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Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).

See the MOPC website for further information.

MPA staff recruitment policy

April 2009


The aim of this policy is to provide a framework to create and maintain a diverse workforce with the skills and competencies to deliver the Authority’s vision, strategy and objectives.

It aims to represent best practice, and provides guidelines to be followed in normal circumstances, although there may be circumstances in which variation of, for example target timescales or some processes, will be appropriate. Such variations should be agreed at the planning stage

The Metropolitan Police Authority is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, or religion or belief. This will be reflected in all aspects of its recruitment and selection policy and practice, and is reinforced in the Authority’s Equalities and Inclusion and Gender Reassignment policies


The Authority recognises that recruitment is an opportunity to optimise the fit between the work that needs to be done and the skills, experience and capability of its staff by introducing people whose profile meets current skill shortages and who can fill vacant posts.

It also recognises that recruitment is a complex and resource intensive exercise, in terms of management time and financial expenditure, and that it is essential to get it right.

This policy is therefore designed to assist recruiters to recruit and select the most suitable candidate for a vacancy in an efficient way. In doing so it also guides the recruiter on how to take account of relevant legislation and best practice.

The process outlined below summarises the key steps of any recruitment exercise and should be planned and agreed with HR.

This policy applies to both internal and external recruitment and to all those involved in the recruitment process. When employing temporary or casual staff on a short-term basis the principles of good practice outlined in this policy should be followed. In summary these are that details of a post must be publicised, selection must be on the basis of appropriate criteria and merit, a record of the process and decision must be kept and the monitoring information returned to HR.

The HR Unit is available to give advice and guidance on any aspect of this document.

Guiding principles

Recruitment will be in compliance with agreed budgets and current legislation, and our recruitment practices will ensure that:

  • prospective applicants are given equal and reasonable access to adequate information about the job and its requirements
  • applicants are considered equally on merit at each stage of the selection process
  • selection is based on relevant criteria, outlined in the job/person specification, and applied consistently to all candidates
  • selection techniques are reliable and guard against bias
  • the recruitment process is fair and transparent
  • interviewers are appropriately trained and/or experienced and briefed in recruitment and selection skills
  • our processes are monitored to ensure that they are effective.

First step – deciding whether to recruit

When a vacancy occurs it is the responsibility of the unit manager to review the staffing level within his/her area and decide whether the role is still required and there is budget allocated. The occurrence of a vacancy is an opportunity to review the necessity for the post and its duties, responsibilities and grade.

Consideration should be given to whether:

  • the duties of the post can be subsumed into other existing posts or outsourced
  • the vacancy is permanent or temporary
  • a secondment is appropriate
  • a full-time or reduced hours position is required
  • the vacancy represents a development opportunity for a member of staff
  • any reorganisation which will alter the grade profile or staff numbers within a unit will require consultation with HR and prior authorisation from the Senior Management Team.

Second step – getting authority to recruit

Having decided that it is necessary to recruit, the next step is to seek approval.

Where the role is an existing one and is within budget, then the approval of the appropriate SMT member will be sufficient. Where the role is a new one or outside of budget or the role has been upgraded, then in addition to the SMT member approval the approval of the Chief Executive will be required.

To instigate an internal or external recruitment process a formal request should be submitted to the HR Unit. HR will ensure that the appropriate approvals have been given.

An up to date and accurate job description including a person specification must accompany the request form, and will be checked by HR to ensure it is of an acceptable standard. The job description will describe the duties, responsibilities and level of seniority associated with the post, whilst the employee specification will describe the type of qualification(s), training, knowledge, experience, skills, aptitudes and competencies required for effective performance of the job. Job description guidance is attached in Appendix 5.

If the post is an existing one, then the job description must be reviewed to ensure it is correct – the role may have evolved since the job description was drawn up. If the post is a new one then a new job description must be drawn up and submitted to HR for evaluation of the post prior to proceeding.

In the short term a vacancy can be filled through the use of temporary agency staff or temporary promotion subject to the appropriate procedures, subject to budget availability.

Third step – planning the recruitment exercise

All staff involved in the recruitment and selection process should have first received relevant training or have relevant experience, or be fully briefed by HR.

