3 The Professional Body |
101. In this chapter we consider the recommendations
in Peter Neyroud's review of police leadership and training, whether
there is a need to professionalise the police service, the role
of the Association of Chief Police Officers in the current landscape
and whether it would still be needed if there were to be a Professional
Body for policing, the role of the Professional Body in relation
to training and guidance, and, finally, the governance arrangements
and budgets for the proposed new body.
Peter Neyroud's Review
102. In August 2010, the Home Secretary commissioned
Peter Neyroud, who was then Chief Executive of the National Policing
Improvement Agency, to undertake a review of police leadership
and training. The terms of reference included :
- how ACPO can own and develop
a shared vision in the service which engages practitioners, with
Police and Crime Commissioners locally and nationally, with Government
and other organisations such as the new National Crime Agency,
for the standards of leadership and the development of the profession,
building on learning from the Leadership Strategy;
- how to develop an ACPO capacity to deliver leadership
development, and assessment/accreditation, supported by the Superintendents'
Association, the Police Federation and others, which brings a
cohesive approach to the leadership landscape;
- how the leadership functions can be transitioned
effectively in the context of the need for very substantial budget
- the need to respond to the Government's priority
of reducing the unsustainable national deficit, including alternative
funding models for leadership that both reduce and recover cost;
- the potential role of other providers in training
delivery, including other public sector leadership academies,
the private sector, and other institutions.
103. Peter Neyroud published his review on 5
April 2011. Its principal recommendation is the creation of a
new Professional Body for policing "embracing the whole of
the police service and responsible for leadership, learning and
The review proposes that the new body would be supported by
a Charter and would be responsible for:
- key national standards, both
individual and organisational;
- qualification frameworks; and
- leadership and training approaches for the service.
The body would therefore be taking on some of the
functions currently performed by the National Policing Improvement
Agency and some currently performed by the Association of Chief
Police Officers, points to which we return later.
The need to professionalise the
104. Peter Neyroud commented in his review that
"the police service needs to move from being a service that
acts professionally to becoming a professional service".
He expanded on what he meant by this when he gave evidence to
There has been a great deal of work to make the service,
for example, much better at investigating crime, much better at
dealing with particular specialist functions, but, to be frank,
none of those have been pulled together as a clear, single, professional
body of knowledge yet.
Reactions from our other witnesses to the idea of
a Professional Body for policing ranged from enthusiastic to cautiously
supportive to sceptical. There appears to be no one dominant
reactionpositive or negativein the policing world,
and this in itself could prove problematic to the Body's development.
Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers,
said that he personally was in favour of the proposal for a chartered
institute: "I think it professionalises policing or recognises
policing as a profession and gives us a chance to make sure that
we maintain certain standards."
Inspector Damian O'Reilly, an officer with Greater Manchester
Police, was also positive about the idea:
Personally I think there are merits obviously in
professionalising the police service.... When you compare us to
other organisations because, perhaps, we are not accredited for
a lot of the courses that we have done in terms of a recognisable
qualification, arguably that affects credibility.
105. However, Derek Barnett, President of the
Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales, said
that although he and his members supported the idea of a Professional
Body in principle, he was less clear about how it would work in
The difficulty appears to have been in the terminology,
because nobody is quite clear what a "professional body"
means in policing. The Royal College of Nursing, for example,
is a trade union that acts in furtherance of the interests of
its members. I think what Peter Neyroud is suggesting is something
that is both regulatory but also membership-focused, and that
has caused us a bit of difficulty because it becomes a bit of
a hybrid organisation.
Paul McKeever, Chairman of the Police Federation,
commented that he was still consulting his members, but stated:
We have some real concerns with a professional body.
We wonder why it is that we need a professional body when policing
is in effect a profession already, and we wonder how it is going
to alter the dynamic with the office of constable in particular.
He commented: "if ACPO perhaps was not under
pressure to change what it is...would we be facing a professional
body? I do not think that we would."
