Thematic Inspection of Police Scotland Training and Development - Phase 1

15 September 2020

This report is Phase 1 of a Thematic Inspection of Police Scotland Training and Development with the main focus on leadership training, continuous professional development and talent management, as well as appraisal and promotion processes. 

The inspection was one of those halted in early March 2020 due to the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. At that time, and indeed now, Police Scotland is making a vital contribution to the national effort to reduce the spread of infection, and ultimately save lives.

The role of the inspectorate to provide independent scrutiny of policing in Scotland continues to be important throughout this time, and we are adjusting our working practices to resume formal inspection activity.

This report is the product of inspection activity that took place in late 2019 up until March 2020, with some later interviews taking place over the telephone.

The issue of diversity in policing, specifically the recruitment, retention, development and promotion of under-represented groups, is one that HMICS will concentrate on as a priority in the next phase of inspection of Training and Development. The Special Constabulary will be included in later phases of inspection of Training and Development.






Police Scotland should establish a robust performance framework for Leadership, Training and Development, with key performance indicators and quality assured evaluation strategies, to be able to demonstrate progress


Police Scotland should establish an evaluation framework to assess the impact of the Chief Constable’s commitments


Police Scotland should review the Leadership and Talent function, and consider if it has adequate resources and sits in the correct place in the organisation’s structure, to allow it to fulfil its important responsibilities


Police Scotland should ensure senior police officers and support staff are provided with Leadership Training beyond technical training for specific roles, as a matter of urgency


Police Scotland should ensure that all police officers and support staff are provided with appropriate leadership training prior to undertaking a supervisory role


Police Scotland should ensure the new appraisal process ‘My Career’ is supported by a range of continuous professional development products to provide all officers and staff with opportunities to develop


Police Scotland should review the use of acting and temporary promotions to achieve consistency across the organisation


Police Scotland should develop an effective communications strategy to assist in the implementation of the ‘My Career’ and the ‘Leadership Pathways’ project


Police Scotland should initiate an Equality and Human Rights Impact Assessment (EQHRIA) at the earliest possible stage in the development of all training and development products, so that the implications for equality and human rights are considered and addressed from the start


Police Scotland should ensure that diversity training is provided and mainstreamed into leadership courses at all levels as a matter of urgency


Police Scotland should review the current approach to delivering training, with a view to providing more flexible options for accessing training through the use of technology, and at different times and locations


Police Scotland should develop a systematic process to record wellbeing conversations and considerations in support of its Wellbeing Strategy


Police Scotland should develop a systematic approach to the use of coaching and mentoring throughout the organisation, as part of core leadership and management training


Police Scotland should review the various places where local and specialist training are being delivered throughout the force, outwith the Leadership Training and Development business area, and consider the opportunities to increase capability and capacity through sharing resources


Police Scotland should raise awareness of the products and services provided by the Leadership and Talent function within Leadership Training and Development


Police Scotland should consider increasing its use and development of specialist training tools and ICT to deliver cost effective and accessible training programmes


Police Scotland should work collaboratively to develop a strategy which supports the delivery of joint training with other key partners across the public sector, including local government and health

Publication type: 
Inspection report