Having obtained authority to recruit, the next step is for the unit manager and HR to meet and agree a recruitment plan specific to the vacancy in hand which includes:

  • review of the job description, person specification and drafting of the candidate information pack
  • selection criteria, and how they will be scored to inform the shortlisting process
  • agreement on the remuneration package to be offered
  • agreement on whether relocation expenses will be offered
  • the timescale for the recruitment activity, with each milestone planned and timed
  • selection panel composition and members
  • the most appropriate means of recruitment, for example
    •  internal job advertisement before or in parallel with an external advertisement
    •  for external advertising, appropriate advertising media and channels, the services of an approved recruitment agency or search consultant
  • the most appropriate method of selection, eg assessment centres, etc
  • the method by which selection methods will be weighted and scored to give a list of candidates who are appointable, and the preferred candidate
  • agreeing of a budget for the recruitment exercise

There is flexibility in how each recruitment selection process is put together, as long as the principles of fairness and objectivity are followed.

Fourth step – advertising the role

The Authority will always advertise posts internally by means of the “Vacancy Bulletin”. Where it is thought necessary, the Authority will also advertise externally and post vacancies on its website and on AWARE.

Once the plan has been agreed, the role should be advertised.

A candidate information pack appropriate to the job should be collated and agreed between the unit manager and made available to every applicant. This package should include, as a minimum:

  • the job description and if appropriate, the person specification
  • information on the unit
  • information on the Authority
  • core terms and conditions of employment
  • the timetable for the selection process

It is important that this pack is carefully put together in order to present a professional image of the Authority.

Advertising internally:

  • Internal advertisements will be agreed between the unit manager and HR, and will appear on the intranet
  • Care should be taken to ensure that staff on maternity leave, annual leave or sickness absence are aware of and have the opportunity to apply for the position. The responsibility for doing this rests with unit heads of absent staff.
  • All applications will be made in writing to HR, using an “Expression of Interest” form (available from HR),
  • Applications will only be accepted after the closing date in exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of HR.

Advertising externally:

  • External advertisements will be agreed between the unit manager and HR.
  • External advertisements will appear on the Authority’s website
  • All advertisements will conform to the authorised Authority format.
  • Applications will only be accepted after the closing date in exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of HR.

The Communications Team should be consulted about house style etc. where appropriate.

Fifth step – deciding who to interview

The HR Unit will be responsible for organising selection panels.

Selection panels will ideally comprise three people (minimum of two people), including the unit manager. Panels should reflect the diversity of the organisation, for example there should be male and female panel members where possible.

Normally, the unit manager will chair the panel and will be assisted by appropriate senior managers/colleagues.

The panel is responsible for:

  • declaring any prior knowledge of applicants
  • short-listing applicants for interview
  • producing a recruitment short-list report
  • pre-agreeing the core questions
  • interviewing short-listed applicants
  • completing individual assessment sheets
  • agreeing an overall mark for each applicant and ranking all applicants who have been interviewed
  • deciding which candidates are suitable and, if none, recording that decision
  • compiling a final recruitment report
  • providing post-interview feedback to applicants if requested. The offer of feedback for external candidates would normally be available at final assessment stage only and on the request of the candidate within two weeks of being notified of the outcome of his/her assessment. Feedback should then be given within two weeks of the request. Feedback at other stages of the process will be determined on a campaign-by-campaign basis and may be written or verbal.

The short-listing process

Having received applications, the initial task of the panel is to decide which applicants are to be interviewed. In doing so, it must decide who to reject as they do not meet one or more of the criteria identified as essential, and then of those who meet all criteria which appear to be most suitable and should be interviewed. Ideally all members of the selection panel should be involved in the shortlisting process, but if practical considerations make this difficult then a minimum of two members of the interview panel, including the unit manager, should undertake the task. In exceptional circumstances, and by prior agreement with HR, other approaches to shortlisting may be acceptable.

For both internal and external applications the selection panel will meet, normally within five working days of the closing date to short-list for interview.

The panel will produce a short-list report regarding their selection choice and scores using the shortlisting template, a copy of which is attached at Appendix 6. Selection will be against the objective criteria agreed at the recruitment planning stage and will take into account the requirements of the job and person specification. The scoring criteria is also set out in Appendix 6.

Having decided who to interview, the interview format and panel composition must be agreed with HR, and may include some testing of skills, aptitudes and personality.

HR will make arrangements for applicants should be written to as soon as possible, informing them of whether they are to be interviewed, and if there is any delay in arriving at this decision they should be contacted to explain this.

When an applicant is being invited to interview, he/she will be sent a letter or email by HR setting out the date, time and place of his/her interview and any other necessary detail including where appropriate the adjustments to be made when interviewing a disabled person.