106. There is some support for
a Professional Body for policing from within the service itself,
but there does not appear to be a strong demand for such a body
as yet. Peter Neyroud's proposals seem
to have been strongly influenced by the need to adjust to the
phasing out of the National Policing Improvement Agency and redefine
the role of the Association of Chief Police Officers, rather than
the need to professionalise the police service per se. This does
not mean that a Professional Body could not ultimately become
a useful part of the policing landscape, but it does mean that
if the Government proceeds with these proposals, it will need
to win hearts and minds and to convey coherently the nature and
role of the new body.
The Professional Body and ACPO
107. The Association of Chief Police Officers
(ACPO) was founded in 1948 and, over the years, it has taken on
an increasing number of roles in relation to the national-co-ordination
of policing and policy-making. It would be an exaggeration to
say that it has acquired these roles by accident rather than by
design, but there is an element of chance in the way it has developed.
Sir Hugh Orde, President of ACPO, stated that it had a grip on
the national policing landscape, but commented: "It is not
through any choice; it is because someone has to do it."
Mick Creedon, the Chief Constable of Derbyshire, commented on
"the huge complexity of policing and where things sit"
and stated: "What has happened, I think, is that we have
put things in places by default." 
108. ACPO's membership comprises chief officers
of the rank of Assistant Chief Constable (Commander in the Metropolitan
Police Service and City of London Police) or above, as well as
senior police staff equivalents. There are currently 334 members.
Chief officers are not remunerated for their work for ACPO and
carry out their duties in addition to their everyday work. The
President of ACPO is a full-time, paid post, however. ACPO describes
itself as "a professional body not a staff association."
A separate body, the Chief Police Officers' Staff Association,
acts as a staff association.
109. ACPO's work is conducted through business
areas, which are headed by a serving chief officer, who has responsibility
for that broad area of policing. Under each business area, there
are portfolios, which are the responsibility of individual officers,
who are then the national lead on that specific issue. The business
areas are: children and young people; crime; criminal justice;
equality, diversity and human rights; finances and resources;
futures; information management; local policing and partnerships;
Olympics; performance management; terrorism and allied matters;
uniformed operations; and workforce development. ACPO develops
national standards and professional practice in these areas.
It also has oversight of a number of national policing units,
agencies, and projects, including until recently the national
units on domestic extremism, which are now the responsibility
of the Metropolitan Police.
ACPO employs a small secretariat of 23 staff to assist with its
110. Avon and Somerset Constabulary stated in
its written evidence that there was a recognition, "led by
ACPO itself," that ACPO needed to change.
Part of the concern about ACPO relates to its status since
1997 as a limited company, which Sara Thornton, the Chief Constable
of Thames Valley, described as "a device to sort out a very
practical issue about renting premises and employing staff."
The fact that ACPO is a limited company means that it is not automatically
subject to the Freedom of Information Act. There are also wider
concerns about its accountability. In evidence given to our predecessor
Committee shortly after taking up the role of President, Sir Hugh
We are more than happy to be subject to the Freedom
of Information Act. Of course, most of our information is owned
by chief constables anyway so it is absolutely retrievable, but
I do think we are more than happy for that and work is underway
on that front with legislation that, I am told, will be necessary
to achieve it.
The Information Commissioner's Office told us that
it welcomed the intention to bring ACPO under the provisions of
the Freedom of Information Act.
111. The need for greater transparency is not,
however, the only concern that has been raised about ACPO. The
involvement of its members, who are unelected and unaccountable,
in policy-making has also caused disquiet. The Police Foundation
we believe ACPO should take great care when advising
on policing policy...We strongly believe that policy should for
the main part be left to Government ministers who are accountable
to Parliament. ACPO has been criticised on a number of occasions
for lobbying on policing policy issues, particularly under the
last government, and we believe that this should not continue.
112. In Policing in the 21st Century,
the Government commented that ACPO's role in the new landscape
would be in "repositioning itself as the national organisation
responsible for providing the professional leadership for the
police service, by taking the lead role on setting standards and
sharing best practice across the range of police activities."
