In the early part of the year the Leadership, Management and Organisation Development team at Skills for Justice were enjoying a busy period which included planning our ‘Changing Times, Changing Practice’ conference for April 2020. Having had a rich and deep exploration of the implications of Operation Uplift in London last November,we wanted to build on that with colleagues from across policing to ask if the aims and aspirations of Operation Uplift were to be achieved; what was required from OD, Change, and Leadership development practice?
In working with colleagues from several forces in the November event we all recognised the demographics in the room were not exactly in line with the aspirations of the Uplift recruitment drive. What would it be like for recruits to enter that space and what would be required in terms of leadership to include, make welcome and keep engaged those who join up as part of the Uplift programme? We have been talking to colleagues about the amazing work being done to reach into communities, build trust and show how a career in policing is a great opportunity for all and want to bring that practice into a shared space for learning.
And whilst the early part of the year now seems long ago, we are delighted to be planning the event, in the digital space, for 20th August 2020. We feel that exploring, sharing and learning together on what is needed from us as a community of practice to build on recent successes, properly respond to and move with #BlackLivesMatter and achieve not only the recruitment aspirations of Uplift but also the change needed to see those who join, stay and thrive in the police force today.
There seems to be both an immense appetite, and opportunity, for change right now. We are seeing agents of change come from all sorts of areas. Marcus Rashford is one example and whilst there is anger and confusion in communities, there is great hope, drive, and commitment and against this backdrop the possibilities are there for us to grasp. In the most recent copy of Policing Insight, Dr Nick Evans writes insightfully about the four dimensions of trust and the relevance of this to policing today in the complex and rapidly changing context we find ourselves in. As Sir Hugh Orde reminded us in November, for community policing to be effective there must be a representative and trusted force working in partnership with the public.
We ask what is our role and work in making that a reality? We invite all those involved in HR/OD/L&D/D&I to join the conference which will give us time and space to:
- Explore the professional opportunities and challenges we face and how they are changing and developing in our current and emerging context
- Share, get to know and learn from and with colleagues
- Identify ways forward and actions to take
- Hear from leading figures in the Justice sector and our research into Perceptions of Operation Uplift
- Build our relationships, network and community
We are delighted that Keith Fraser, Chair of the Youth Justice Board will be joining us on the day and will be announcing the full schedule very shortly. Our conference will be held in the digital space and we will blend excellent presentations with skilled facilitation to make this a meaningful and impactful collaborative inquiry that leads to further thinking, working together and action going forwards.We hope to see you there.