Sixth step – interviewing

The interview panel will meet immediately prior to the interview to confirm their agreement on lines of questioning and how the interview will be conducted.

The format of an interview is flexible but should be consistent for each candidate.

Questions will be based on the agreed selection criteria and designed to test whether the applicant possesses the experience, core skills and ability/aptitude required for the post.

Care must be taken to ensure that questions are appropriate, objective, nonbiased and not discriminatory.

It is the joint responsibility of every panel member to create an environment which ensures that all applicants have the opportunity to express themselves openly and demonstrate their suitability for the role.

During the interview each member of the panel will make an individual assessment of the candidate using the “Interview Assessment Sheet” provided by HR.

At the end of each interview the panel will agree a rating for the applicant using the rating scale on the Interview Form – see Appendix 7.

On completion of the interviews the selection panel will jointly review their comments and ratings to rank all applicants in order of merit.

From the collective Interview Assessment Sheets the unit manager/chair of the panel will prepare a summary report for signature by the panel members and forwarding to HR.

No applicant may be contacted before the Interview Report is finalised unless agreed otherwise with HR.

Seventh step – making the job offer

When the preferred candidate has been agreed upon, the next step is to formulate and communicate a job offer. HR and the unit manager will meet to agree the elements of the offer including the starting salary and relocation expenses where applicable. The expectation is that the starting salary will be the minimum of the appropriate incremental scale, except where it is mutually agreed that there is a strong written business case to do otherwise. Examples of issues that should be considered in any such business case are as follows:

  • the individual’s current salary
  • unique skills that the candidate may have
  •  comparisons with the salaries and experience of others in the unit in comparable roles, and
  • any potentially adverse impact caused by offering the recommended salary

Where the recommendation is approved and the offer accepted, a copy of the business case should be kept on the individual’s personal file.

All offers of employment will be confirmed by the HR Unit in writing.

The HR Unit will send a written offer conditional upon receipt of satisfactory references, security clearance, medical checks, confirmation of relevant professional qualifications and degrees, confirmation of right to work in the EU, unspent criminal convictions etc.

HR will seek references and other checks, and will monitor progress with the aim of completing this step in a timely manner. During this period it is important that regular contact with the candidate is maintained so that he/she is kept up to date with progress and any anxiety about delays is dispelled.

All potential members of staff must be fully referenced including security clearances before starting employment with the Authority. The approach to taking up employment references, in particular the timing of taking a reference from the candidate’s existing employer, will be agreed with the candidate.

All unsuccessful applicants will be informed normally by the HR Unit within five working days of their interview and offered the opportunity of feedback. In some cases it may be agreed to hold back sending ‘regret’ letters to unsuccessful candidates who are otherwise appointable until an acceptance has been received from the successful applicant.

If the successful applicant declines the offer, the unit manager should meet with HR to discuss the next steps, initially returning to the details of original applicants selected and, if necessary, reviewing the recruitment plan. It may be possible to offer the role to another interviewee, but only where that person has met or exceeded the required standard.

Eighth step – induction

It is essential that all new and returning staff are given an effective and comprehensive induction. They must understand:

  • their legal rights and responsibilities
  • the terms and conditions that apply to their employment
  • Authority policies and procedures

Induction benefits the individual and organisation in the following ways:

  • It promotes the Authority
  • Staff gain a wider understanding of the ‘bigger picture’ and are more likely to appreciate how their role fits into it
  • An effective planned programme helps staff to become competent in their role quickly and, to feel secure and comfortable which should lead to increased job satisfaction
  • It has been shown that an effective induction programme results in staff being more likely to remain with the organisation

The new member of staff’s manager has overall responsibility for the induction of people new to his/her team. The induction programme is designed to help and support the new person during this process. It is mandatory for all new and returning staff. The appropriate level of induction will depend on a number of factors such as whether someone is new to the Authority or for example is returning from a secondment or maternity leave. The manager will need to tailor the induction to suit this need. All new staff should complete the whole programme within three weeks of joining.

Full details of the induction programme are given in Appendix 3

Ninth step – probation

The Authority expects all of its staff to be effective in their roles. Staff new to their role need help to become fully effective, and the probation process in place to ensure that the member of staff is assisted in doing this.

The probation process is aimed at monitoring the member of staff’s performance in his/her new role at regular intervals, with guidance on how to identify and deal with any under-performance, with the objective of bringing performance up to an acceptable standard. If performance does not reach an acceptable standard during the probationary period, then this can result in termination of employment.

