New discovery report outlines recommendations for improving diversity and inclusion in policing
The College of Policing has released a discovery report on workplace adjustments (also known as reasonable adjustments) supporting disabled and neurodivergent officers and staff in the police service.
The report was commissioned by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) as part of the Police Uplift Programme, the Government’s commitment to recruit an additional 20,000 officers by March 2023. Research was carried out by the College and PurpleSpace, the professional networking hub for disabled employees, with Force leads and individual officers and staff invited to participate in surveys run over the early part of 2021.
The report features quotations and personal stories, benchmarking studies from the public and private sector, and recommendations for change. Good practice by some police forces is highlighted, but the research also identifies a widespread lack of understanding of the importance of workplace adjustments in enabling disabled and neurodivergent staff to realise their potential. Key focus areas for improving inclusion across policing include strong leadership, effective employee networks, culture and language in relation to disability and neurodiversity.
A working group chaired by Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman, the NPCC’s lead for disability, is reviewing the recommendations. DCC Blakeman said: “Our colleagues’ stories show us that simple adjustments can make a huge difference, empowering individuals to give their best and helping forces to build strong inclusive teams that are reflective of our communities.”
Some key takeaways from the individuals, HR business partners and diversity leads taking part in the survey:
- 25 police forces had achieved Disability Confident Level 2 accreditation, with a further five Forces and the College of Policing achieving the top Level 3 tier (Disability Confident Leader)
- 45% of Force Diversity & Inclusion strategies made reference to neurodiversity
- 53% of HR departments were confident in the ability of first and second line managers to have proactive and inclusive conversations with their staff about disability
- 69% of individuals had personally experienced, or were aware of a colleague having experienced, refusal of a reasonable adjustment request
Click on the image above to view the report page on the College of Policing website, or click on the link to download the PDF (133 pages). (A 3 minute video summary of the key points is available from Rank Success.)
The NPAA would like to thank the College of Policing and NPCC for the opportunity to participate in this project. ∎