I listened with interest to the slot on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on the new recruitment plans for the police service (Link).
The argument has obviously split around the matter of the need for fresh talent and the risk of having senior people in an operational organisation with no operational experience.
At first glance I tend to fall on the side of the doomsayers and for this I am aware that the charge of hypocrisy can be laid at my door. I am a former graduate of a ‘fast track’ scheme within an operational organisation. However, my path is slightly different to the direct entry being discussed for the police. I was already a serving member of the service with a number of year’s experience of the operational nature of the organisation before I entered the scheme. In this way I used the opportunity to accelerate my promotion and get the benefit of the career development opportunities available. However, during my time going through this process I met many candidates who were direct entry and saw first hand the risks associated with this recruitment strategy.