A plan to introduce exam-based pay rises for police officers has been dropped following discussions at the Police Negotiating Board.
The contentious proposal – as outlined in the Winsor review of police pay and conditions – was to introduce a one-off exam that officers would need to pass if they were to qualify for a pay rise.
However, the plan has been ditched, the Police Federation of England and Wales has said.
Speaking after the final meeting of the Police Negotiating Board (PNB), Andy Ward, the Police Federation of England and Wales’ Deputy General Secretary said both the Staff and Official Sides agreed there should not be formal exams – with officers instead assessed on the competency they demonstrate in role.
He said: “We were pleased that there was agreement the ‘tests’ should be on the basis of continuous professional development.
“This would be instead of a one-off exam, and we see this as positive for our membership. We feel that the method we have agreed is a far more consistent way of assessment.”
One of Tom Winsor’s recommendations was that a foundation skills threshold test should be introduced at point three of the constables’ pay scale.
A proposal had also been put forward by Mr Winsor that said all constables, sergeants and inspectors would also have to pass a specialist skills threshold test to advance to their highest pay point.
However, this plan was scrapped following the meeting, meaning all officers will be eligible to be assessed for the advanced threshold – and this would not be restricted to personnel in specialist areas.
Mr Ward described it as a “positive outcome”.
Mr Ward told PoliceOracle.com he was pleased that both the Staff and Official Sides of the Police Negotiating Board had broadly agreed that one-off testing was not the way forward.
While the fine detail of a proposal had to be hammered out, he added: “This is a very positive thing for us and I am pleased that we have achieved agreement in principle. There is still more work done and part of this will be a comprehensive pilot with an assessment carried out by the College of Policing. The Federation will be involved.”
Nick Smart, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “This is a welcome move. an exam is not a true reflection of a police officer’s performance. This is a fairer way of assessing pay.”
Date posted: August 14, 2014