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BTP promotion board process causes upset among applicants

BTP officers have expressed frustration over the fairness of the sergeant promotion board process after a closing date error meant the pool of applicants was doubled.

Chair of the BTP Federation, Nigel Goodband, said the Federation came under fire from disgruntled applicants after the chief opened up applications for promotion to sergeant to another 100 officers, reducing their chances and delaying their results. 

At first a closing date meant 100 qualified officers missed their chance to go to the board by eight days, meaning would have had to wait up to a year for the chance to apply again despite already passing their Sergeant exams.

In the interest of fairness recently appointed chief constable Lucy D’Orsi, who took over as chief in March, chose to let all qualified officers apply, creating a pool of 200 rather than 100 officers.

Since this effectively halved everyone’s chances, some in the first group were “very disgruntled”, according to Mr Goodband.

He told Police Oracle: “But in our view, and this is where a lot of criticism came to the Federation, it was for the wider good, and we supported the decision.

“However, that didn't go down well with a few colleagues and a very minority got quite vocal about it on social media.”

The Federation has not supported CC D’Orsi's decision not to share the results of the first board until they have the results of the second, causing “further disgruntlement”.

“I do get it,” said Mr Goodband. “If you've gone to all that effort, you've gone to the board and to wait until the day of your results and then be told, well, sorry, you're not going to get them now because the process has been reopened for 100 officers.”

He said a minority of individuals targeted local reps, and he tried to set this right by writing in his May chairman’s blog: "Accepting that was a failure on my behalf and not the wider Federation, I want to put on record that those who chose to criticise or apportion blame (or worse) on social media, emails or WhatsApp groups towards certain Federation reps and the Federation as an organisation can be reassured the blame, if there is blame, sits with me and no one else. I was the one who sat with the Chief, not your local reps.”

And he added “they should also ensure that they're in possession of the full facts before they start making commentary on social media”.

Mr Goodband said the person responsible for initially setting the closing date of the board had not been identified.

The new chief had to make the decision to open up the pool after being with the force for just two weeks.

Mr Goodband said the Federation’s point of view was taken into consideration by CC D'Orsi when making her decision. “I can't ask for more than that from my Chief Constable,” he said.

Mr Goodband is anticipating the results will lead to cries of “foul play” but  said “there'll be no evidence of it because it's a transparent process”.

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