Author: promotionprep

Sergeants Legal Exam Results

Takes me back …

The recent Sergeant legal exam results brought some welcome news for many and allowed for celebrations within a broader environment of persistent policing demands and challenges including impact on family and personal life. I applaud everyone who found precious time to study amongst all their other commitments.

Results time always takes me back to my own experience. I recall being very busy at work, long shifts, loads of enforced overtime and a lengthy travel to work. I also had two bundles of joy who were 2 yrs old and 6 months. It was a tough time but most rewarding when I found out that I was successful.

Next Steps for Promotion

To some extent the easy work is done. Many of those who were successful would have been legally prepared and therefore confident they knew the answers. Of course there would have been a need to work through some tricky multiple-choice options!

The Police Promotion board, however, requires candidates to demonstrate leadership potential and competence against the Competency and Values assessment framework (CVF).

It’s fairly new therefore many will need to start from scratch. In addition, candidates will need to prepare examples of their competence and be in a position to present such leadership competence or potential during interview or through a briefing or presentation. This can be very daunting and causes much anxiety amongst most candidates. See my CVF blog for hints and tips.

Help Available

In a similar manner to preparing for legal examinations, help is also available with the police promotion process. Sadly, there is little help from police forces and therefore candidates need to find their own providers or go it alone.

Having helped over 1800 candidates over the past 4 years and chaired many police promotion boards I know exactly what is required and have helped many clients to achieve multiple promotions. My courses are specifically designed to help candidates achieve top place performance and my testimonial page is just a small reflection of success to date.

My Advice

  • Start your preparation early – you just never know when the dates will be announced
  • Do a (CVF) Leadership Gap Assessment – understand your strengths and address your weaknesses before the promotion board so you can speak with confidence.
  • When fully prepared treat each question as a gift – the opportunity to demonstrate why you would make a great leader.

Give something back

Throughout my policing career I worked alongside some outstanding Special Constables and Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) many of whom had a strong desire to join the police as a regular police officer.

If I’m honest I hadn’t given much thought to their journey until a member of my football team, who was a PCSO informed me of having failed the SEARCH assessment centre on two occasions. He would have made a great police officer .

Only 1 in 7 succeed!

Building upon the success of Promotion Prep, I wondered whether I would be able to help those wishing to choose policing as a vocation.

I thought about the whole journey from joining the police through to promotion and realised that committed individuals such as my sporting colleague could, with some quality coaching, not only succeed but get recognised from the start and be identified as having leadership potential.

I decided to look at the process further and identified that of 80,000 applicants who applied annually, only 1 in 7 were successful. I could now see why my sporting colleague was having difficulties. I therefore researched the whole process from application through to SEARCH assessment and final interview and using my tried and tested coaching methods I designed flexible on-line courses for those seeking to achieve top place performance.

Support Your Colleagues

Investing time supporting your hard working colleagues who are seeking a full time policing career will ensure that they are ready and confident for each part of the process.

For example helping them with their application by ensuring they are providing evidence of the competencies required and checking their application before submission. Many of you will already have experience of interviews and assessment exercises.

These committed individuals need your help. In addition, they bring extensive policing experience, ensuring they are pretty much competent from day 1 of their service. This is priceless for front line officers who routinely wait months for vacancies to be filled by student officers.

If you haven’t got the time to personally coach your colleagues then please help by referring them to our flexible e-learning courses.

Neil’s courses helped me through each step of the process … I am now about to start my new job and can’t wait.

John, Reading 2019

CVF Assessment Framework … Make it Simple

Everyone is using it …

The new Competency and Values Assessment Framework (CVF) has now been fully rolled out to all forces and is proving difficult to interpret for police promotion candidates.

It has replaced all other frameworks …

The CVF replaced the previous assessment frameworks and is now standardised across England, Wales and The Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Leadership Clusters, competencies and values … it’s complex!

It incorporates 3 x leadership clusters, 6 x competencies and 4 x values and the new assessment framework spans some 18 pages! No wonder individuals are finding it complex and challenging.

Be Successful

Trust me … it is useful

Despite the bureaucracy involved it is, however, a very useful framework in assessing leadership competence against modern day policing challenges and all candidates will need to fully understand and embrace the CVF.


Having coached over 1800 clients over the past 4 years, (many of whom have now secured 2 x promotions in that time) I recommend that my clients take time to practically understand the CVF to be in a position to demonstrate leadership competence or leadership potential.

