Police Professional Body

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2012 Police & Justice Conference
14 June 2012
Carried as Amended

Conference is deeply concerned at the way in which proposals for a new Policing Professional Body are being put together. The governance structures of the new body, which replaces the training and development functions of the National Policing Improvement Agency and some aspects of the Association of Chief Police Officers, are set to become completely dominated by police officer interests to the detriment of police staff. The proposed Board of the Policing Professional Body is made up of 14 seats: 7 of them will be for independents, including 3 Police and Crime Commissioners, and 7 for the police service workforce. Out of the 7 workforce seats, 6 seats will be given to police officer representatives and 1 to a police staff representative. The Chief Executive Officer of the Board will also be a member of the Board and he or she will also be a police officer. So, although police staff make up 40% of the police workforce, police staff influence on the Board will be limited to just 14% of the total police service seats available. When all 14 seats on the Board are taken into account, police staff will account for just 7% of the seats!

Conference believes that these disgraceful figures demonstrate the Government’s total lack of commitment to fairness and transparency in the representation of police staff on the new Policing Professional Body. When Peter Neyroud put his proposals to Home Office Ministers for the creation of a new Policing Professional Body he was very careful to state that the Body must not become,’…an exclusive club solely for police officers…’, but should reflect the aspirations and development needs of the entire police workforce. Conference is appalled that the very opposite has occurred.

Whilst the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) get 3 seats on the Board, the Federation 2 and the Superintendents Association 1, the following police staff trade unions with police staff members in England and Wales must somehow manage with 1 seat between us; the unions are: UNISON, UNITE, GMB, PCS, Prospect, and the FDA.

Conference believes that these governance arrangements speak volumes about the intentions of the new Policing Professional Body: it will be run by police officers for police officers to the detriment of our members.

Conference believes that the proposed governance arrangements show clearly the relative value that is placed on officers and staff in the police service under this Government. Conference further believes that this can be partly explained by the enthusiasm of the Government and some Chief Police Officers to privatise parts of the service delivered by our members so that they can wash their hands of our members in their entirety.

UNISON strongly supported the establishment of a new Policing Professional Body, because we were genuinely excited about the opportunities for a body led and run by members of the policing workforce on behalf of that workforce. We promoted the idea that the Body should be elected by democratic means from the workforce in line with the strength of police officer and police staff numbers. We were willing to explore the links which a new professional body could have provided to link skills and pay in a new settlement for police staff pay and reward.

In light of the above unacceptable outcomes for the Policing Professional Body, Conference calls upon the Service Group Executive to seek to:

1)Work with the other TUC affiliated trade unions with an interest in the new Policing Professional Body to promote the interests of police staff with the aim of improving the representation of our combined membership on the Board and other governance arrangements

2)Lobby the Home Office and the other key police stakeholders to seek to change the governance arrangements on the Board of the Policing Professional Body to bring it in line with the composition of the workforce

3)Reserve our position on involvement in the new Professional Body pending the outcome of further negotiations on the Body’s governance arrangements, and discussions with interested trade unions

4)Campaign against any suggestion that the new Policing Professional Body should be supported in any way by any sort of personal membership fee from police staff

5)Reject completely any proposal that the new Policing Professional Body should have any role in deciding any link between skills and pay for police staff

6)Publicly campaign for appropriate police staff representation on the new Policing Professional Body

7)Investigate the potential for an alternative professional body to be established to properly represent the interests of police staff, if there is no change in the Government’s thinking.