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This page contains details of the talent management and succession planning scrutiny.

Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).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

Talent management and succession planning scrutiny

This closely defined scrutiny was conducted during September and October 2007. The scrutiny report was presented to the Metropolitan Police Authority’s (MPA’s) Coordinating and Policing Committee (CoP) in February 2008.  The MPA's response to the report was presented to the Full Authority meeting in April 2008.


The Metropolitan Police Authority is responsible for recruiting and appointing all senior officers in the Met. We want to ensure that the quality and diversity of those coming forward in the next decade continues to be of the high calibre we are used to seeing and Londoners deserve.

Top class leaders are thin on the ground, and this problem will only exacerbate unless current arrangements for identifying, developing and accelerating promotion at all ranks are fully addressed. The Met’s Director of Human Resources has already commissioned some work to look at developing a more representative workforce, particularly in terms of leadership roles. However, it would be too easy to assume that the Authority’s concerns are being fully addressed. This may not necessarily the case and we carried out this comprehensive scrutiny to investigate the issues around succession planning and career development in order to address the needs of the Metropolitan Police Service in the 21st Century.

The Police Federation places an absolute premium on the need for senior officers to have experience of life on the beat. While we broadly agree with this, we believe that very shortly we will have to introduce a scheme that recruits the best talent from a variety of backgrounds and exposes them to experience of life policing London’s streets. Intensive training will emphasise leadership and the best will be fast tracked through the ranks, while those falling short of high standards will not be advanced.

Scrutiny panel membership

The scrutiny Panel was made up of the following MPA members:

Bill Taylor (former Commissioner of the City of London Police and Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland) was an independent adviser to the scrutiny.

Terms of reference

The objectives of the scrutiny were to:

  • Assess the extent to which appropriate structures are in place, and resources available, to identify, select and support succession planning and talent management for police officers in the MPS and the police service;
  • Ascertain how the MPS and the police service is identifying, selecting and nurturing police officers to be leaders in 5/10/15 years time;
  • Clarify what work is currently being carried out or planned to identify, select, and support the MPS and police service's leaders and future leaders;
  • Identify any gaps in the current approach that need to be addressed:
  • Understand what is being done to address the under representation of women and BME police officers at senior levels;
  • Identify what can be learnt / assimilated from the experience and best practice of others in the public and private sector including, for example, the level at which intervention is appropriate;
  • Ensure the MPA and the MPS has a consistent approach to address the leadership requirements of the MPS and that this is flexible enough to adapt to changes in policing policy, practice, style or management;
  • Consult with key stakeholders, organisations and individuals to inform and shape the approach that should be taken to succession planning and talent management;
  • Consider what the MPA and MPS can do in the short / medium / long term to address the issues that are identified and what the barriers to further action are; and
  • Ensure that the MPA identifies what it wants in terms of succession planning and talent management and has a clear idea of what needs to be done to achieve this.

Key exclusions

Any review of this nature is potentially extremely wide ranging. There is a considerable body of work undertaken by statutory, academic, public and private sector organisations. We have used a number of documents for background research and to provide background and context for this review.

However to ensure the scrutiny remained focused and deliverable within the given time constraints the following areas were excluded:

  • The succession planning and talent management of police staff, although there may be a 'read across' in some of the recommendations;
  • The legislative framework within which polices forces currently operate including employment law; and
  • For the purposes of this scrutiny the role and function of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) were excluded, as the role does not have a promotion structure.

For more information on the succession planning and career development scrutiny, or if you would like to receive a copy of the report, please contact:

Policy and Development Officer - Scrutiny and Reviews
Metropolitan Police Authority
10 Dean Farrar Street

Tel: 020 7202 0120
Fax: 020 7202 0100
Minicom: 020 7202 0173

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