Guidance on the requirement for Chief Officers (or former Chief Officers) to provide notification of their post-service employment within 12 months of them leaving the police service.
All police forces are being asked to introduce a new system to review and approve the suitability of Chief Officers’ post-service employment. You can readabout how and why this system is being implemented.
Chief Officer ranks where approval for post-service employment is required
The system for approving post-service employment should apply to the following Chief Officer ranks:
- Chief Constables (CC)
- Deputy Chief Constables (DCCs)
- Assistant Chief Constables (ACCs)
And in the Metropolitan Police Service/City of London Police:
- Deputy Commissioner
- Assistant Commissioner
- Deputy Assistant Commissioner
Types of employment covered and duration
The requirement for Chief Officers (or former Chief Officers) to provide notification of their post-service employment will remain in place for any appointment which commences within 12 months of them leaving the police service.
This covers all types of paid employment, including self-employment and any relevant unpaid appointments. If a Chief Officer is uncertain as to whether they need to complete a notification form, they should seek advice from their Chief Constable or local policing body (as relevant).
Making a notification
Chief Officers (or former officers) notifying their force of an appointment (including any employment, self-employment or unpaid position) which they would like to take up after having left the police force will complete a form providing information on the proposed employment.
The form will also ask about any links they had to the proposed employer while they were a serving officer. A separate form should be completed for each appointment to be considered, as each request will need to be considered on its own merit.
For consistency purposes we suggest the same form should be used by all forces and OPCCs.
Officers of Chief Constable or Commissioner rank should submit their notification to their local policing body (such as their PCC or equivalent). Other Chief Officer ranks should submit their notification to their Chief Constable or Commissioner.
Assessing the notification form
The notification form should be reviewed by the Chief Constable or Commissioner, for officers under their direction (or formerly under their direction), and by local policing bodies in the case of Chief Constables/Commissioners or former Chief Constables/Commissioners.
In considering the suitability of the proposed post-service employment, the Chief Constable or local policing body should consider the following factors:
- could the role be construed as a ‘reward for past favours’ granted by the applicant to the employer?
- would it enable a particular organisation to gain an improper advantage by employing someone who had access to information which is not available to competitors?
- would it enable a particular organisation to gain an improper advantage by employing someone who had access to information that a competitor might legitimately regard as their own trade secrets?
- could the role be deemed sensitive for any other reasons?
If required, the applicant should be contacted to provide further information, or to clarify any points, which might assist the Chief Constable or local policing body to make a recommendation on the suitability of the proposed post-service employment.
The notification form should be assessed and a recommendation made within 10 days of submission. The absence of a local policing body or Chief Constable (for example due to leave) should not delay the process of assessing a notification or making the recommendation.
Where a local policing body is unavailable, responsibility for considering the notification and making a recommendation should be delegated to a deputy (or other authorised officer). In the case of a Chief Constable or Commissioner being unavailable, responsibility should be delegated upwards to the local policing body.
Making a recommendation
The Chief Constable or local policing body (as applicable) should make a recommendation in writing using the format laid out in Part 3 of the notification form on the appropriateness of the proposed post-service employment. The feedback should include a clear assessment of the basis on which the recommendation has been reached.
The decision-maker will be able to make a recommendation that the employment is:
- ‘appropriate with conditions’
- ‘not appropriate’
The option to recommend ‘approve with conditions’ recognises that there may be situations where for integrity and transparency reasons it is appropriate to stipulate that the individual avoids a scenario where they may be seen to give their prospective employer an improper advantage.
This could include a condition that they are not involved in commercial or contractual dealings with their former employer (for a specified period of time), for example. Again, this mirrors the approach which is used in the Business Appointment Rules for civil servants.
We do not wish to be too prescriptive about the types of ‘conditions’ that might be attached to a recommendation to approve, as each situation should be judged on its own merits. We do not expect any recommended ‘conditions’ to apply for longer than 12 months, given that that this is a maximum time period within which Chief Officers are expected to submit a notification of post-service employment.
In other words, the recommended conditions need only apply up to the 12 month anniversary of the Chief Officer having left the force.
Requesting a review of the recommendation
Where a Chief Officer disagrees with the recommendation made on the suitability of their post-service employment, there will be a right to request the recommendation is reviewed by an independent panel, if this request is made within 10 working days. However, where practical it will be desirable for Chief Officers to discuss their planned post-service employment with their Chief Constable or PCC, ahead of submitting the request for consideration, to allow early discussion of any potential conflicts and to avoid the likelihood of requests to review a recommendation.
The review panel will be advisory and will be organised by the force’s HR Director (for officers below Chief Constable rank) or the local policing body’s Chief Executive for Chief Constables/Commissioners. The review panel for Chief Constables/Commissioners will include a local policing body and Chief Executive of a local policing body (both from a different force area to the Chief Constable requesting the review), as well as a CPOSA representative.
For review requests from Chief Officers below Chief Constable/Commissioner rank, the panel will comprise a Chief Constable/Commissioner and HR Director (from different force areas to the person appealing) and a CPOSA representative.
There are no set requirements for the format of review panel meetings (for example it could be done by telephone or in person), but the panel should provide their advice within 10 working days of the review being requested, unless an extension is agreed with the individual requesting the review. The panel may seek further information or clarification from the individual seeking the review, or the original decision-maker, where this aids them to make a recommendation.
The panel should confirm their recommendation in writing to the original decision maker (Chief Constable/Commissioner or local policing body) and the Chief Officer requesting the review. The original decision-maker will then be able to change their recommendation should they wish to, based on the advice provided by the panel.
To ensure transparency, the summary recommendations made by the local policing body or Chief Constable/Commissioner should be published, alongside any recommended conditions, on the force or local policing body website.
The recommendation on suitability should not be published until such time as the person takes up their new post.
Where a review panel and the original decision-maker continue to disagree in their recommendation, then both should be published for transparency purposes.