Metamorphosis at the MetOn 5 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Inhis new role as HR director for the Metropolitan Police, Martin Tiplady tellsRoss Wigham about the challenges he faces in strengthening HR so it canimplement the cultural changes proposed by the Police Reform BillMartin Tiplady, new HR director of the Metropolitan Police, has just steppedinto one of the most challenging jobs in the country at a time when the forceis undergoing a huge culture change. He is under no illusions about the size of the task facing him, as the forceprepares to go through a radical programme of modernisation set out in therecently published Police Reform Bill. The Bill outlines plans to change police pay and conditions, raise standardsand introduce new civilian community officers. “Modernising is a key challenge to HR in the Met. The Police ReformBill presents us with a range of issues, such as employing a new type of force;the use of auxiliaries; and pay and conditions,” he said. Tiplady was attracted to the job exactly because of the scale of thechallenge, which he told Personnel Today will include cutting red tape andtransforming the HR operation. “I really want to make this an HR department that is supporting andassisting the organisation develop. It has to be more about helping to relievethe management function and providing a set of tools they can use,” hesaid. “Around HR there is a lot of bureaucracy and form filling and, frankly,we have got to get rid of some of that. “The biggest challenge is bringing about structural, people and systemschange – it’s a classic personnel to HR transformation.” Importantly, Tiplady has the backing from inside the force to make changehappen. “There’s a strong view at the very top that HR is crucial to thisorganisation. You don’t get that as much in a commercial organisation and Idon’t have to fight to be heard,” he said. The reform Bill will help HR modernise the Met by setting out clear standardrequirements, explained Tiplady. “The police reform will help HR by creating a clear set of standardsyou can benchmark against and deliver.” A key goal for the Met is to become an employer of choice. The force hopesto introduce more flexible work arrangements and increase benefits. Free traintravel for staff within a 70-mile radius is already starting to helprecruitment, he added. “The Met has made it clear it wants to find more ways in which it canbe flexible about work patterns. We have some scope to accommodate that at themoment, and the police reform will encourage more flexible ways of working aswell as a work-life balance,” said Tiplady. “In the Met there is a desire to be as innovative and flexible aspossible in the way people work. We have 38,000 employees and we’ve got theability to bring about some real culture change, creating choices forpeople.” The Met is also developing more innovative recruitment methods to increasediversity, such as visiting Bollywood cinemas and sponsoring the Chinese NewYear. Tiplady said: “It’s now about keeping the momentum going. We havetargets and we have to make sure we get it right with a well-balancedintake.” Staff retention is also high on the HR agenda. Tiplady is looking to keepolder officers in the Met beyond the current 30-year cut-off point. “The reforms may enable us to find a way of retaining people after 30 yearsof service and for them to keep their pension benefits. There is a provision totest ‘the retention after 30 years’ scheme and we are in talks with the HomeOffice about being used as a pilot. “The ability to retain experienced officers alongside the intakes we’reexperiencing would have considerable benefits.” The Met is also backing the idea of strengthening the force with theintroduction of community wardens who will be given some police powers to helpreduce the burden on full-time officers. “We want to develop a scheme where you employ a new type of policefamily which has a limited police function. We are working through what thismight be in terms of training, and whether these roles would be paid ornot,” said Tiplady. “We also need to look at how we can link up with other agencies whoemploy people with responsibility for caretaking or security.” The police reform Bill is also looking to cut the high levels of sicknessabsence in the force, and Tiplady admits that is a priority for the Met HRteam. “The last impression we want to create is that there is a high degreeof malingering. But, of course, it’s the malingering aspect we need to dealwith and that’s where the focus will be,” he said. “We are about mid-table for the UK in terms of police force sicknessand there is scope to improve. We are trying to find out exactly what iscausing the levels of sickness we have and how we can improve.” New performance standardsA national competency framework aimed at eliminating variationsin performance between the 44 forces in England and Wales has been formallyadopted by the Chief Constables Council.It aims to standardise training, skills, responsibility andperformance for each rank, across all forces.For HR managers and directors in the service it will have a bigimpact on the way they deal with issues like planning, tenure, postings,re-deployment and sickness management. Officers and staff will be appraisedagainst specific standards for each role. The strategy has been developed by acombination of research and interviews with officers around the country and aprofile for each role has been created identifying: the core purpose of thejob; key activities; behavioural competencies and the knowledge and skill sets.The Police Reform Bill– The package includes changes to thelaw and non-legislative measures aimed at tackling variations in performance,recruitment, training and support, to help improve policing.– The measures will expand certain police powers and increasethe role of support staff working within the force– The Bill also proposes an annual policing plan based onnational priorities and allows the Home Secretary to intervene in failing forces– An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) willencourage a more open system to increase public confidence and help bring aboutmore consistent standardswww.homeoffice.gov.uk Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.