A new selection process among the Metropolitan Police is set to radically reduce the time it takes for constables to be promoted to the rank of sergeant.
Extra training is also to be given to new sergeants to ensure they are better prepared prior to taking up their posts.
Under the scheme, candidates for promotion to sergeant will only be put forward for assessment exams if recommended by their line managers.
Candidates' applications must also be approved by a panel composed of a personnel manager, inspector and a senior officer from another unit before they go through assessment.
Previously all officers seeking promotion had to first successfully complete the OSPRE (1&2) exam before being sent to the force's external assessment centre, regardless of whether they were considered ready for the step up to sergeant.
The Met's assistant commissioner for HR, Bernard Hogan-Howe, said the change heralded a radical departure for the force and that it would save time and prepare officers more effectively for promotion.
"It represents enormous savings in candidates' time in preparing for assessment centre visits and hundreds of staff days taken off by assessors. But importantly, it will help us get the right candidates promoted to sergeant," he said.
Further reforms by the HR directorate means newly promoted sergeants must now complete a two-week foundation and a 10- day custody course before taking up their promotion.
It is likely that the new selection process will also be used for promotions to inspector. The system could be adopted by other forces if successful.