We are committed to ensuring that our workforce is representative of the communities we serve. This is not a new thing; it is a fundamental part of our history and the principles on which policing is built.
Our communities have changed over time and our workforce must reflect this change if we are to police effectively. By bringing together different viewpoints to continually improve how we deliver our policing service; making our services more approachable and relevant to our communities. We use positive action to help achieve this.
What is Positive Action? (and what it isn’t!)
Superintendent Abid Khan shared a blog post with current employees of the constabulary and he sums up perfectly what Positive Action is and what Positive Action isn’t.
Here is an excerpt;
“Applicants who are from a minority ethnic background are much less likely to have a connection to policing and therefore, often, navigate the recruitment process with little or no support. We know that
“This doesn’t strike me as a 100 meter race where the track is the same length and all the athletes start at the same point. More that it feels like a 1500 metre race where the ethinc minority applicants start on the outside lane and have to run the entire race in that lane.
“This disparity is not unique to policing, it is deep rooted and the only way to overcome it, is to ensure everyone is running the same 100 metres and has a fair chance to win, and that means some things have really got to change.
“So all positive action does is support disadvantaged candidates to make the race a little more fair. It’s likely though, that the advice and support that a white applicant might get from someone will still give them a significant advantage.
“I want to touch on some of the myths about positive action and thought that a ‘what it is’ and ‘what it isn’t’ may be a good place to start.
What positive action is:
- It is lawful under the Equality Act of 2010
- It is, as I have said above, about trying to address the adverse impact that policies and procedure can have on people from under-represented groups.
- It can include a targeted campaign, offering advice, support and guidance. The type of things that this includes are mock interviews, a practice application form question, and guidance on what to expect in an assessment centre.
What positive action isn’t:
- It isn’t about setting targets
- It’s not positive discrimination. An example of this would be where an employer favours a candidate from a minority background simply because of their background and not because they were the best candidate. This is unlawful in the UK.
- About giving jobs to people just because they are from an under represented group. Every candidate, regardless of their ethnicity has to complete their application form, on their own, has to sit the assessment centre, on their own, and attend an interview that they must pass, on their own.
- About giving candidates the actual questions or answers
- Its not about lowering the standards
Who is it for?
The Equality Act, allows positive action to be used when there is under-representation. Lancashire Constabulary has identified that there is an operational requirement to recruit people who are / from;
- Black and Minority Ethnicities
How do I access the support?
Most candidates who attend positive action support sessions will say that they benefited considerably. Having the opportunity to become familiar with policing processes increased their knowledge and gave them confidence to submit an application of a higher standard. Equally so, those who attend national assessment centre support sessions have a higher chance of success, than those from under-represented groups who don’t.
This is a competitive process whereby sacrificing a small amount of your time, could be the difference between a pass or fail.
So, BEFORE you submit your application form, CONTACT US at [email protected]