25 September 2023

Police workplace changes to fit the bill

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A report into the NSW Police Force recommending extensive changes to workplace equity and a new, improved promotions system has been welcomed by the Police Commissioner, Michael Fuller.

The two-part, force-wide review by former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick looked at cultural issues that impacted on women’s promotion opportunities and career progression, and the existing promotions system.

The review sought feedback from almost 3,500 officers in an online survey with Ms Broderick personally interviewing almost four dozen serving police.

In her investigation, Ms Broderick found there was overwhelming internal support for greater development opportunities for police officers; improved equity within the force, and an overhaul of the 17-year-old promotions system.

Although female officer numbers had steadily increased to represent 27.6 per cent of the Police Force, the report identified an under-representation of women in senior roles and a need for female officers, working in flexible and part-time environments, to be provided with viable developmental and promotion opportunities.

The review made 30 recommendations including the introduction of a new, shorter promotions process; equitable training and leadership opportunities for all officers, regardless of their gender; and stronger mechanisms to develop, mentor and sponsor female officers.

Commissioner Fuller said he fully supported the review’s recommendations and would consult with the Minister for Police on the next steps towards a new, modernised process.

“The current promotions system served a purpose when first introduced in 2002 but the review has confirmed my view that it’s in dire need of an overhaul to keep up with changing times,” Commissioner Fuller said

“We will seek to effect that change and bring in a more equitable promotions system that takes merit, performance and experience further into account.”

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