FRONTLINE CONSULTING GUIDE - Chief Constable confirmation hearings
As Chief Constables in Staffordshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire (and elsewhere) retired, Police and Crime Panels held confirmation hearings for their PCC’s selected candidate.
Drawing on some excellent work by Hampshire PCP, Frontline Consulting has produced a generic set of questions which panels might use for such hearings. These were trialled in a learning and development session run for West Mercia PCP last summer. They can be adapted for local circumstances, particularly by referring to significant challenges highlighted in HMIC inspection reports or by the PCC or the panel itself as a result of its work.
The questions are:
1. What qualities do you offer which make you the best candidate to lead [x] Force?
Serving the public
2. How will you make local communities feel that they are involved in Policing? Specifically, how will you understand and meet the needs of local communities across the Force area?
3. What experience do you have of communicating with the wider public to increase confidence in local policing?
Working with Others
4. Can you provide an example which demonstrates your ability to strategically plan and collaborate with other Forces?
5. Partnership working is now commonplace between public sectors and the Government is requiring blue-light collaboration. What experience would you bring to the role which would enable you to work collaboratively and innovatively to bring about further efficiencies and greater effectiveness between partners?
6. Can you provide an example of a time when you’ve had to react to, and lead on the approach to, the outcome of an inspection report or similar?
7. The recent ‘PEEL Police effectiveness 2015’ national report highlighted that the poorest performance is in relation to the care and support for vulnerable victims, including children. What steps would you take to tackle this issue?
[or pick a particular issue from the Force-specific report by HMIC that the panel thinks warrants concern]
Leading Strategic Change
8. Can you tell us about a time when you have had to deal with a new threat or public safety concern, and how you went about strategically planning for this?
Leading the Workforce
9. What steps would you take to ensure that the wellbeing needs of their workforce are being considered and provided for?
10. How will you effectively communicate and engage with all levels of staff throughout [x] Force and involve them in the future direction of the Force?
Professionalism, Decision Making and Effective Communication
11. Chief Constables do not always make popular decisions. Can you give a recent example of when you have had to make such a decision? What process did you follow?
12. How will you ensure substantial operational decisions taken by yourself are communicated effectively to staff and partners affected by these?
13. What is your experience of effectively handling major critical incidents? How would you support officers to deal with the aftermath of such events?
Respect for Diversity
14. How will you ensure that [x] Force takes into account the needs of diverse and hard to reach communities across the force area?
15. How would you seek to make [x] Force a more diverse workforce (over the next two years)?
16. Can you confirm that you are aware of the Policing protocol?
How will you ensure that staff are aware of and support the Policing protocol?
17. Can you explain your understanding of the terms ‘operational independence’ and ‘personal independence’, and how these apply to the role of the Chief Constable?
18. What steps would you take if, hypothetically, you felt the Commissioner was preparing to do something you felt strayed into operational policing?
19. How will you work with the Commissioner to deliver the Police and Crime Plan, whilst also ensuring that the Force continues to perform well and the independence of the Constabulary to reduce crime and make communities safer is maintained?
Feedback from panels about their confirmation hearings is always welcome. Please do get in touch with us to share your experiences.
Published: 15 February 2016