Positive Action refers to a range of measures and/or initiatives an employer can legitimately take to actively encourage individuals from under-represented groups to apply. This is not a legal obligation for employers but provisions have been made under the Equality Act 2010 to support underrepresentation where required.
Under-represented groups include:
- Those from a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) background, including non-visible ethnic minorities such as Czech, Slovak, Polish, and Gypsy/Traveller’s
- Individuals from the LGBT community
- People with disabilities
- All other characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.
Positive action is often confused with positive discrimination, which generally means employing someone because they come from an under-represented group in spite of whether they have the relevant skills and qualifications, and is unlawful. Our selection and promotion processes are no different whether individuals identify under a protected characteristic or not; we will always take the best applicants for the job.
Positive Action initiatives active within Cheshire Constabulary
Our Insight Programme is a one to two-day pre-recruitment programme offered to potential future officers and staff who are aged 18 and above, giving them an insight into the Constabulary and the recruitment process. The programme enables individuals to learn more about the force, improve confidence, develop presentation and communication skills and provide awareness of the process in relation to the recruitment of various roles. Visit our Insight Programme page for further information and details of how to express your interest to attend.
What previous Insight participants now in force thought of the programme
"The Insight Programme gave me the opportunity to gain a better understanding of Cheshire Constabulary and the application process.
I had the chance to visit and familiarise myself with the Constabulary’s headquarters before my assessment and interview which made it a little less daunting! I was also allocated a police buddy who I could contact if I had any questions throughout my application process.
Coming from a non-policing background I had someone who could share their experiences and knowledge with me which made me feel at ease. The insight programme is a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in a career in the police to learn more about the Constabulary and application process."
"When I first decided to apply for the police I wasn’t really sure how the process worked. After doing some research and looking at the force website, I was shocked at how many stages there were to go through. I didn’t really know how it worked and what to expect.
After expressing my interest in applying, I was invited to take part on the Insight pre-recruitment programme. I decided to take part in the programme in hope that it could answer my questions in relation to the application process.
The Insight programme answered all my questions and more. I was given an in-depth look at what it takes to become a police officer and given guidance in relation to how the application process works at each stage. This 1st hand information played a crucial part in allowing me to achieve my goal of becoming a police constable. I feel the programme helped me draw the best examples from my previous experiences and show how passionate I am about helping people in the community.
As part of the programme I was also paired with a 'buddy'. My buddy gave me one-to-one support throughout my application process. I found this service really rewarding because I knew anytime I had a question they were at the other end of the phone or email. My questions were always answered professionally and in good time. My buddy would also give me good advice which helped me cope with the pressure of exams and interviews.
I am so grateful to Cheshire Constabulary for giving me the opportunity to take part in the Insight programme and I know I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for their help and support and for providing me with the confidence to become the best I can be."
"Prior to joining Cheshire Constabulary, I had been attempting to join the police for nearly two years. I had considered applying to a number of different forces, applied to be a PCSO with GMP to no avail and attended a number of recruitment seminars. My first application to Cheshire Constabulary was unsuccessful. I remember feeling really disheartened and not knowing whether to continue with the process. It felt like there was something that I was missing regarding the application process and I did not know who to speak to for advice.
However, a couple of weeks after finding out my application had been unsuccessful with Cheshire Constabulary, I received an email inviting me to attend an Insight programme with the Positive Action Team. This scheme was offered to candidates from a vast array of different backgrounds and under-represented groups within Cheshire.
On attending, I soon realised that this is exactly what I had been missing throughout the entire process, a support network that were able to offer me advice, answer any questions I had regarding recruitment, Cheshire Constabulary and policing in general.
Each member of the Positive Action Team was incredibly helpful and welcoming from the first day that I attended the programme. They offered us all an insight into the force as a whole, what to expect from the application process and what to expect if we were to progress further to the assessment centre and then interview. I had so many questions and I finally had people around me that could answer them.
I was designated my own ‘buddy’ via the Buddy Scheme. This was fantastic as I had a single point of contact to go to with any worries, concerns and questions that arose. The knowledge, support and guidance I received from having this was incredible and I have continued to maintain this relationship and endeavour to do so throughout my career within Cheshire Constabulary.
Since being invited to the Insight programme, I have felt incredibly supported by Cheshire Constabulary. I am incredibly thankful to the entire Positive Action Team for making me feel so welcome and for helping me to achieve my dream of becoming a police officer."
One-to-one support provided to potential new recruits partaking in the insight programme. Candidates are matched with an appropriate buddy, depending on the level of support they require, such as their first language. The buddy relationship gives candidates the confidence to progress through all stages of the recruitment process, as well as their first few weeks of employment.
Inputs usually lasting a couple of hours whereby candidates get an opportunity to learn about the different elements of recruitment processes. These are a great opportunity to ask questions about what roles and recruitment processes entail as well as to people in the roles share their experiences.
Through the Disability Confident campaign we are working to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. We look to accommodate requests for reasonable adjustments where possible throughout our recruitment and promotions processes and encourage anyone requiring reasonable adjustments to disclose this at the earliest opportunity.
Additional measures for support/governance
An unconscious bias is an assumption that we make, possibly a prejudice that we have that we may not even realise. As unconscious bias could have consequences to assessing, recruiting and promotion of staff and officers across the force, each recruitment assessor received an unconscious bias training input prior to any recruitment activity.
These are senior officers and managers within the organisation who ‘champion’ a particular area of diversity. Their role is to ensure that the voice of employees is heard and that any issues are taken seriously at the most senior levels of the organisation.
Allies are visible, challenge behaviours, are there for colleagues as a support system and are proud to support staff networks and other in-force diversity activities.
Our staff networks provide an integral line of support for those coming into the organisation as well as existing staff. The networks organise events for their members and the members are also represented on the local, regional and national police network groups.
- Cheshire Constabulary Minority and Ethnic Group (CCMEG)
A support network for police officers and staff that are members of black, minority or ethnic groups, as well as those who wish to help promote good race relations and equality opportunities within the Constabulary and local communities.
- Cheshire Women in Policing (CWIP)
The network is affiliated to the British Association for Women in Policing. CWIP organises events such as menopause awareness, pregnancy and mums coffee mornings and breast cancer care events.
- Christian Police Association (CPA)
This network aims to provide an environment of friendship, support and prayer, available to all. Staff and police officers of all faiths or no faith are welcome.
- Disability Support Network (DISNET)
DISNET exists for all staff within the force, particularly those with a disability or people affected by disability, such as carers. The group offers advice on related issues such as benefits and work-life balance.
Twitter: @DisabledPolAssn (Disabled Police Association (DPA) – national network)
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Network
The LGBT Network is a confidential group who is there to offer support and advice to anyone in the organisation, regarding operational or policy areas that may affect the LGBT community.