Essential 3 Key Strands for Achieving a Top Place Performance

  1. Candidates must have an awareness of policing and the outcomes they seek to achieve as well as identifying any challenges they face. This ensures that they are very much in touch with their chosen profession
  2. Awareness of CVF is essential and to assist my clients I usually present CVF on a single page to demonstrate practical application of leadership competence
  3. Providing structures and models to help my clients present with impact during interviews, presentations or briefings. This is supported by providing the right content, focusing on the right leadership examples/evidence as well as stating future leadership intentions/vision

I am delighted for some of my clients who have achieved maximum marks and I feel very proud to have had a hand in their success.

Do It .. Start Early … Get Ahead of the Crowd

Anyone seeking to get ahead of the crowd should start their prep early and my on line courses (CVF leadership gap assessment, interview & presentation/scenarios) will ensure you are doing the right preparation ahead of your big day.

Some candidates prefer face to face support which is also available.

Could you please pass onto Neil my sincere thanks for his help with preparation for my Inspectors Board. I had the board yesterday and after using the online learning and the 1-2-1 with Neil I found it easy. The questions were all familiar and the presentation title was one from the list on the online learning. I actually enjoyed the process and have just been informed that I have been successful. This was my first attempt and I scored high on all areas

Lyndon (May 2019)

Success in 2018

It’s been a great summer for many reasons,  I became a grandparent, the weather, but the key reason, Promotion Prep have seen some real successes coming through.  People that have passed their #policepromotion first time and others that have had several attempts and then chose to engage with us.

With so many learning options to choose from now – online courses, workshops, mock boards and 1-2-1 coaching, we pride ourselves in having something for everyone to give them the best possible chance in their #policepromotionboard.

September seems to be a busy month for more boards so I look forward to working with many new clients and also seeing some familiar faces going for their next promotion opportunity …  time flies … so get prepared, and get ahead of the crowd.


Our CVF Christmas Gift to You!

Our CVF Christmas Gift to You!

50% discount on all e-learning courses – December 2018 Only!

“Your online courses have been invaluable. I used the structure for my briefing exercise & scored top marks!”

holly-161840_960_720Leadership Gap Assessment

Interview Prep

Presentation & Scenarios

All of the above e-learning courses are now available at 50% discount for December ONLY!

  • Thinking about police promotion in 2018? 
  • Only familiar with the NPPF assessment criteria?
  • Force has changed to the CVF criteria? 


Meeting the CVF Challenge!

Meeting the CVF Challenge!

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

Jimmy Dean

The Policing Professional Framework (PPF) as we know it has changed.  Many forces have now made that transition to the new Competency and Values Framework (CVF).


Introduced in January 2017 it was first used withFast Track and Direct Entry.  Those of you now preparing for your police promotion boards will undoubtedly be assessed against the CVF.

Please be aware the CVF is fundamentally different.  

To be successful at your police promotion board you will need to fully understand the CVF criteria which contains 3 leadership clusters, 4 values and 6 competencies.

My experience of the CVF so far …

Those individuals that I have coached in recent months have been taken aback by the significant difference to the PPF criteria and have had to adjust their preparation well in advance of their promotion board.  Having been so used to the PPF I’ve now devised a CVF one page overview to help and support my clients.

Whether going for the Fast Track programme or applying for your next police promotion you will need to take time out to understand the criteria and how to apply it to your evidence.

I have been really pleased with the feedback received from individuals taking my new CVF online courses and my workshops and these remain available offering options to suit time and budgets.

I know it can be difficult to find time to prepare especially with today’s policing challenges but with such limited opportunities and tough competition it’s so important to get ahead of the game.

I wish you all luck for your police promotions.  If you would like further info please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit

Why is policing such a great career?

Why is policing such a great career?

Check out if you’re considering a career in the police(part of the service)

Despite current challenges in policing it still remains a fantastic career. Some of the reasons why are as follows;

  1. A great team spirit. There is still fantastic humour and banter amongst colleagues who remain close friends for life.
  2. The variety of roles is like no other career.  For example during my career I was a Response Officer, a tutor Constable, a Beat Officer, a Detective Sergeant, Detective Inspector overseeing complex crime and covert tactics. I progressed to Chief Inspector, Superintendent, Chief Superintendent before becoming assistant Chief Constable and retiring as a Deputy Chief Constable. There are so many other roles such as traffic officer, police dog handler, special branch, surveillance officer, working in child protection or investigating fraud or cyber crime. POlice
  3. Everyday is different. Despite having plans for your day it is highly likely that a murder, serious traffic accident, major incident, drugs raid or other requirement will redirect your day.
  4. Opportunities for new learning and development are available.
  5. Critical decisions need to be made at all levels often without time to plan or think. One of the great things in policing is that Police Constables have far reaching powers such as the power to arrest, the power to stop and detain individuals and the power to close pubs and clubs down if need be. Police Constables have discretion as to whether to fully enforce the law or not.

I am sure that there are many other reasons too, such as a good salary, a stable career and a good pension.