Dealing with recruitment administration

The HR Unit is responsible for:

  • monitoring requests for recruitment and ensuring valid authorisation
  • organising and recording the result of recruitment planning meetings
  • where appropriate, arranging external panel members
  • arranging the selection process
  • handling all enquiries from potential and actual applicants in an appropriate manner
  • ensuring that members of the selection panel receive all relevant documentation in good time and that the panel return all appropriate papers completed and signed
  • ensuring that all applicants are informed of the outcome normally within five working days of the short-list meeting
  • arranging testing or assessment centres with psychometrics where appropriate
  • contacting all participants to notify them of interview times and dates
  • informing applicants of any preparation required for interview
  • ensuring that all unsuccessful interviewees are informed usually within five working days of the interview
  • ensuring all aspects of the recruitment process are suitably documented and authorised
  • meeting with relevant managers to agree the content of employment offers, including exceptionally a starting salary above the minimum of the appropriate incremental scale
  • advising successful applicants and issuing conditional employment offers in agreement with the unit manager, and subject to the checks required
  • obtaining references, medical verification, security clearance and positive results from any other checks before offers of employment are confirmed
  • receiving acceptance of employment offers and informing relevant managers
  • ensuring diversity data is recorded, retained and monitored
  • confirming offers of employment as soon as relevant satisfactory clearances and checks are received
  • maintaining records - for all internal and external candidates records and reports will be kept for a period of twelve months in compliance with Data Protection requirements and then destroyed unless a grievance or a complaint is raised, when the information should be retained for the appropriate length of time.

Recruiting disabled persons

Two ticks logoThe Authority participates in the “two ticks” scheme, and as part of this has made a number of commitments:

  • to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and to consider them on their abilities
  • to ensure there is a mechanism in place to discuss, at any time but at least once a year, with disabled staff, what both parties can do to make sure disabled staff can develop and use their abilities
  • to make every effort when staff become disabled to make sure they stay in employment
  • to take action to ensure that all staff develop the appropriate level of disability awareness needed to make sure these commitments work
  • to review these commitments each year and assess what has been achieved, plan ways to improve on them and let staff and Jobcentre Plus know about progress and future plans

Reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process will be made to ensure that no applicant is disadvantaged because of his/her disability.


The Authority is required by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 to monitor the ethnic origin of applicants for all posts, those short-listed and appointees, and has also decided to monitor sex and disability status. This informs the Authority how its Equal Opportunities Policy is working in practice and whether its recruitment practices are having a discriminatory effect on any particular groups. The HR Unit will therefore complete a Recruitment Monitoring Form in relation to every employment selection decision.

Law relating to this document

  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and 2005
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
  • Employment Equality Regulations 2003
  • Employment Equality Regulations 2003 and 2006

Policy maintenance

This procedure will be reviewed biennially, or earlier if there is a change in relevant employment legislation or in the light of experience. Any amendment to it will be advised to staff in writing by the Authority's HR Unit and such written advice will inform staff as to the date when any amendment comes into effect.

Last Updated - N/A

Who by N/A

Date of Next Review November 2010

Appendix 1 - Interviewing guidelines – good practice

The key purpose of a recruitment interview is to assess the skills, experience and general background of job applicants in order to make a decision on which candidate is the most suitable person for a particular job. Questions should therefore be structured to explore facts and evidence, and interviewers should take care not to make decisions based on assumptions about applicants linked to their own subjective views and opinions.

Avoid bias

  • Do recognise that candidates from different racial backgrounds may have different ways of communicating their achievements at a job interview.
  • Do guard against the 'halo effect'. This occurs when something about a job applicant creates a favourable first impression on the interviewer with the result that he or she may not view the candidate's suitability for the job objectively or recognise any negative elements in his or her background.
  • Do recognise your own general personal attitudes, views and likes/dislikes with regard to people, and learn to put these to one side during selection interviews.
  • Do distinguish between the information that the candidate is presenting and the mode of presentation. Unless presentation skills are relevant to the job in question, a slick and/or confident presentation style will be irrelevant to the person's suitability for the job.
  • Don't allow the initial impression of a job applicant to influence the selection decision, for example by making negative assumptions about an applicant based on mode of dress, general appearance or accent.
  • Don't be influenced by stereotypes, for example assuming that older candidates will not be capable of undertaking training in new technology.

