New Police Core Competencies: Clusters, Values and More!

As of 2018, the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police are implementing a brand new, fresh set of core competencies into their policing system. These new police core competencies are designed to be more accurate, more sustainable, and more reflective of current police work. In this blog, we’ll detail exactly what the new police core competencies are, and how they work! You can expect these competencies to start being used by the majority of forces in the UK, very soon!

What’s new?

Apart from being different competencies, the new police core competencies are also split into three levels. Now, instead of just being ‘competencies’, it’s all divided into:

  • Six competencies.
  • Four core values.
  • Three clusters.

The reason that the police have implemented this system, is that it provides a more accurate reflection on the different levels of thinking required for different ranking officers. The police see their system as a ‘pyramid’, with those at the top of the pyramid required to exercise more knowledge of all of the above elements, instead of just one or two.

Below we’ve briefly broken down all of the new police core competencies and different areas, to give you a better idea of what they mean.

Become a UK Police Officer

New Police Values

Public Service

The first value is Public Service. Public Service relates to how well you can deal with members of the public, and work in line with the view that the responsibility of the police is to protect the interests of society. Safeguarding the public is an essential element of police work, and takes a great deal of personal responsibility.


Transparency is an essential element of police work. Think about what comes under the term ‘transparency’ – terms like honesty, openness and integrity. It’s vital that police officers can be transparent, as they need to show the public (and their colleagues) that they are genuine and can be trusted.


Integrity is really important. Police officers must be able to set an example to the general public, and act as role models in society. In order to do this, you must be able to show that you are a person with integrity and strong moral principle. Integrity also means that you hold your professional performance to the highest possible standards.


The final value on the list is impartiality. As a member of the police force, it is your duty to act in a fair and unbiased manner, treating every single person that you meet in the same polite and respectful manner. Police officers must be capable of challenging discrimination, and should hold everyone to the same standards that they keep.

police special constable tests

New Police Clusters

There are three clusters in total, which you will need to be aware of and exhibit. These are as follows:

Resolute, Compassionate and Committed. This cluster relates to the way in which you conduct yourself as a police employee. Think about each of these terms, and what they mean, and how they relate to other vital personal qualities. For example, being compassionate means showing empathy for others, and demonstrating a high level of care and understanding for those around you. Once you learn to understand why people behave in the way that they do, you will be better equipped to understand the individual needs of different members of the public, and will be better place to provide them with support. The better you can do this, the better it will reflect on the police as a whole.

This cluster links in with the core competencies of Emotional Awareness, and Taking Ownership.

Inclusive, Enabling And Visionary Leadership. Leadership is a very important quality for any police employee to have. All police employees must be able to motivate and encourage their colleagues, and members of the public, to speak out and help those around them. This is what ‘inclusive’ means, it’s about helping everyone and getting everyone involved, not just particular people.

This cluster links in with the core competencies of Being Collaborative and Deliver, Support and Inspire.

Intelligent, Creative and Informed Policing. This cluster is all about being open to new ways of learning and development, to ensure that you are working to your maximum capacity. You must be able to think analytically, and form creative solution to problems. Being informed means that you take every available factor into account before making a decision – you must take an evidence-based approach to problems, to ensure that every decision is made with sound logic and reasoning.

This cluster links in with the core competencies of Analysing Critically, and Being Innovative and Open Minded.

New Police Core Competencies 2018

Now, let’s have a brief look at the core competencies!

Competency 1: Emotionally Aware

It’s very important for police officers to be emotionally aware. Not only do you need to be emotionally aware towards the needs and feelings of others, but you also need to be emotionally aware of yourself. You must be able to control your emotions when under high amounts of pressure, and exhibit strong levels of decision making. Police work is highly stressful, and will push you to your limits. Therefore, it’s vital that police employees can stay calm and collected, and manage their emotions.

Competency 2: Taking Ownership

In order to work as a police officer, it’s vital that you can take ownership and responsibility, and hold yourself accountable for your own actions. Part of this means accepting that sometimes minor mistakes will happen, but the way you deal with these is what is important. You must learn from your mistakes, and seek improvement-based feedback. Furthermore, it’s critical that you can take pride in your work, and recognise your own limitations.

Competency 3: Working Collaboratively

Teamwork is a fundamental part of working as a police officer, and the better you can work as part of a collaborative unit, the better level of service you can provide to the public. Good police work is about building partnerships, not just with your colleagues, but with members of the public too. You must be polite and respectful with every person that you meet, and show that the police value the ideals of teamwork, collaboration and social unity.

Competency 4: Deliver, Support and Inspire

It’s imperative that police officers understand the wider vision of the police service. You must use the police’s values in your day-to-day work, and show a dedication to working in the best interests of the public. Your positive contribution to the police is extremely important.

Competency 5: Analyse Critically

Working as a police officer involves large amount of critical analysis. You’ll be presented with a wide variety of data, and will need to use all of this data to come to informed decisions. This is essentially what ‘taking an evidence-based approach’ means. It’s about using the evidence available to you effectively and efficiently, to gather as many facts and hard info as possible, before using this data in the most logical way.

Competency 6: Innovative and Open Minded

The final competency challenges the mindset of the candidate. It’s extremely important that you can take an open-minded approach to police work. Not everything is straightforward and ‘by the book’. There will always be problems which require an innovative and creative solution, and it’s your job to come up with this! Furthermore, it’s essential that you can take an open mind to new ways of working, and understand that continuous development is a necessity for any police officer


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.