AUTHORITY MEMBERS’ SKILLS RECOGNISED BY CHARTER STATUS
Cheshire Police Authority’s long term investment in its Members training and development process has been awarded.
The Charter, which is similar to the Investor in People Award for employers, was awarded after the police authority was externally assessed. Chairman of the Authority Margaret Ollerenshaw said, “we are delighted that the North West Employers Organsiation has recognised the training and development that is provided to Members by awarding the Authority Charter status. The development process in Cheshire has been very much driven by the seventeen Members themselves and ensures that all Members can confidently and actively ensure that the most efficient and effective police service is delivered to the people of Cheshire.”
The Authority not only scrutinises the work of the Constabulary, it also seeks to improve itself to ensure that the councillor and independent Members who undertake this vital role have the right skills, knowledge and experience to carry out their duties effectively. The Authority undertook its own review of training and development offered to Members which resulted in a programme of regular, monitored training sessions and peer reviews.
Some training is now mandatory which ensures each Member has the right skills to undertake their role including financial and performance management, scrutiny and challenge, professional standards, risk management, partnership working, consultation and engagement and diversity & human rights.
Members also have an opportunity to supplement these core skills with other essential knowledge such as understanding how the police interact with the public from taking an emergency call for help right the way through to crime investigation and forensics. In order to gain a breadth of understanding about policing, Members visit departments such as custody, air support, motorway policing and public order.
Margaret Ollerenshaw added, “Members of the Authority undertake complex and demanding roles which cover a wide range of managerial and policing aspects in a constantly changing environment. Collectively, the Authority sets the police budget, holds the Chief Constable to account and makes decisions which impact upon policing services. Other aspects of our role are seldom seen such as analysing information about how the police are performing, monitoring complaints or asking difficult questions of senior officers. It is vital that we have the necessary skills and information to make the right decisions for policing in Cheshire.”