Peter Neyroud's terms of reference included consideration of
ACPO's role in the new landscape and his review itself stated:
"The Professional Body will 'reposition' ACPO by merging
its functions into the new body whilst bringing in members from
across the service, from police officer and police staff roles."
113. Taking both of these comments together raises
the question of whether the Professional Body will essentially
be ACPO by a different name. When we asked Peter Neyroud whether
the Professional Body was "just a revamped ACPO", he
No, absolutely not...I think there are some pretty
well rehearsed flaws in the current organisation, not the least
of which was creating the organisation as a company limited by
guarantee operating in public spacethat was a serious flaw.
I have been very careful to try and set out an organisation that
encompasses the whole of the profession. I think that is, again,
a deep flaw in the current process.
114. We asked Sir Hugh Orde how he thought the
new Professional Body would differ from ACPO. He commented:
I think the very clear difference is it [the Professional
Body] is an inclusive organisation that requires the support and
engagement of every officer...so it is completely different. It
would be a body of 145,000-plus people. It should include all
people who are involved in policing, sworn and unsworn; otherwise,
frankly, over time it will not work.
This commitment to an inclusive organisation sounded
positive, but was slightly undercut when Sir Hugh added: "Whether
one can start off with that sort of great big event or we need
to start building incrementally I think is a matter for debate."
115. Some of the rhetoric used in the review
also raises doubts about how inclusive the body would be in practice.
The review referred to ACPO as being the "head and heart"
of the new Professional Body.
Sara Thornton, one of ACPO's three Vice Presidents, described
the phrase as "probably ill advised." She said: "In
my view, the heart of policing is the people who go and work 24/7
in all weathers doing difficult jobs, and not chief officers necessarily."
She said that the new body needed to be "intensely democratic"
and "to include the whole of the service, all ranks, police
staff and police officers."
116. It is extremely unhelpful
to talk of ACPO as being the head and the heart of the new Professional
Body, or to use similar expressions. ACPO represents and involves
chief officers and the most senior managers in the police service,
whereas a significant contribution is made by superintendents.
The Police Superintendents' Association has for years made a
valuable contribution to professional development and standards,
as well as reflecting the practicalities of crime
reduction work on the ground. The majority of police officers
are represented by the Police Federation, which also makes an
important contribution to training and development. All three
elements of the police service, and all three bodies need to share
and be engaged in developing a Professional Body.
117. It is also unhelpful to
suggest that the Professional Body could become inclusive in stages.
If the Professional Body is to succeed, it must be inclusive
from the outset. The police's basic Peelian mission to prevent
crime and disorder should be at the centre of the Professional
Body. The Professional Body has the potential to change the police
service for the better, particularly with regard to traininga
point to which we return laterbut only if it is emphatically
not, and not perceived to be, a repositioned ACPO. Individual
police officers and members of staff, whatever their rank, need
to believe that this is their body: not least because, as we discuss
below, they would be contributing a substantial element of its
The role of the Professional
GUIDANCE AND STANDARDS
118. One of the principal roles of the Professional
Bodya role currently performed by ACPOwould be the
issuing of guidance and the setting of standards. In the light
of the concerns that have been raised about ACPO's involvement
in developing policy, we asked Peter Neyroud about the distinction
between setting guidance and standards, and setting policy. He
commented that there was a difference between policy, which is
the province of Ministers, and "the day-to-day practice that
police officers do." He illustrated his point with the example
of the police use of firearms. He stated:
there is a distinction between the overall policy
about how the police service in England and Wales approaches the
issue of the use of lethal force, which is properly the province
of political debate and...of these two Houses, and the detailed
practice about how you train police officers, how they will physically
carry out their duty.
He agreed, however, that "there is always going
to be a join between the detailed practice and training and the
In the review itself, he stated:
in policing there are some standards which will create
a probability of police officers using significant force and therefore
causing harm to citizens, where the standard is designed to protect
the public from a serious and significant risk of harm, or where
the standard carries the possibility or indeed strong probability
of a significant interference with liberty. In these cases, it
seems to me that those standards should be the subject of external
scrutiny and, in many cases, by agreement between the Police Professional
body and the Secretary of State.