Effective questioning techniques

  • Design questions to check facts, obtain relevant information about each applicant's background, test achievement and assess aptitude and potential.
  • Ask specific questions on matters such as the applicant's work experience, qualifications, skills, abilities, ambitions and strengths/weaknesses.
  • Ask open questions, ie those beginning with 'what', 'which', 'why', 'how', 'where', 'when' and 'who', rather than closed questions inviting only a 'yes' or 'no' answer.
  • Ask questions that are challenging, but never ask them in an intimidating or aggressive tone or manner.
  • Ask questions that require the applicant to give examples of real situations that he or she has experienced, for example: 'Tell me about a time when you had to discipline a member of your staff. How did you handle it?'
  • Ask factual questions about past experience and behaviour and refrain from making assumptions.

Avoid discriminatory questions

Candidates should not be asked questions about:

  • their marital status or marriage plans
  • childcare arrangements
  • general family commitments and/or domestic arrangements
  • actual or potential pregnancy/maternity leave
  • their partner's occupation and mobility
  • any actual or potential absences from work for family reasons
  • their political views

Instead, questions that explore the applicant's ability to perform the job should be asked.

Interviewing a disabled candidate

  • Make sure that any questions asked focus on the applicant's ability to perform the job duties, and not on the potential difficulties that he or she might have in the job on account of the disability.
  • Ask questions related to the effects of the applicant's disability only where the answers are likely to be relevant to the duties of the job for which the person is being considered.
  • Refrain from asking intrusive questions about the candidate's medical condition or disability.
  • Frame questions in a positive way so as to avoid the risk of the job applicant perceiving that you are looking for or anticipating problems.
  • Avoid drawing negative conclusions about a disabled candidate's capabilities without solid evidence, as such assumptions would amount to disability discrimination.

Avoiding age discrimination

When interviewing, managers should beware of placing too much importance on length of experience. Focussing on length of experience will place younger applicants at a disadvantage because they will be less likely than older candidates to have long experience. Instead, managers should concentrate on interviewees' type and breadth of experience, and their skills, competencies and talents.

Interview notes

It is essential for managers conducting recruitment interviews to keep notes of the interview and afterwards to make a record of the rationale behind the selection decision, ie to note the key reasons or reason why the successful candidate was selected and the other shortlisted candidates rejected.

Managers should be aware that any record created about an individual and placed in a structured file (or input to a computer) will give rise to individual rights under the Data Protection Act 1998. Specifically job applicants will have the right, upon written request, to be given a copy of their own file. Interview notes should therefore be compiled with this in mind.

Appendix 2 - The recruitment roadmap

Deciding to recruit and approval process:

  • do I really need to recruit?
  • is my need for a temporary or permanent person?
  • whose approval is necessary?

Deciding how to recruit

  • internal or external, or both?
  • if external, which media?
  • grade and salary range?

Getting ready to recruit

  • providing an up to date and accurate job description and person spec
  • drafting the advert

Placing the advert

  • use of advertising agencies
  • use of recruitment agencies

Dealing with applications

  • acknowledging
  • sifting, and recording decisions/rationale in writing
  • rejecting
  • inviting people for interview

The interview process

  • setting up a panel
  • agreeing the questions
  • whether to use psychometrics and aptitude tests
  • question techniques, including avoiding discriminatory questions
  • need for second interviews
  • recording decisions and rationale in writing

Offering the job

  • agreeing the offer with HR
  • written offer subject to references + medical/security/other checks
  • confirming the offer after checks completed satisfactorily

After offer accepted

  • informing colleagues
  • preparing desk and computer etc
  • arranging induction and workplace colleagues
  • keeping in contact in interim period

When the individual joins

  • completing the induction process
  • setting short term objectives
  • meeting regularly to assess progress

Completing the process

  • completing the probationary period
  • making interim salary award
  • setting formal objectives

Appendix 3 - Induction


All new and returning staff need an effective and comprehensive induction. They must understand:

  • their legal rights and responsibilities
  • the terms and conditions that apply to their employment
  • Authority policies and procedures

There is a separate policy relating to induction, which all managers welcoming new or returning staff should familiarise themselves with prior to a member of staff arriving.

This section aims to summarise the main aspects of that policy, which should be studied in full by the manager of any new starter.

Responsibilities for carrying out Induction

Manage: will explain how the Authority is set up, the requirements of the job, the purpose of probation and the Performance Review procedure.

