the promotion of officers at all ranks.

    3.2. Promotion appointments 

    3.2.1.  On completion of the promotion process for Sergeants or Inspectors a formal assessors’ debrief will be conducted. All assessors and observers from the promotion process will be invited to attend along with a member from HR Resourcing. The debrief will be chaired by the Director of Human Resources or their nominee. The findings from the analysis and monitoring of the process will be presented and any anomalies or issues highlighted and discussed.

    3.2.2.  The results list will be passed to HR Resourcing, who will manage the posting of officers on promotion. Officers will be posted in accordance with organisational need at that time and the following will be considered (this list is not exhaustive):

        • Potential affects of the Equality Act 2010;
        • Portfolio information (including applicant comments noted as far as possible);
        • Senior Management Team (SMT) guidance;
        • Significant welfare/Occupational Health/Health & Safety issues;
        • Vetting/Professional Standards considerations (promotion subject to clearance);
        • Assessors recommendations;
        • Skills profile of the Division/Dept which has the vacancy.
    3.3. Postings on promotion 

    3.3.1. There is no presumption that officers will serve in a uniformed role on promotion.  Officers may be posted anywhere in the county and this could include a new location, team or Division. Officers in central specialist teams may be moved to a Division on promotion.  Each case will be reviewed on its merits, and the force will wherever possible try to balance the needs of individual officers against those of the organisation.

    3.3.2. The Head of Resourcing is responsible for fair practice. If an officer's performance falls below an acceptable level between attendance at the promotion process and potential promotion, they will either:

    • be removed from the promotion pool by the Head of Resourcing in consultation with the Director of HR and be required to re-submit an application for promotion, or
    • be deferred for promotion whilst the performance issue is addressed.

    3.3.3.  Officers may not reject a promotion posting out, they are advised to appraise HR Resourcing of any pertinent factors (they feel are relevant/able to do so), as non-acceptance may result in a promotion not being honoured. There may be occasions where an over-riding organisational need requires a compulsory posting. The Chief Constable retains the right to post officers anywhere in the County on promotion and officers entering any promotion process should do so in the knowledge and acceptance that a condition of entering the process may result in a posting to any site/location.

    3.4.  Performance Regulations/Misconduct Procedure Outcomes

    3.4.1. Professional Standards Department (PSD) is consulted on applications received for promotion. Officers with UPP disciplinary procedure(s) outcome(s) that precludes them from being considered for promotion, they will not be invited to interview. Officers with ongoing UPP/ investigations/complaints will be eligible for ongoing consideration. This will be undertaken without disclosure to Assessors by the Human Resources Department.

    3.4.2. If an officer awaiting promotion is subject of a UPP or disciplinary investigation, or has been found in breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour, PSD will notify the Head of Resourcing. The severity of the disciplinary sanction or penalty will determine the affect that it has on the candidate's suitability for promotion. The Head of Resourcing will consult with the Head of Professional Standards Department to determine whether the selection of an officer  should be approved, deferred, delayed, or removed. Each case will be considered on its merits and a written record of the reasoning of the decision kept by PSD.


    3.5.  Probationary Period

    3.5.1. All promotions to the rank of Sergeant will be subject to the satisfactory completion of a 12 month probationary period. Any probationary role must have a clear element of supervision. The probationary period provides a 12 month development period in which the officer will be given support to attain the level of skills and competence required of the rank. Relevant training must be completed prior to promotion being confirmed. HR Directorate are responsible for confirming promotions to Sergeants. Extensions to probation may be granted (up to six months) in accordance with current Police Regulations. Promotions to the rank of Inspector and above are not subject to a probationary period.

    4. Equality impact assessment

    4.1. This protocol has been assessed with regard to its relevance to race and diversity equality. As a result of this assessment the protocol has been graded as having a low potential impact.

    5. Risk assessment

    5.1. There is no specific risk assessment or health and safety consideration thought relevant to the content of this protocol. Officers and members of police staff engaged within the process must remain aware that they must follow the protocol correctly. A failure to fully adopt the principles set out in this protocol could have a detrimental effect upon individuals, officers and staff and the reputation of the organisation.

    6. Consultation

    6.1. This is a format change only, therefore no consultation is necessary.

    7. Monitoring and review

    7.1. Monitoring will be undertaken by the Head of Resourcing, with a review being undertaken two years after this protocol is in place.

    8. Governing force policy

    8.1. This HR protocol supports the overarching HR policy L001.

    9. Other source documents, e.g. legislation, APP, force forms, partnership agreements (if applicable)




    Policy reference: L78 Selection for Substantive Promotion Sergeant to Superintende
    Policy owner: Director of Human Resources
    Contact point: Policy Unit
    Date last reviewed: 15 October 2013
    Document last saved: 04 March 2014