119. When we asked Peter Neyroud who would decide
whether an area of practice required this higher degree of public
scrutinya question he himself raised in the reviewhe
commented: "I would expect there to be a very clear set of
agreements and understandings openly set out between the professional
body, [and] the Home Secretary".
We note that although Peter Neyroud made a distinction between
the two spheres of policy and practical guidance, he thought that
the Professional Body should have a role in both. He stated:
"a professional body can properly operate in the second sphere
and can properly influence the first."
120. The new Professional Body
should not be a policy-setting body for policing. National policy
should be set by the Home Office and guidance and standards issued
by the Professional Body should be subordinate. In recognition
of the fact that guidance and standards sometimes shade into policy,
the Home Office will need to review what is developed and refer
it to Ministers as necessary. We return
to the issuing of guidance in our chapter on bureaucracy.
121. Given that the Professional Body would take
on ACPO's functions in relation to guidance and standards the
question arises of whether there would still be a need for a separate
ACPO in the new landscape. Sir Hugh Orde, perhaps unsurprisingly,
implied that there would. After commenting favourably on Peter
Neyroud's proposal for a Professional Body for policing, he added:
That all having been said, we still come up against
this difficult territory when you are trying to deliver a consistent
approach to deal with national threats of some structure whereby
the chief constables have to come together to agree those operational
Sara Thornton, the Chief Constable of Thames Valley
Police and a Vice-President of ACPO, also thought that there would
still be a need for a body involving Chief Constables that was
separate from the Professional Body. She stated:
Where we have a slight concern is that the assumption
is that somehow the Chief Constables' Council could be part of
such a democratic body. I am not sure it could be because there
are some decisions on which 44 chiefs who have legal direction
and control responsibilities come together to agree common ways.
A couple of examples would be the command protocols we have for
dealing with terrorism incidents or, indeed, the way we have all
agreed to deal with the threat from marauding gunmen. I would
contend that that sort of decision could not be taken by a professional
body. It has to be a decision made by 44 Chief Constables, with
the legal responsibility they have, agreeing to do the same thing
in the national interest.
122. There should be a Chief
Constables' Council, separate from the Professional Body. Its
purpose should purely be for Chief Constables to discuss operational
matters. The Council should not be a policy-making body, any
more than the Professional Body should be. In addition, the Council
should not have its own operational capacity or functions, and
should not conduct for-profit activities.
123. In addition to guidance and standards, the
Professional Body would have responsibility for training. In
his review, Peter Neyroud referred to "a transformation of
the culture of learning in the police service."
He advocated "moving away from in house delivered programmes
which have been largely classroom based to a new partnership with
Higher Education, building towards the 'teaching hospitals' for
policing linking learning with practice." He also recommended
"a new professional qualification framework [which] will
see managers and frontline officers developed and supported to
keep their practice current and consistent with the best."
124. When we asked Paul McKeever, Chairman of
the Police Federation, whether he thought that the Professional
Body would improve the quality of and access to training, he replied:
The best training that police officers get is on
the job when you are with other officers and learn directly from
them. However, we have a training body that was set up only two
or three years agothe National Police Improvement Agencyand
within forces we also have a lot of independent training bodies
and units to deal with particular aspects of that. Do we need
a separate entity? I am not sure.
However, the National Policing Improvement Agency
will not be in existence for much longer, and, unless all training
is going to be provided locally, a national body will have to
take on some of its functions. Moreover, under Peter Neyroud's
proposals, which employ the 'teaching hospitals' model, training
would take the form of "on the job" learning as well
125. We asked Peter Neyroud how his recommendations
would help police officers to avoid making mistakes when they
carried out their mission of preventing crime and disorder, using
the mistakes made in the investigation into the murders committed
by Peter Sutcliffe as an example. Peter Neyroud replied that
there were several elements of his proposals that would be helpful
in such a context:
the first of which is to place a greater onus on
individuals to be continuously professionally developed through
their career. That has been one of the flaws, and there has been
a tendency to have long periods between training when practice
should have changed. Secondly, there is a strong thread running
through this about ensuring the quality of specialist training,
and including detectives. Thirdly, there is a stronger thread
about senior managers: because a large part of the problem with
the Ripper inquiry was also about senior managers who didn't properly
supervise and didn't understand how to make the investigation
work, there is a substantial amount of emphasis on ensuring better
qualifications at those key levels.
