One of the conclusions drawn from the College of Policing’s 2015 Leadership Review was that the values inherent in the Code of Ethics should be embedded at all levels in all local and national selection processes, such as assessment centres and interviews. Implementing the recommendation led to developing the CVF to replace the Policing Professional Framework (PPF) Personal Qualities.
The CVF clearly defines new and relevant competencies and values which strongly uphold the principles of the Code of Ethics.
It is already being used for some of the College of Policing’s national assessment processes. By April 2018, the College is to end support for the PPF Personal Qualities.
Our Professional Development Programme (PDP), the Police Education and Qualifications Framework (PEQF) and the Assessing and Recognising Competence (ARC) projects will incorporate or take account of the new framework, as will national selection processes at the current or next design iteration. The wider PPF, including role profiles, is also being replaced as part of the PDP.
We recognise that some forces will have developed and established their own frameworks to reflect local context and circumstances and have made provisions allowing forces to retain the flexibility to define values, which reflect local variation within this guidance .
The CVF’s design makes general application of the Code of Ethics a reality. It helps embed the Code of Ethics in all our people processes and ensures that the principles underlying it are fully considered in all appointments, promotions and professional development decisions.
The structure and detailed content of the CVF is fully explained in the document ‘Competency and Values Framework for policing’.
Purpose of the CVF
The CVF should be embedded in HR processes and procedures. There are no changes to the fundamental processes or to general guidance given for them. Annual Professional Development Review (PDR) cycles and the principles of SMART objective-setting are unaffected and the continuing professional development (CPD) process remains focused on maintaining and enhancing capabilities. Differences are confined to the behavioural framework underpinning these processes.
The CVF differs from the PPF Personal Qualities and other current frameworks. The main differences are:
■ four defined and measurable core values
■ values defined by behavioural indicators.
The overall aim of the framework is to translate the Code of Ethics into the highest standards of professional conduct in all areas of the police service, as illustrated in figure 1.
Figure 1 How the Code of Ethics underpins the CVF
The CVF consists of four values supporting six competencies.
What follows in this section is a short summary of the CVF. The ‘Competency and Values Framework for policing’ document is recommended reading at this point. In that document, the interrelationships and dependencies of the whole framework are represented as a layered circle, as shown by figure 2.
The main components of the new framework are the clusters, competencies and values. The relationships between them are shown in the circular chart below. Values are at the centre of the CVF and apply to all roles.
Figure 2 CVF diagram
Each competency is split into three levels which show what behaviours will look like for roles of different levels of responsibility or complexity. The levels are cumulative, each one building on the level below.
The three levels under each competency are not aligned to specific ranks or organisational levels. Instead, they are intended to be used flexibly to allow for a better fit with frontline and non-frontline policing roles.
Due to be released on the College’s new digital platform in October 2017 are Policing Professional Profiles for all ranks, policing roles and policing specific staff roles. These state the national standards for each role and can be used as a framework for Job Descriptions. All new Professional profiles will show the relevant CVF competency level.
Figure 3 Competency levels
The levels are particularly significant when using the CVF in decision-making processes such as recruitment and assessment.
Behaviours tend to become more complex at more senior levels in the organisation.
The inclusion of defined and measurable values is a major point of difference from previous competency frameworks.
Four values form the basis of the CVF. Although values were already important components of previous competency frameworks, the CVF values are fully defined as behaviours which can be assessed in the same way as competencies.
The key difference between assessing values and assessing competencies is that values are not divided into three levels. There is one set of indicators to define each value and these same indicators apply to that value when applied to any roles and to any level of responsibility.
How the Code of Ethics is represented by the CVF
There are nine principles underpinning the Code of Ethics (see table 1 below). These have been clustered into four values to enable simpler and better behavioural assessment of the desired behaviours.
Table 1: The links between the CVF and the Code of Ethics
The four values and two of the competencies (take ownership and deliver, support and inspire) fully represent the code.
*The principles of leadership and accountability are respectively considered to be a better fit with the competencies of deliver, support and inspire and take ownership.
Adopting the CVF
Incorporating the new CVF definitions and measures of values and competencies will require some modification of existing force processes.
Some forces have done a great deal of work to create and embed their own competencies and values. Where local values are already effectively embedded in multiple processes, there are benefits to continuing to use these alongside the CVF.
Different forces will therefore have different starting points when they incorporate the CVF. The values in the CVF could be applied directly or they could be combined with their own force values.
Your force will be in one of the following categories and, depending on which one, you will find advice on CVF implementation in the separate sections cited below.
Select one of the three options, according to your decision on how to adopt the CVF and follow the guidance given.
Option 1 Introducing the CVF
Adopting the CVF as the operating model will involve not only revising the technical aspects of the affected processes (point (a) below), but will also require acceptance and embedding (point (b)).
(a) Process revisions
The fundamental changes are straightforward: the PPF Personal Qualities or other competency frameworks are replaced by the CVF’s competencies and values. This will mean using the new competency and values definitions in place of previous ones in selection, PDR, and CPD.
Use the definitions and terms in the ‘Competency and Values Framework for policing’ document as the starting point for a number of basic and practical changes:
■ train interviewers and assessors
■ prepare staff for changes to processes such as interviews and PDR.
(b) Change management
In addition to process revision, there are the broader change-management aspects to consider in terms of reassuring all stakeholders of the benefits and simplicity of day-to-day use of the CVF. Different forces may use different models of organisational change but, whichever approach is adopted:
■ open two-way communication channels for discussion and implementation and be clear about the schedules and launch of the changed processes
- establish clear ‘line of sight’ between the CVF, organisational goals, reward and recognition, and PDR.
Option 2 Mapping force values to the CVF
If you currently have well-established and effective frameworks in operation, guidance is given here about what you can do to integrate them with the CVF.
Checking that your local values are truly representative of local force culture is an essential first step. If values are fully embedded, it should be possible to see all or most of the following:
■ staff are able to identify and challenge behaviour which is contrary to the values
■ members of the public are aware of the values and able to identify behaviour not aligned with these values
■ senior leaders make decisions which are led by the values
■ the values are continually reinforced and articulated, eg, via role-modelling, training, reviewing work.
If this checklist confirms that local values are fully embedded and in use, then we recommend the following actions for mapping to the national CVF.
To make like-for-like comparisons of values, the locally defined values need to be defined further into sets of observable indicators. It may be necessary to use focus groups, online participative methods or interviews to fully explore and identify the behavioural dimensions of values, if these are not already established.
College of Policing
Competency and Values Framework Implementation Guidance
Match the force values to the CVF values. Use the statements which you developed in step one to see where there is overlap with the four CVF value definitions. Where there is full overlap, this will indicate that the CVF can be adopted without changing the agreed values of the organisation.
Check that all the CVF values are covered. Ensure all four of the CVF values are represented in your local adaptation. This may mean simply adding some or all of the CVF to your existing framework.
Once this preparation work is complete and you are confident that you have a comprehensive set of value definitions which cover local and CVF values requirements, go back to option 1 above (‘Introducing the complete CVF’) and follow the general advice. 13
Option 3 Defining separate frameworks and combining to support the CVF
Some forces have separate frameworks, for example, for leadership and talent management. If you do not think that the CVF fully encapsulates all the values and competencies represented in the frameworks of your own force, a mapping process will be required. Check for overlap and duplication, as well as for gaps.
Follow the guidance outlined in option 2 to support this process. Where further support is required, please contact the College at firstname.lastname@example.org