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National Police Promotion Framework

A new process for police officers seeking promotion to the rank of sergeant of inspector came into effect this year called the National Police Promotion Framework (NPPF).

The Police (Promotion) Regulations 1996 have been amended to remove the Objective Structured Performance Related Examination (OSPRE) Part II from the Constables to Sergeant and Sergeant to Inspector promotion process and has been replaced with the NPPF.

The NPPF is a four step promotion process and promotion is only attained once a candidate has successfully completed all four steps.

OSPRE Part I continues to exist in NPPF step 2.

Completion of step four may also leads to a professional qualification in police management.

The steps are:

  1. Competence in current rank - confirms that the officer is competent in their current role.
  2. Examination of law and procedure - provides an objective assessment of the officer's knowledge and understanding of relevant law and procedure. It is the same examination as the current OSPRE® Part I, a 3-hour multiple-choice exam with a maximum of 150 questions
  3. Local selection process and matching to vacancies - allows forces to manage the number of candidates against the number of planned vacancies within the force. It is a competency-based assessment designed and delivered in force, under national quality assurance arrangements.
  4. Temporary promotion (12 months) and work-based assessment - once selected for step 4, officers are given temporary promotion to the next rank. They are developed and assessed within that role against National Occupational Standards (NOS).
  5. Officers who have previously completed OSPRE Part I and II are eligible to apply at Step three and if selected would be substantively promoted. They may, with the support of their Chief Officer, undertake the work based assessment at step 4.

There is no doubt that a considered and structured approach to each part of the promotion process gives individuals the best chance of success. At Police Oracle, we understand the value of sound advice and have put together a series of pages giving help to those going through the police promotion process.

There is an NPPF Step 2 (OSPRE Part I) assistance section where some of the best commercial companies offering support are shown. The vast majority of these organisations are run by ex-police officers, most of whom were professionally involved in OSPRE – from writing the syllabus to marking and running examination units. They are well worth a look.

For further information on force level implementation please contact George Couch, College of Policing, at:

For candidate-based information please contact your Force Examinations Officer.

From all of us at Police Oracle – good luck!

National Police Promotion Framework Frequently Asked Questions