On top of this, police forces have well-versed challenges when it comes to organisational culture and effectively supporting the wellbeing of their employees, in light of the complex and demanding work environments.

To check how well police forces are at building and maintaining a fit-for-purpose workforce, the Peel Assessment Framework (203-2025) looks at workforce planning efforts and leadership capabilities in particular and grades forces from outstanding to inadequate.

At Skills for Justice, we recommend utilising this framework alongside workforce planning methodologies, such as our Six Steps Methodology to Integrated Workforce Planning®, to creates a robust planning capability that can ensure forces have the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

We also recommend, of course, that leadership skills are development and managed as with any other skills set required of the force. Professional development and training should be in place for all levels of leadership, with space and resource given to leaders and managers for continuous self-development.

From a set of 12 core questions in the framework, 2 are dedicated workforce planning and leadership capabilities – indicating the importance they have as core strategic functions and organisational influencers.

  • How good is the force at building, developing and looking after its workforce and encouraging an ethical, lawful and inclusive workplace?
  • How good is the force at leading and managing its services to make sure they are efficient, effective and sustainable?

You can see all forces that have been assessed under the 2023-2025 cycle from His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) – currently there are nine forces that have been assessed.

The grades are:

  • Outstanding – The force has substantially exceeded the characteristics of good performance
  • Good – The force has demonstrated substantially the characteristics of good performance
  • Adequate – We have identified an appreciable number of areas where the force should make improvements
  • Requires improvement – We have identified a sufficiently substantial number of areas where the force needs to make improvements
  • Inadequate – We have causes of concern and have made recommendations to the force to address them

What does the framework say a ‘good’ rating looks like for workforce planning?

How good is the force at building, developing and looking after its workforce and encouraging an ethical, lawful and inclusive workplace?


Topic Characteristics of good
The force understands the main factors that influence its workforce’s well-being and takes effective action to address any related problems. • The force clearly understands what factors have positive and negative effects on its workforce’s well-being, as well as any related stress, in all areas. It uses this understanding to inform resourcing decisions and aims to strike a balance between operational needs and looking after its people.
• The force is taking effective action to address any well-being challenges it has identified. It provides a good range of preventative and supportive measures, including enhanced support to those in high-risk roles or those experiencing  potentially traumatic incidents.
• The force’s occupational health service provides support and interventions that improve officer and staff well-being.
The force effectively supports its new recruits, encouraging them to remain • The force understands the specific challenges faced by new recruits. It makes sure that their well-being and development needs are prioritised and monitored by effective and supportive supervisors and tutors.
• The force promotes equality, diversity and inclusion. It makes new recruits feel welcome and included. It helps supervisors to foster an ethical and inclusive working environment.
• The force is making good efforts to retain new recruits, with specific consideration given to understanding and overcoming the challenges faced by those from diverse backgrounds.
The force is effective developing its workforce and first-line leaders • The force effectively equips, develops and supports its first-line leaders to meet leadership standards, exemplify the behaviours expected of them and effectively support both teams and individuals.
• The force uses effective individual performance appraisals and continuing professional development processes to understand, monitor and prioritise the development needs of its workforce.
• The force creates opportunities for officers and staff from under-represented groups to develop and progress and provides support when appropriate.


Out of the nine assessed force, again only two have achieved a good rating, with five rated adequate and two requiring improvement. What is it that the forces are struggling at? We took a look at the reports and found some common themes:

  • A lack of active engagement in professional development processes and review, is hindering ability to understand workforce skills development needs, recognise achievement, and identify future talent – all having an impact on the efficiency of the workforce and their recruitment and retention plans
  • Applying dedicated support systems for the wellbeing of staff, particularly those in high-risk roles, needs to be developed. Without this, it puts individuals at risk, but it also could be having a longer-term impact on staff retention
  • Leadership training needs to be improved so that supervisors and management teams have the skills they need to carry out their roles. This could be having a negative impact across considerations such as staff wellbeing, recruitment, retention and organisational development
  • Leaders need to better champion organisational culture changes to improve inclusivity and reduce reports of bullying, harassment and discrimination
  • Data and informed strategy isn’t always being utilised as effectively as it could be, leading to potential insight gaps in terms of building an inclusive workforce, improving retention efforts, and having informed skills and training development programmes in place

How good is the force at leading and managing its services to make sure they are efficient, effective and sustainable?


Topic Characteristics of good
The force has an effective strategic planning and performance management framework and makes sure it addresses what is important both locally and nationally. • The force has effective governance and performance management processes that reflect its communities’ needs and local and national priorities.
• The force uses relevant analysis and data to make sure it operates effectively and efficiently. The force’s performance objectives are aligned to its strategy.
• Force management statements and performance objectives are supported by plans on how the force will achieve the goals it has set.
The forces leaders are visible and effective • The force has assessed the capacity and capability of leadership at all levels. It has plans in place to address identified gaps in leadership.
• The force understands how senior and general leadership is perceived and understood throughout the workforce at all levels. It is taking action to improve standards of leadership.
• Leaders throughout the force have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and are acting on those expectations.
The force is effective at managing demand and can demonstrate it has the right resources and partnerships in place to meet future needs. • The force’s operating model and workforce helps it to respond to priorities and current and future demand.
• The force’s has effective systems in place that make sure crimes are allocated to appropriately skilled staff and units.
The force provides value for money and can demonstrate continuous improvement, efficiency savings and improved productivity. • The force makes the most of the productivity of its resources and assets.
• The force continues to improve productivity through digital, data and technology solutions, including mobile working.
• The force can clearly demonstrate why it is or isn’t collaborating with other bodies when appropriate. It uses effective programme management techniques throughout any collaborative activity.
The force makes the best use of the finance it has available, and its plans are both ambitious and sustainable. • The force has enough resource to make sure it can follow its priorities.
• The force’s financial plans are affordable and sustainable. They will support it to continue to meet future demands.


Out of the nine assessed force, again only two have achieved a good rating, with five rated adequate and two requiring improvement. What is it that the forces are struggling at? We took a look at the reports and found some common themes:

  • Forces are not always effectively forecasting demand, and therefore having the right level of resources and skills on hand at the right time to deal deliver public services was not always effective
  • Similarly, not all forces are collecting, analysing, and utilising the full range of data available to them across the different internal and external functions of the force. Doing so could have led to better performance in professional development, recruitment, inclusivity in the workplace; and externally, it could have led to better demand forecasting and service provision
  • System development and digital capabilities are not always underpinning and empowering the workforce to deliver their duties
  • Not all levels of leadership are visible and accessible across the force, which has lead sometimes to a disconnect between the forces’ strategy and its frontline services
  • Investment in leadership skills need to be improved – again this may be having a potential negative impact on things such as staff wellbeing, recruitment, retention and organisational development

Skills for Justice are workforce planning experts. We can help you standardise your approach to effective workforce planning through training, or deliver a managed service approach that can deliver an improved performance, quickly.

Our leadership and organisational team can help build bespoke training programmes, based on your organisational needs. Our network of coaching associates can help you, or a member of your leadership team, with professional development and skills.

Speak to us today to find out how we can help

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