The HR Unit: will cover housekeeping, such as completing any necessary forms and explaining the induction programme. They are also responsible for the induction programme policy and evaluating the process.

Health and Safety: this will be covered by a thorough risk assessment carried out by the Facilities & Admin team.

Manager or workplace colleague*: provides an escorted tour of the building and introductions to staff on all floors. The will also provide day-to-day guidance in local procedures during the first few weeks.

Senior manager: will explain the values and behaviours give a brief overview of the MPA and its history.

*‘Workplace colleague’: a colleague who is not his/her manager or someone in his/her team to help speed up the settling in period.

The manager’s responsibilities

The manager has overall responsibility for the induction of people new to his/her team. The induction programme is designed to help and support the new person during this process. It is mandatory for all new and returning staff. The appropriate level of induction will depend on a number of factors such as whether someone is new to the Authority or for example is returning from a secondment or Maternity Leave. The manager will need to tailor the induction to suit this need. All new staff must complete the whole programme.

Before the new member of staff joins the manager should:

  • make contact with the person, welcome them to the team and agree any specific actions and requirements
  • inform co-workers of the arrival of the new team member
  • ensure that the person’s desk (desk, stationery, office equipment, email addresses etc) is ready for their arrival
  • complete the new starter form for IT and Health and Safety Induction.
  • appoint a workplace colleague if required.

On the day that the new member joins, the manager should consult the manager’s checklist, which outlines all the key information that any new person needs to know. This checklist prioritises the information into what will be required on Day 1, week 1 and beyond.

Some tips for managers:

  • Plan the induction in advance of the new person arriving. For example, prepare an agenda to help you cover the topics in manageable chunks at a time of day that suits you both.
  • Don’t overload the new person with too much information or too little detail.
  • Be willing to vary the way the inductions carried out if this is necessary to accommodate the special needs of a particular member of staff.
  • Appoint a workplace colleague to help.
  • Allow time to read the Welcome pack.

The manager should aim to complete the induction programme within three weeks for the new person joining. The manager’s checklist gives details of what to cover each week. Remember if someone is part time you will need to adapt these times.

Appendix 4 - Equality and inclusion: things to consider when recruiting

Those involved in recruitment should ensure that they follow the points below to comply with the Authority’s Equalities and Inclusion policy:

  • Ensure that all those involved in recruitment and selection have had appropriate training in recruitment interviewing, diversity and equal opportunities or received the appropriate guidance from the HR Unit
  • Review Job Descriptions to ensure they do not contain any potentially discriminatory criteria that are not essential for the role
  • Advertise vacancies so that they are likely to reach all potential applicants
  • Ensure that recruitment literature and advertisements make it clear that applications are welcome from all suitably qualified candidates and that they avoid stereotypical images
  • Include in any advertising details of flexibilities such as childcare vouchers, job share and flexi time where they are available
  • Advise any agencies, job centres, career offices etc. of the Authority’s Equalities and Inclusion policy and practices and ask them to convey these to potential applicants
  • Ensure that agencies assisting in recruitment operate appropriate diversity policies and procedures when acting on behalf of the Authority
  • Ensure that copies of the Equal Opportunities Statement are sent out to applicants together with other relevant material
  • Incorporate a “welcome statement” in any adverts
  • Ensure that selection decisions are based on objective, non discriminatory, job related criteria, consistently applied to all candidates
  • Ensure that nationality requirements are applied correctly
  • Invite applicants to identify any special arrangements they may need at interview.
  • Ensure that selection decisions for any post are taken by more than one person.
  • Ensure that membership of recruitment panels takes into account, so far as possible, the range of candidates being seen
  • Ensure that selection criteria and reasons for the selection or rejection of individual candidates are recorded
  • Ensure that decisions in relation to promotion opportunities including temporary promotion are non-exclusive and that extended use of temporary promotion is discouraged where it will give one individual an unfair advantage over others
  • Monitor:
    • the results of recruitment processes with regard for decisions which appear to be inconsistent
    • returns of application forms to identify any concerns in failing to attract a broad range of individuals
    • the extent to which recruitment to first appointment and internal promotion affect equal opportunities for all groups

Appendix 5 - Job Description: guidance notes

These are guidance notes to assist job holders in the completion of job description questionnaires.

Section 1: Job Details

Current job holder: Your own name

Job Title: The title by which your job is known

Reports to: The job title of your immediate superior

Section 2: Job Purpose

This should provide an accurate, concise statement in probably not more than 20 words of why the job exists. It should allow readers to immediately focus on the position's overall role in the organisation.

