Inclusivity | Positive Action initiatives
We are working hard to be an employer of choice for a diverse range of talented individuals
To be effective in making Derbyshire safer together, we need to understand our different communities and work with them to protect the public and most vulnerable from modern day risks. Part of understanding different communities means having a diverse workforce, who can share their experiences and help us build trust and confidence with the public to authentically police by consent; even in difficult times.
We are working hard to be an employer of choice for a diverse range of talented individuals; by being equipped to offer a career where you can feel fulfilled and make a difference to your community. We are working hard to improve representation, but recognise we still have some way to go.
Why take positive action?
We want our force to reflect the community we serve. We frequently review representation within the force. Recently, we reviewed the last three years of police officer recruitment data and the results showed we haven’t attracted as many female applicants from black and ethnic minority backgrounds as we would like, or many people that identify as having a disability.
We would also like to attract more people from different ethnic backgrounds to represent our county as police officers. Whilst we are improving in successfully recruiting females and those from the LGBT+ community, we know there is still work to be done here too.
What are we doing?
Apprenticeships and degree entry routes
We have created two specialist projects for both our apprenticeship and degree entry routes to become a police officer. The idea is to give individuals who show they have an ability to problem solve within a modern policing environment the experience of working with us. It helps us understand our future police officers better, and allows us to show what opportunities and support we offer, as part of our ambition to be an employer of choice who looks after our people.
Attracting talented applicants
In Derbyshire, we only have limited places for new recruits each year, and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to attract talented applicants from all different communities and backgrounds. All our successful applicants have reached a high standard throughout the process, we are very proud of the commitment that each individual gives from the very start – we continue to encourage healthy competition so that we get the very best recruits from all areas.
We know that to deliver an excellent public service to each and every community across the county, we need people who have different experiences and different ways of thinking.
A proud Disability Confident Employer
We are proud to be a Disability Confident Employer, it helps us build on our aims as an organisation to find creative solutions that enable all our people. We measure our progress on being an inclusive employer for the LGBT+ community each year through the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and shows greater progress with every submission. We know that ‘BAME’ doesn’t really explain the rich and diverse communities we have, so as described above we are launching two new projects to help us understand better what we need to do to have a workforce made up of all our communities. We want to make sure we are heading in the right direction, so we’re looking at how we can benchmark our progress for being an employer of choice for black and ethnic minority individuals.
Encouraging people into our policing family
We also recognise the opportunity that our local policing units have when they work closely with the residents of Derbyshire and part of our positive action for all roles is talent spotting during our day to day work. We are setting up a project where local officers can be kept up to date with the latest career opportunities and signpost people who they consider to have the right experience and skills to support them in applying. We work with so many amazing people in our community, we’re constantly on the look out for how to encourage them in to our policing family.
Do you help with the recruitment process?
The review showed that women are generally more likely to succeed in our process than men, so although we still recruit less than 50% of female officers we know this is just about finding ways to inspire them to apply such as work-life balance facilities, development programmes and gender specific support campaigns.
We do know that if you are black or from an ethnic minority, there are certain aspects of the process such as the national assessment which we need to make sure are fair for all people. We offer our black and ethnic minority candidates a consultancy programme, focussed on the national assessment, which helps break down potential barriers so that they can be their best on the day. All applicants receive support from our HR team. We also have additional support available to those who require it, including a bespoke mentorship scheme for those from a black or ethnic minority background.
Mentors from the Inclusion team are available to talk through the information applicants receive and answer any logistical questions, hopefully making the candidates more confident to frame their talent on the day. Our mentors provide a friendly face to help applicants who may not know anyone in the force yet, which we know can be quite helpful to put people at ease.
We know how important it is to have police officers that understand our different communities, that’s why at each stage of our Derbyshire recruitment process (excluding the national element) the individuals are measured on their cultural skills. We want to be sure that each and every officer we recruit has the ability to work effectively with people of various cultural backgrounds.
Is there any positive action within the force?
Once you become part of our policing family, our support doesn’t stop there. We want to make sure that we are creative with the ways that we can help you succeed in your career. We have a number of staff networks that you can join for support or volunteer with, we also have a Wellbeing department within HR who find new ways to support the workforce all the time.
Many different departments are finding creative solutions to attract different types of people to their roles, so you will see a lot of campaigns around career paths that you will be able to choose from each year. If you are interested in career development – either up the ranks or sideways- we have development programmes running regularly for you to engage with. We encourage all our workforce to identify a mentor to work with and also run reverse-mentoring programmes to ensure that our leaders understand how to support all their people.