126. Tom Winsor commented that the creation of
a Professional Body would be "very likely to harmonise"
with his own recommendations. He stated that a Professional Body
would fit "rather neatly with the principles and proposals
that I have made for the establishment, for example, of the expertise
and professional accreditation allowance," which would allow
for "the recognition of skills that are acquired and used
in police careers so that those who do not only the most arduous
jobs, but the most highly skilled jobs, should be recognised through
pay as well as in other ways."
127. Although a new Professional Body would be
the obvious institution to take on the National Policing Improvement
Agency's responsibility to provide support to forces on training,
it is unclear from Peter Neyroud's review exactly which functions
currently performed by the Agency would transfer to the new body.
Nick Gargan, the Chief Executive of the National Policing Improvement
Peter Neyroud has produced a report that, in some
respects, is remarkably detailed. We can go into Peter's report
and find out how much a PSCO or a police sergeant will pay to
be a member, but what we don't understand is which of those NPIA
functions, with certainty, would end up in the body.
The absence of this detail is perhaps all the more
surprising given that Peter Neyroud was himself the Chief Executive
of the National Policing Improvement Agency until he undertook
the review. It is not just the National Policing Agency's training
functions that could be incorporated in the Professional Body.
When we asked Peter Neyroud what should happen to National Improvement
Agency functions such as the national injuries database, and where
other functions connected with serious crime might sit, he commented:
"I propose they sit with the professional body as support
128. A properly resourced and
structured Professional Body could have the potential to improve
police training, particularly if it encourages practical learning
and places an onus on individuals continually to update their
knowledge. The emphasis on specialist training and qualifications
also harmonises well with Tom Winsor's proposals to reward those
who do skilled jobs. However, it is not clear which of the functions
currently provided by the National Policing Improvement Agency
and listed in chapter 1 of this report will migrate to the Professional
Body in the new landscape. We urge the Home Office to provide
a list of exactly which functions will be transferred to the new
Budget and governance of the
129. In the review, Peter Neyroud stated: "The
core and supporting functions of the Professional Body ... would
be funded through a combination of personal subscription charges,
fees for services received from the Professional Body, along with
a much reduced grant."
He told us that the current overall envelope of funding that
the Home Office provided for the activities described in the report
was £20 million. He said that the contribution from the
Home Office would fall to £5 million over the four years
of the Spending Review period. However, the overall cost of the
Professional Body over the Spending Review period would be £15
million. The remaining funding would come from subscriptions
from membersthat is, police officers and staffand
from a levy or payment for services.
The £15 million would be split "roughly" three
ways between these three different funding sources. As
far as we can tell from the current evidence, the funding proposals
for the Professional Body seem viable. However, we reiterate
that the fact that a substantial element of the running costs
of the new body will be contributed by individual police officers
and staff makes it all the more important that this truly is a
body for everyone and not just for senior members of the police
service. For that reason, it must neither be 'owned by', nor
subsumed under or within ACPO.
130. The governance arrangements proposed for
the new Professional Body are relatively complex and would involve
an Executive Board, a Council of Chief Constables, an Independent
Scrutiny Board, a Management Board, Work Groups and a Delivery
Neyroud told us that, while the review was taking place, there
had been some debate about whether the Delivery Body should be
a separate body, but he said: "the more you looked at it
the more that just generated another set of meetings and another
body and another set of accountabilities."
We would caution that making the Delivery Body part of the Professional
Body is no guarantee that there will be fewer meetings. Indeed,
the sheer number of different elements involved in the Professional
Body means that we do not share Peter Neyroud's confidence that
one thing that will disappear under his proposals will be "a
shedload of meetings."
