Pay reform is coming, says NPCC

17 May 2017

Pay reform

Major pay structure reforms are expected across the police service in the next few years according to Francis Habgood, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead on pay and conditions.

The Thames Valley Chief Constable outlined his vision for the future of reward in the service at our Annual Conference today, saying: “There are good parts and bad parts in our current pay structure, but I think we need a whole new structure rather than working with what we have.

“In my view, increments based on time served don’t have a role to play in the future. I don’t think regional pay works. But as an example (with new professional development schemes being trialled), I could imagine top level constables earning more than entry level sergeants.”

CC Habgood’s plans for pay, which align closely with a review of rank structure, include the introduction of the controversial Licence to Practice concept for high risk roles, a possible Registration to Practice to reinforce core skills, and the incoming apprenticeship scheme.

Concerns were raised from the floor that apprentices, expected in forces from 2018, could face a starting salary drop of 20% from the current entry level, to counter the time they will spend in training.

Dave Bamber, Police Federation Interim National Board member, said that this would send mixed messages to officers about the value the service places on training.

It was also highlighted that such a low salary would be prohibitive to older entrants and those with families, as the average start age for new police officers is currently 28. A potential starting salary for apprentices of £19,773 would leave an individual with just £35 of disposable income after living costs.

CC Habgood said: “I have someone working with the College of Policing and staff associations looking at other sectors to see what they are doing. I don’t know what the answer is yet. Ultimately police pay has to be fair for officers and for the taxpayer.”

Alex Duncan, Police Federation Interim National Board member, said: “It’s about paying the right amount, to get the right people with the right life experience into the service. Pay structures need to be very carefully considered. Recruits are going to be delivering a service and we need to pay them appropriately for that.”