Police Federation

PFEW is changing. Independent review to look at past failings and future governance

CEO Mukund Krishna introduces the terms of reference of the Independent Review into failings at the Federation that led to the pensions challenge judgment.

1 February 2024


Today, we are publishing the terms of reference of the Independent Review into failings at the Federation that led to the pensions challenge judgment.

I’ve been clear that PFEW is changing. The new Federation we are creating will be simpler, leaner, professional and more open. This means we need to be honest about the mistakes of the past and transparent in the way we do business in the future.

Now we need to learn the lessons and fix the problems that led to the judgement.

We are in the process of a three-person panel to undertake the independent review. In order to ensure there is proper independence and external input, members of the panel will not be affiliated to the Federation and will not have worked with Federation before. The panel membership will be based on a combination of the following skill sets.

  1. Proven track record leading change within membership organisations
  2. A leading counsel in regulation, equality and ethics
  3. An expert in organisational finance, risk and governance

The review itself will consider;

  1. The governance and leadership failings that led to the litigation outcomes
  2. The cultural, behavioural and other failings which contributed to the situation
  3. The risk that the same issues could arise under the current structure
  4. The size and scope of various governing bodies – such as the National Board and National Council – providing their external perspective on best practice
  5. Which reforms from prior reviews might have not been implemented, and why
  6. The extent to which changes now proposed by the Federation for governance and culture change will deliver an organisation that is fit for the future.


The Panel will be entitled to determine its own working procedures and, if it wishes, co-opt other members or commission expert advice. They will gather evidence through interviews, written submissions, and document reviews. Although we expect the panel will contact members for evidence, it won’t become involved in individual member cases.

It’s important that the review has as much access and information as it needs, and the officers of the Federation have agreed to co-operate fully with the panel. I expect panel members will begin to be appointed shortly with their report expected in the summer.

The aim of this review is to build upon the work of Sir David Normington in 2014 which brought about significant reform of the Federation and has provided the basis for the Federation’s functioning for the last decade. Much of Normington focused on governance and structure and it’s clear from the judgement that we still have work to do.

To help us get this right, the PFEW has also engaged a specialist external agency to review the current governance structure and model within PFEW, benchmark it against comparable membership and not-for-profit organisations and to make recommendations around our future governance model. We expect this will include proposals on the size and structure of the decision-making bodies within the Federation and new internal guidance to improve transparency and accountability. The independent review panel will then play a role reviewing and the future-facing governance design as put forward by the specialist external agency.

This is a pivotal time for the Federation and the changes we make this year are fundamental to ensuring our future sustainability. As you can see, we are determined to bring in the best expertise and advice to support us on our transformational journey.

I will keep you posted as we move forward on this blog and on X at @CEO_PFEW



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