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National Police Promotion Framework - FAQs

  1. I am not familiar with the National Police Promotion Framework (NPPF), what is the product?

    The NPPF is a four step promotion process for police officers seeking promotion to the rank of sergeant or inspector. Promotion is only attained once a candidate has successfully completed all four steps. Completion of Step 4 also leads to a professional qualification in police management.

    • Step 1 – Competence in current rank
    • Step 2 – Examination of Law and Procedure
    • Step 3 – Local selection process and matching to vacancies
    • Step 4 – Temporary Promotion (12 months) and work based assessment
    The purpose of step one is to confirm that the individual is competent in their current role, and step two provides an objective assessment of the officer’s knowledge and understanding of relevant law and procedure (this is the same examination as the current OSPRE Part I). Step three allows forces to manage the numbers of candidates against the number of planned vacancies within the force. It will be a competency-based assessment designed and delivered in force, under national quality assurance arrangements. Once selected for step four officers are given temporary promotion to the next rank. They are developed and assessed within that role against National Occupational Standards (NOS). If successful at step four, the officer is substantively promoted and can attain a professional qualification in police management.
  2. Why is the College of Policing and the Police Promotion Examinations Board (PPEB) implementing the NPPF?

    The NPPF is different in a number of respects to previous promotion models. Firstly it allows forces and candidates to be confident that there is national oversight of the promotion process, particularly on how officers attain new skills relevant to their role and rank. Previously candidates promoted post-OSPRE Part II were developed through locally designed programmes. Under NPPF candidates are temporarily promoted and assessed in the role and rank against NOS relevant to that rank. Successful candidates are substantively promoted and obtain a qualification which is recognised and transferrable externally. Promotion opportunities have and will remain reduced and a more refined system of selecting the very best candidates is required. NPPF allows each force to manage candidate numbers by aligning vacancies to candidate volumes, using an appropriate localised selection process. This also helps to manage the expectations of officers seeking promotion during a period when limited opportunities are available
  3. How will the roll out of the NPPF be managed across the service?

    Forces will operate all future promotion processes as part of the NPPF. The College of Policing will work with staff within each force to explain all aspects of the NPPF. When the NPPF is available, each force will communicate with eligible promotion candidates as to the format and timescales for their future promotion processes, managing the candidate transition to the NPPF in doing so.
  4. Why does the NPPF still include a legal exam?

    The legal knowledge examination at step two (OSPRE Part I) remains a requirement under the regulations as it is essential to test legal knowledge required at the aspired rank. The step two examination ensures that the supervisors and managers of the future have a comprehensive understanding across the full breadth of law and procedure required in the role. The use of the step two examination means that officers’ knowledge and understanding can be objectively assessed against an agreed national standard and provides the most effective and efficient means of achieving this. The legal knowledge held by officers seeking promotion should also be contemporary, which is why a pass at NPPF Step Two (OSPRE Part I) is subject to a five year validity period.
  5. I hold a current OSPRE® Part I pass – can I still take OSPRE® Part II?

    The short answer is no. OSPRE Part II will be removed from the Police (Promotion) Regulations 1996 and this amendment will become effective before the next OSPRE Part II was due to be held.
  6. If there is no OSPRE® Part II, what is the next step?

    Forces will engage in a workforce planning process to identify how many vacancies or proposed vacancies they will have at the rank of Sergeant or Inspector. They will then announce a local selection process (step three) and providing a candidate is still within the 5 year validity period of the Part I pass, they will be eligible to apply. Successful candidates will then move to NPPF Step 4 as discussed at answer 1 above.
  7. What happens if my Part I validity period is about to expire?

    It is important to note that before applying at step three a candidate must ensure they have sufficient validity period remaining to meet the date that the step three results are scheduled to be announced. A candidate whose validity period expires before that scheduled date, even if they were successful at the local selection process, will not progress to step four. Where a candidate successfully appeals a decision not to be selected at step three, then the validity period would automatically cover that appeal period and the selection to step four would be recognised. Candidates in the final year of their Five year validity period can either choose to re-qualify at NPPF step two (OSPRE part I) or remain within the current validity period in anticipation of an NPPF step three process being held in that force. In choosing to re-qualify a candidate will sit the NPPF step two (OSPRE part I) which falls on the final anniversary of their previous attempt. If successful they would then have a further five year validity period. However in choosing to re-qualify, candidates will give up any remaining validity period from the previous pass falling between the closing date for entries to NPPF step two (OSPRE part I) and the examination date. If a step three process were to be announced within these dates a candidate would not be eligible to access that step three process. Candidates may, however, opt to retain the remainder of their NPPF step two (OSPRE part I) pass in anticipation of a NPPF step three process which may take place between the closing date for entries to NPPF step two (OSPRE part I) and the next examination date. These candidates may not re-enter the NPPF step two (OSPRE part I) until the following year.
  8. What happens if I am unsuccessful at Step Three?

    Candidates who are unsuccessful at step three will remain at step two and can reapply as many times as they wish providing they have sufficient validity period remaining at NPPF step two. Candidates should ask for feedback on their performance at the step three process and where necessary work with their line manager to construct a development plan. Where an unsuccessful candidate has insufficient validity period remaining for a further attempt, they will have to reapply at step one.
  9. I hold an OSPRE® Part I and Part II pass - how am I affected?

    Whilst your force continues to use OSPRE you will be able to apply for promotion under the process advertised by your force. As forces move to National Police Promotion Framework (NPPF), chief officers will be encouraged to use NPPF step three to assess all suitably qualified officers wishing to apply for a place at step four. As you have completed a promotion process the validity period does not apply and you may reapply at any future step three process providing you meet any locally developed eligibility criteria where this is in place.
  10. If I have passed OSPRE® why am I now required to follow NPPF at step three and engage in work based assessment at step four?

    Having been successful within the OSPRE process there are two issues which need to be understood. First a pass at OSPRE part II only ever qualified a candidate for promotion. Most forces would still hold a local selection process and accessing NPPF at step three just formalises that process. Secondly, if selected, an OSPRE I and II qualified candidate would be substantively promoted rather than temporarily promoted. However, chief officers can determine that as part of the 12 month probationary period for new sergeants (or as part of a development programme for new inspectors) that those officers should undertake a formal development programme in the workplace. As step four specifically provides key learning and development opportunities against NOS and officers can also attain a formal qualification, it would be sensible for that programme to be followed. Looking forward, an externally recognised qualification in management will be of value to officers seeking re-employment once they have retired or left the service.
  11. Where do I go with further questions?

    Please contact your Force Examinations Officer (FEO) in the first instance. Your FEO will contact the College of Policing in the event that they are unable to respond to your query.