CVF Guidance for individuals

How will the CVF affect you?

The CVF is the basis of several national HR processes, such as assessment and selection, Professional Development Reviews (PDR), Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Policing Professional Profiles.

Individual forces will either fully adopt the CVF or amalgamate their existing framework with it, ensuring that the values and competencies of the CVF are fully represented. Adopting the CVF will be relatively straightforward and the changes will mainly affect how people prepare for interviews, assessments, PDR meetings and development planning.

The CVF is made up of four values which are at the centre of the CVF, and three clusters, each of which contain two competencies. For further information download the PDF or click here.

Values are beliefs which are important to an individual and which guide and motivate particular behaviours and actions.

Competencies are behaviours (knowledge, skills or abilities) related to effective job performance.

Values apply to all roles. Each of the six competencies is described at three levels which reflect increasing complexity of behaviours; the higher the level the more complex the behaviour.

Although the levels will broadly relate to role functions across the organisation, a key feature of the model is that levels can be flexibly applied to specific professional profiles as required.

The approach focuses on how tasks are achieved, not what is achieved.

Further information about how the CVF affects you can be found in this document here.

Assessment and Selection

Values will now play an important part in recruitment, assessment and selection. During recruitment interviews and assessments for selection, you will be expected to demonstrate how you apply the four values in your work. This will be in addition to showing how you demonstrate specific competencies.

Recruitment interviews

The process based on the CVF is referred to as values-based recruitment. As with previous competency-based interviews, you will be asked about past behaviour and how you would deal with certain future situations.

Being aware of the new CVF competency definitions will help you prepare to select relevant examples that best evidence the CVF values and competencies.


For formal assessment, the main change will be in the use of new competencies and the set of values.

As before, assessors will be looking for specific evidence which demonstrates how you have applied the behaviours during the exercises. Even though your own focus during assessment exercises will be on achieving the aims of the tasks, an understanding of the CVF competencies and values will help guide your actions and decisions as you work through the exercises.

Policing Professional Profiles

Whilst typically the higher the rank or role within policing the higher the required competency level, a key feature of the CVF is that the three levels of competency can be flexibly applied to specific professional profiles.

Within the Policing Professional Profiles you will see these are categorised against 5 organisational levels for Policing roles (including Support staff roles). If we compare a number of roles from within the same organisational level you will find that the majority have the same CVF level across six competencies. Some may differ across different competencies.

For example, a Police Constable (PC) is required to meet all six competencies at Level 1 of the CVF, a Response Constable is required to meet five of the competencies at level 1, and ‘we are innovative and open-minded’ at level 2; whilst a Family Lisason Officer (FLO) is required to meet the ‘we are emotionally aware’ and ‘we analyse critically’ competencies at level 2, and the other four competencies at level 1.

The level of competency does not always increase with rank; for example an Inspector and a Chief Inspector are both required to meet all six competencies at level 2.

To find out more about a specific Policing Professional Profile, click on the link at the top of this page or follow this link

PDR Meetings

PDR meetings should use the Policing Professional Profiles which have been developed and mapped to the CVF. Where a specific role has not had a Professional profile developed, your force’s own profile should be used.

The CVF only explains how you should complete your work and how it contributes to what you achieve. The what (the tasks and accountabilities expected of people) will still be discussed.

Given that values are now included for discussion, you and your appraiser should discuss performance in these areas objectively rather than personally. The values have been fully defined by behavioural indicators, so it will be the indicators that are discussed, not things like general personality or beliefs.

Career Pathways

Career Pathways are a skills based mapping tool which draw upon the contents of the Policing Professional Profiles. To find out more select ‘Career Pathways’ at the top of this page, or click here.

When considering your career pathway you could look at your current role profile and the CVF levels identified for each of the six competencies, and compare this to other roles you may potentially be interested in pursuing. If the CVF levels are higher than in your current role, review the behavioural indicators for that level and consider how you can evidence these behaviours.

This process of reflection and consideration could take part of your PDR process. You may find that you wish to partake in continuous professional development opportunities to build your evidence or develop your skills to meet the behavioural indicators.

Further information about the behavioural indicators can be found in the CVF guidance documents on this page.

Continuous Professional Development

The CVF can be used to help support you with Continuous and Professional Development (CPD). Continuous Professional Development is defined by the College of Policing as ‘A range of learning activities through which you can maintain or enhance your capacity to practice legally, safely, ethically and effectively‘.

You can use the CVF to enhance your CPD opportunities by reviewing the definitions of the competencies and the behaviours described within these at the different levels, and identify which of these you could work further on or increase your competency level in. This could be a part of your PDR review or consideration of your Career Pathway as discussed above.

You could then review CPD activities within your force, online learning on the MLE through your NCALT account, information and useful content on Knowledge Hub (replacing POLKA) or opportunities provided by the College of Policing.

You can log in to your MLE account by clicking here.

You can sign up to join the Knowledge Hub by clicking here.

The Knowledge Hub has a number of communities you can search and request to join, which could put you in touch with experts or colleagues within and across forces for areas of work you are interested in.

Once you have joined Knowledge Hub, you can also sign up to the group ‘College of Policing CPD Fortnight 2019’ . In here you will find videos of new CPD produced for the National CPD event in November 2019 from a range of professionals. A particularly useful video is entitled ‘The CVF and You’, it includes a full explanation of the CVF and how individuals could look to apply this in their application forms, interviews or promotion process.

Preparing for assessment and PDR

Demonstrating evidence of performance

In preparation for an assessment or your PDR, consider reviewing the Policing Professional Profile or your force’s own profile for your current role; read the descriptions of the behavioural indicators at the level identified within this profile and consider how well you are meeting the six competencies.

In practice, it is not necessary to demonstrate evidence of every single behavioural indicator of a competency or value; decide which of your own experiences and achievements fit with them and explain how.

Use the STAR approach in preparation, consider the following:

Situation – what was the situation? Provide a small amount of relevant background here.

Task – what was required? How do you know?

Action – what action did you take? How did you go about it? Reflect on what the strengths of this approach were and how this fits with the behavioural indicators for the competency level and the relevant values.

Results – what was the outcome or result of the action you took? Why was it successful?

In any practical assessment exercises (role plays, presentations etc.), focus on how to complete the task. The assessors will observe the way in which you do it.