The Purpose Statement should not be a detailed list of duties or a lengthy review of the operation and its problems. The Purpose Statement should give a clear response to the question "Why does the job exist in the organisation?"

It is often helpful to complete the remainder of the job description to develop an overall view of it, and then come back to this question to complete it, using the insights gained from the rest of the questionnaire to crystallise your thoughts on your job's overall purpose.

Section 3: Dimensions

Do not produce a long list of statistics which relate to the job, but include essential information about:

a) Capital and Revenue Budgets - when quoting figures, it is important to show only figures on which your activities have some impact.

b) Staff Numbers - show the total number of subordinates who report through to you, whether direct or through intermediate supervisors/managers. It is helpful to have a breakdown of salary level and/or function for those jobs where large numbers of staff are involved

c) Other Statistics - relevant information or statistics for example membership of committees or publications issued each year. Do, however, restrict yourself to statistics which are strictly relevant to your job.

Section 4: Organisation Chart

The purpose of this Section is to establish how the job fits into the rest of the organisation. It should make the following points clear:

a) The boss' job.

b) Job titles of colleagues reporting to the same boss.

c) Jobs reporting directly to you.

It is usually best to draw the chart with the boss in the centre at the top, the job in question immediately below with peers on either side. Subordinate jobs should then be shown below.

If a printed organisation chart already exists, attach a copy and highlight your own job.

Section 5: Knowledge, Skills and Experience

We are concerned here with any kind of skill, knowledge or experience required for satisfactory performance of the job. The fact that the job holder possesses particular skills or knowledge may colour his or her judgement of the relevance to the job, but as far as possible, this Section should describe the typical skills requirement rather than the particular attributes of the job holder.

In many cases, the preceding sections of the description will have given a broad indication of the skills or knowledge needed. What is needed is to provide a more precise understanding of the knowledge and skill demanded by the job than may be immediately obvious from the proceeding sections. What is the type, breadth and depth of knowledge and experience needed. Is there a specific skill, competence or qualification required to perform the job?

Section 6: Key Result Areas

This is the most important part of the job description. Getting it right is in many ways the hardest part of the exercise.

Key Result Areas are statements of the end results required of a job.

The characteristics of Key Result Areas are:

  • In total they represent all the key outputs of the job.
  • They describe end results not duties or activities. They tell the what not the how of the job.
  • They are worded to emphasise action that leads to an end result.
  • Each statement describes a distinct end result, arising from an identifiable element or "set" of activities in your job.
  • They are not broad and vague statements - they must be specific.

Key Result Area statements ideally should be worded so that they will lead to thoughts of measurement. For example, it is better to state something like "achieve maintenance standards" than "undertake maintenance". The former leads to a measure against the maintenance standards.

These principles can be illustrated by taking the simplest form of organisation, the one man business, such as a barrow-boy. If he were able to specify the purpose of his business it might be something like:

"To make a comfortable living by the sale of fresh fruit and vegetables at good profit margins".

To achieve this overall purpose the barrow-boy will have to achieve results in a number of areas. The Key Results are:

  • Buying - buy the fruit and vegetables at a price that will enable him to earn a suitable profit.
  • Pricing - ensure the prices are right so that people will buy.
  • Siting - locate his barrow in the most suitable place to achieve trade.

Note that the Key Result Areas spell out why and the what of the job, not the detailed how of the job. The kind of barrow required, the exact location of the barrow, the cost of the fruit etc., are not described in detail. They are obviously important in the operation of the business and will help determine its relative success or failure. But we do not detail this because if we do we only serve to constrain the barrow-boy. If we tell him, he must site his barrow in a certain location or that he must pay a certain price for his fruit then we narrow considerably his area of freedom and his answerability for the results of the business. Duties and details constrain people: the definition of the Key Result Areas free people to do their best.

The following is an example of a Key Result Area statement:

  • Action: negotiate and monitor the performance of the catering contract
  • Result: to ensure the hospital is receiving value for money

General Comments

Most jobs contain between five and ten Key Result Areas. If you can identify only two or three, think again. There are probably more. On the other hand, if you find you come up with a dozen or more statements, re-examine them and see if some of them are not different facets of the same end result or due to your activity statements.

To help in developing Key Result Areas, the last page of these notes contains a list of action words which often feature in managerial Key Result Areas statements.

