Police HR professionals may soon have to work to mandatory standards to reduce force costs and duplication, Personnel Today has learned.
Chief people officer at the National Policing Improvement Agency, Angela O’Connor, said the agency is considering introducing national, compulsory standards next year for HR people to work to, to improve consistency and efficiency.
HR departments across the 43 forces in England and Wales tend to implement HR activities differently, from leadership training to employee assistance programmes, O’Connor said, which wastes resources.
“If people are doing things differently, it costs more and it takes more time because they’re having to do all the start-up work,” she told Personnel Today. “We’re saying lets learn from the things that have gone well [across forces] and the mistakes. So we’ll work together with HR communities to achieve a national standard, which potentially could be a mandatory thing.”
In July, the policing Green Paper called for a standard process for each of the main tasks in policing as a whole, to make it easier for the policing inspectorate, known as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), to ensure forces are improving performance year-on-year.
“The HR standards would be in delivery terms – so if the inspectorate is going out, they’d know what to expect in Manchester for example, they’d know what ‘good’ looked like,” said O’Connor. “But the standards won’t be regional they’ll be national for the first time. The inspectorate can then go out and inspect against them.”
O’Connor stressed the HR standards would be developed in collaboration with HR chiefs.
“The HR community has said it themselves: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had one conversation, if we’re not reinventing the wheel, sharing best practice and learning from each other?’,” she said.
Work to develop the standards will begin this September, with a draft form expected in January.