Of course with any job there are disadvantages, some of these are:

  1. Shift work doesn’t suit everyone. Early starts and working nights affects your diet and sometimes your health and well being.
  2. There will be times when you’re working excessive hours and working on your days off in time of need (such as recent terror attacks).
  3. Often on call which restricts your private life.
  4. Always on duty even if you are off duty! You are expected to act positively if you see the law being broken or someone at risk of coming to harm.
  5. Patrolling alone more and more due to financial pressures.
  6. Risk of injury in enforcing the law. Not everyone likes the Police and you will encounter difficult and dangerous situations.

It is up to you to decide whether you think that the pro’s outweigh the con’s!!  Go on … why do you want to join the police?

What will make you stand out and get you that job in the police or police promotion you want?

What will make you stand out and get you that job in the police or police promotion you want?

Stand outI get asked this question all the time … having a good awareness of the issues affecting policing will help you to stand out from the crowd.

Whether thinking of joining the police or wanting that next police promotion, it is worth taking some time to critically analyse policing before working on your skills and experience.

My e-learning courses talk in more depth about challenges in policing but here are a few questions to get you thinking …

  1. Is degree entry into policing a good thing or not?  Will it affect efforts to have a police service which is representative of the public? Will some communities be disadvantaged by such a policy?
  2. What do you think about direct entry into policing at Inspector and Superintendent level?  Is it necessary and if so why?
  3. Is policing sustainable as it is?  Can the police force cope with new and unprecedented demands?  Should there be fewer police forces or even a national police force to reduce waste and ensure greater resilience?

What views do you have? Have you given them any thought?  How would you approach any of these questions or presentation subjects?

Help is on hand – regardless of whether you’re at the beginning of planning your police journey or taking the next step with police promotion – I’ve developed models, structures and will help you to think about and plan your answers.

Get in touch if you want to find out more and get ahead of the crowd …

Why did I join the police?

neilHonestly? This is something I am not proud of, however it’s true!

My brother, Paul really wanted to be a cop.  Sadly for him he suffered from asthma and was also colour blind, which prevented him from progressing with his application.

I was a little bit naughty in my secondary school years and didn’t really know what to do with my life.

Having considered following family members into the electrical business and also being offered a place on a highly regarded sports foundation course I too, (out of sheer devilment to my brother) applied to join the police cadets. Call it one upmanship on my elder brother!! 

Well, I passed the educational tests and the medical (which I will not go into on this blog!) and was accepted. I joined Nottinghamshire Police cadets straight from school on 20th September 1982: two years later I became a regular Police Constable and was posted to a place I had not previously heard of – Sutton In Ashfield, within the Mansfield Division. This would mean moving away from home as a 19 year old and into lodgings with a 50+ year old divorcee!!

Watch this space for my 1st day as a PC and how I got myself into deep trouble with my Inspector!

Visit my site to see how we can support you

Top 10 tips to deliver exceptional performance to become a Police Officer

This is the first of my blogs … being a little ‘green’ with technology I looked into further ways I could support my clients – past, present and prospective.

“Blogs – should give people something useful and free” I was told.  So my experience, learning and a few funny stories along the way will follow.

Some of you may find them helpful, some may store for later when needed and some may just see that no matter how far I got in my career, we are all human!

So, for all aspiring police officers this one’s for you … based on my previous experience and knowledge of assessment centre exercises and force interviews here is the learning and some top tips to help you secure a top placing at your police recruitment assessment centre or force interview;

  1. Be absolutely clear as to why you want to be a Police Officer. Can you deliver your 30 second pitch? Try it now before proceeding? It is likely to be your 1st question
  2. Be well prepared! With approximately 80,000 applicants per year police forces will only select the very best.
  3. Use tried, tested and experienced coaches to help you prepare. Take time to research those you are considering investing in as it will pay dividends. Those that can provide you with structured models and examples will help you deliver
  4. Don’t just seek to pass. You should aim for top place to set the tone for the rest of your career
  5. Use the best method of learning to suit your needs, lifestyle and time. Travelling to attend courses can be worthwhile but it builds in extra time and costs. E-learning can provide you with flexible and cost-effective learning but not for all that need classroom input.
  6. You must know your assessment criteria and the 7 exercises that you will face at your assessment centre. The research phase is critical!
  7. Present yourself as a professional, passionate and a most capable individual who has high potential to succeed in policing.
  8. Look smart at all times. This will give you additional confidence.
  9. You must wake up on your big day very much looking forward to your assessment centre or force interview. Appearing motivated, engaged and eager to succeed will impress your assessors.
  10. Knowledge, experience and prep is power! With the right preparation you will stand out and blow your assessors away.

If you would like more information then please contact us using the form below.