Section 7: Communications and Working Relationships

This Section specifies the various types of people either inside or outside the organisation that the job needs to have contact with, and why. This also specifies the type of communication and its purpose and explains why there is a need to maintain such contacts.

Section 8: Scope For Impact

Describe examples of your work together with the complexities and any other significant aspects of your job.

Section 9: Job Description Agreement

This Section should simply be signed and dated by you and authorised by your manager, and indicates that the countersigning officer agrees that the completed job description gives an accurate outline and picture of the job.

Person specification:


A qualification should only ever be specified where there is a genuine occupational requirement, e.g CCAB accountancy qualification for the Treasurer


Ideally 8-10 bullet points and must include:

  • Political sensitivity (where appropriate to the role) and the ability to offer advice in an impartial way.

The post holder may, from time to time, be required to undertake additional or other broadly similar duties as appropriate and as necessary to meet the needs of Authority’s business.

Equal opportunities

The post holder must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the general and specific duties of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act and the MPA’s equal opportunities policy and any associated policies and practices.

Health and safety

The Authority is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment in accordance with recognised standards, legislative requirements and the provisions of the Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1974. The Authority expects all its staff to implement and promote its policy in all aspects of their work.

Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection

The post holder acknowledges and accepts personal responsibility, as a member of a public authority, relating to all information created and held in any media by themselves and the organisation under the provisions of the FOIA.

The post holder acknowledges and accepts that the Authority may process information relating to them in order to fulfil the Authority’s obligations under the terms of their appointment and/or for reasons relating to their appointment with the Authority. Such processing will be principally for personnel, administrative and payroll purposes.

Political restrictions

The Authority is a local authority for the purposes of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (LGHA) and holders of politically restricted posts, as defined by the Act, are restricted from undertaking certain political activities.  All posts where the remuneration level (or full time equivalent for part timers) is or exceeds point 44 on the Local Government pay scale (currently £37,730 as at 1/4/20008) will be automatically included on the list of politically restricted posts. This also includes part-time posts where, if the individual were employed full time, the equivalent remuneration would equal or exceed the salary threshold.

There are some posts, which receive a lower remuneration figure than the one quoted which will still be deemed to be politically restricted. This is based on the nature of the role and or the type of advice given to members.

Security vetting

Only one of the following categories will be applied to each post holder.

Security clearance is necessary to protect premises, personnel and the information assets of the MPA/MPS and minimise the risk of unauthorised entrance to premises or disclosure of information that would compromise national security, policing operations, the safety of police officers and police staff as well as safeguarding personnel information relating to police officers and police staff. One of the levels of vetting for clearance will be referred to on the job description.

Counter-terrorist Check (CTC)

Counter terrorist Check (CTC) is a level of clearance in the National Security Vetting System. However, an initial vetting clearance (ICV) is required before any form of national security vetting clearance at any level can be granted.

CTC is required for any individual who requires unescorted access to ‘designated’ MPS premises, or access to sensitive MPS information, which may be useful to a terrorist organisation, or has close proximity to an individual who is assessed as a terrorist target.

The level of security clearance will be reviewed in accordance with the Authority’s policy.

Security Check (SC)

Security Check (SC) clearance is a level of vetting clearance in the National Security Vetting System. SC clearance is required for those individuals who are to be employed in posts, which involve long term frequent and uncontrolled access to SECRET assets, and require occasional, supervised access to TOP SECRET assets and Information.

Documents of use:

  • Police Staff and Police Officer Security Clearance
  • Non-Police Personnel Security Clearance

The level of security clearance will be reviewed in accordance with the Authority’s policy.

Management Vetting (MV)

Management Vetting (MV) is not a level of clearance in the National Security Vetting system. It is unique to the MPS/MPA. It is specifically assigned to those individuals who will be required to undertake posts within designated sensitive areas. The MV process is a detailed, through examination of the candidate’s work history, life style, social activity and finances.

The level of security clearance will be reviewed in accordance with the Authority’s policy.

Developed Vetting (DV)

Developed Vetting is designed for those individuals who have long term frequent and uncontrolled access to TOP SECRET information. This process is managed by Special Branch.

The level of security clearance will be reviewed in accordance with the Authority’s policy.

More information

If you require more information please contact MPA Human Resources by telephone: 020 7202 0202, Minicom: 020 7202 0173, by email: or enquiries by post: Human Resources, 10 Dean Farrar Street, London, SW1H 0NY.

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