Head of Professional Standards

Job Family Business Support
Job Sub Family Professional Standards
Code BUS-PRO-SL-Head of Prof Standards V1.0

Role Purpose

To lead the Professional Standards function at an individual force or region level: driving the development of an internal culture that delivers the highest standards of honesty and integrity; leading the investigation and resolution of complaints and allegations of misconduct; ensuring that lessons learned are identified and used to make improvements; and communicating with all stakeholders to develop and maintain a high level of confidence and trust in the integrity of the force.

Key Accountabilities

• Provide visible leadership to the force on standards of professional behaviour, taking appropriate action to hold others to account throughout the force and at all levels.

• Lead, motivate and engage Professional Standards staff, protecting and promoting workforce wellbeing, to enable a high performing team.

• Build and maintain strong working relationships with the senior leadership team and other senior police managers to provide advice and guidance on Professional Standards matters and to identify opportunities for new initiatives that will improve standards of behaviour.

• Manage and report on the performance of the Professional Standards function, setting performance objectives, holding staff accountable for delivering these and taking appropriate corrective action where necessary to ensure the delivery of functional objectives.

• Manage the budget and resources for the department and act as appropriate authority, making decisions in accordance with regulation and legislation to deliver operations that are cost effective and are in line with strategic objectives.

• Develop and communicate Force Professional Standards strategy and associated policies that are aligned with the force’s strategic aims and priorities and with the Code of Ethics to ensure Force-wide awareness of Professional Standards policy.

• Lead the development, implementation and continuous improvement of Professional Standards operating procedures; to ensure that these deliver appropriate outcomes and are consistent with College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice.

• Develop the Professional Standards function capability and capacity to ensure delivery of agreed functional priorities.

• Represent the force to the media and the wider public, to provide information about Professional Standards investigations and initiatives, and promote confidence and trust in the force’s integrity.

• Collaborate with other forces and national bodies, identifying opportunities and contributing to the development of innovation in Professional Standards activities, to improve the effectiveness of evidence-based practices and to foster collaboration to improve the legitimacy, integrity and accountability of policing.


All roles are expected to know, understand and act within the ethics and values of the Police Service.

The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) has six competencies that are clustered into three groups. Under each competency are three levels that show what behaviours will look like in practice.

It is suggested that this role should be operating or working towards the following levels of the CVF:

Resolute, compassionate and committed

Inclusive, enabling and visionary leadership

Intelligent, creative and informed policing

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Prior education and experience:
• Proven track record in leading, managing and developing a diverse team.

• Experienced in making complex decisions and holding accountability for decisions and actions.

• Experienced in operational planning, including experience in leading multiple projects or programmes.

• Accredited and experienced in managing investigations to Professional Investigation Programme (PIP) level 4.

• Thorough understanding of College of Policing Professional Standards guidance.

• Able to use a range of communication and influencing techniques and methods to successfully negotiate, collaborate and/or effect change.

• Skilled in engaging a diverse range of stakeholders and enabling effective collaboration which draws upon a diverse range of skill sets.

• Able to operate with political savviness, able to understand how to most effectively challenge the status quo.

• Able to lead, develop and motivate a diverse team; creating strong engagement with the function’s performance objectives and with Force values and behaviours.

• Able to hold themselves, individuals and the wider team to account for performance and behaviours.

• Able to plan to medium and long-term cycles, to coordinate a complex range of activities, to identify the financial, people and materials resourcing requirements, to identify and act on dependencies with other parts of the Force and to identify and mitigate known risks to delivery.

• Skilled in setting function, team and individual objectives, assessing progress, identifying emerging risks, issues and opportunities, and taking corrective steps as required to ensure that the right results are achieved.

• Able to make operational and business decisions, applying appropriate frameworks, models and risk management processes and anticipating the implications of decisions.

• Able to allocate resources appropriately across the function and utilise commercial acumen to make risk-based decisions that deliver effective outcomes within the available budget.

• Able to apply or devise specialised concepts and methods of analysis (or commission them from others), to clarify and/or solve complex problems.

• Able to identify relevant potential opportunities/threats and assess the impact of events and trends to inform internal planning.

• Skilled in coaching and mentoring to enable appropriate career and professional development.

• Able to create strategic organisational change that reshapes the function, to deliver appropriate responses to emerging trends and issues.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

• Maintain up to date knowledge and understanding of College of Policing Professional Standards College National Guidance and associated guidance.

• Maintain knowledge and understanding of political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors and developments to support and inform a pro-active and preventative approach to policing.

• Maintain a working knowledge and understanding of new and evolving Professional Standards threats and priorities, and current best practice to tackle these, to enable a pro-active and preventative approach.

• Complete all annual and mandatory training including for example, fitness tests, personal safety training, first aid, and protecting information.

• Maintain knowledge and understanding of performance management processes and ensure they are implemented effectively when managing teams.

Professional Registration/Licenses

Not applicable.

Links to other Profiles

• Head of Professional Standards
• Professional Standards/Counter Corruption Manager
• Professional Standards/Counter Corruption Supervisor
• Professional Standards Investigator
• Professional Standards Analyst
• Professional Standards Researcher
• Professional Standards Complaints Administrator
• PIP 4
• Chief Superintendent

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