131. Peter Neyroud proposes that the Home Secretary
should have the power to appoint a nominee non-Executive director
to the Board of the Professional Body and that the Professional
Body "in the interests of transparency and public accountability
provides the Home Secretary with a business plan and a regular
report of key issues."
When we asked him whether there should be a Police and Crime
Commissioner on the Board, he said:
No, because I made a distinction in the report between
the national responsibilities that the professional body is exercising
and the local responsibilities for an accountability of the Police
and Crime Commissioner. My argument is that those two should be
kept distinct, but that the Police and Crime Commissioner should
chair the scrutiny board that makes sure that the body is doing
the job that it was set up to do.
132. We are not convinced that
there would need
to be an Independent Scrutiny Board for the Professional Body.
We believe that the role of scrutinising the Professional Body
could be carried out by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.
There should be a Police and Crime Commissioner on the Board
of the new Professional Body in order to help connect local policing
with the national policing landscape. We have already stated that
we think that the Council of Chief Constables should be a separate
body with a strictly operational focus.
133. After the publication of Peter Neyroud's
review, the Government launched a 90-day consultation period,
which ended on 28 June 2011. Peter Neyroud told us that he expected
that the Government's response to his review would follow "fairly
soon" after the end of the consultation, but neither the
results of the consultation, nor a response to the review have
yet been published.
Sir Denis O'Connor, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary,
said that the Professional Body was "a worthy aspiration",
but added: "The fact of the matter is that several bodies
have to set aside their own particular concerns for the common
good. My experience in life is that takes some time."
Body for policing that has Sir Robert Peel's mission of preventing
crime and disorder at its core has the potential to become an
effective part of the new landscape, but there are considerable
obstacles to its success. The most important challenge will be
winning the support of the rank and file of police officers and
staff. We urge the Home Secretary to respond to Peter Neyroud's
review, setting out whether she plans to pursue the idea of a
Professional Body and, if so, explaining how she would go about
the task of making it inclusive right from the start. We urge
her to ensure that the Professional Body is separate from the
Council of Chief Constables and is a new body with a focus entirely
on professional standards and training. The role of the new Professional
Body should not be confused by giving it functions or responsibilities
which do not relate to professional standards simply because there
are functions for which a home has to be found somewhere. A realistic
timetable for setting up the Body is essential and given that
it is unlikely to be fully functional before the phasing out of
the National Policing Improvement Agency, the Home Office should
specify what interim arrangements it will put in place for the
functions it proposes to transfer from the Agency. If there is
a decision to create a new Professional Body for policing, it
would make sense for the development of this new bodywhich
will involve consideration of the role and purpose of the policeto
inform the development of the new landscape of policing more widely.
127 Peter Neyroud, Review of Police Leadership and
Training, April 2011, p 9 Back
Review of Police Leadership and Training, p 2 Back
Review of Police Leadership and Training, p 11 Back
Q 4 Back
Q 103 Back
Q 570 Back
Q 647 Back
Q 492 Back
Q 493 Back
Q 119 Back
Q 119 Back
Q 123 Back
Q 723 Back
Oral evidence to the Home Affairs Committee on The Work of
the Association of Chief Police Officers, 13 October 2009,
Q 8 Back
Policing in the 21st Century, p 33 Back
Review of Police Leadership and Training, p 11 Back
Q 10 Back
Q 117 Back
Review of Police Leadership and Training, p 50 Back
Q 722 Back
Q 721 Back
Q 6 Back
Q 7 Back
Review of Police Leadership and Training, p 66 Back
Q 70 Back
Q 6 Back
Q 103 Back
Q 721 Back
Review of Police Leadership and Training, p 2 Back
Q 493 Back
Q 21 Back
Q 470 Back
Q 424 Back
Q 41 Back
Review of Police Leadership and Training, p 166 Back
Qq 26-36 Back
See p 52 of the review for a diagram showing how these elements
would relate to one another. Back
Q 42 Back
Q 22 Back
Review of Police Leadership and Training, p 15 Back
Q 40 Back
Q 68 Back
Qq 391-2 Back