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Wiltshire Police Federation

Federation hits out at College of Policing after changes to leadership standards

28 June 2023

Wiltshire Police Federation has hit out at College of Policing changes to leadership standards for officers, staff and volunteers. 

The College has this month released new leadership standards which will apply to everyone in policing. Currently around 80% of officers and staff choose not to move beyond PC rank, meaning huge swathes of the workforce don't currently receive any form of leadership training. 

But Phil Matthews, Wiltshire Police Federation Chair, has said this is a role for chief officers and that the college should not be “dictating” to officers.

He said: “This is not for the college, this is for the chief officers to demonstrate from the top and expect to be copied throughout the force. The accountability for shortfalls in leadership sits consistently in the lower ranks; the higher ranks are not held to the same standards the lower ranks are. This is clearly demonstrated in the conduct and performance arena. 

“I do agree that strong leadership is essential and is exactly what is needed. In such a complex business like policing, can the manner in which that leadership is presented be dictated?. I think not, it is the right people being made leaders in the right places that will achieve this.”

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, CEO of the College of Policing, said: “This is the hardest time for policing I can remember in almost 40 years’ service and we cannot continue along this path. Something radical must be done. 

“Policing must have high quality leaders at every rank and grade. We know about 80 per cent of officers and staff choose not to move beyond the rank of police constable so it cannot be right that leadership training is only given to those who seek promotion. 

“We can no longer afford to underinvest in the people we expect to lead. Everyone in policing should be given the leadership training and development they need so they are fully equipped to solve more crimes, keep people safe and call out internal bad behaviour.” 

To see the new standards, go to: https://www.college.police.uk/article/leadership-standards