Award-winning HR: Diversity & Inclusion

What does it take to win an HR Excellence Award? In this short series, we take you through past winners of the HR Excellence Awards, and how they impressed the judges.

Backing up fantastic strategies with rock-solid figures, each winner has managed to persuade judges of their team’s impact on business.

In the fourth instalment of the series, we look at 2022's Best Diversity & Inclusion Strategy winner, Police Now, which worked against the current of toxic culture to make real change within the police.

Not yet started your entry? View 2023's categories now.


Best Diversity & Inclusion Strategy: Police Now

Trust in UK policing is devastatingly low. Questions around institutional racism, the use of violence, and failures of duty have opened the window on a service that has all too often turned a blind eye to racism, homophobia and misogyny.

Judges’ tips for entering the HR Excellence Awards

In November 2022, it was revealed that 14 of the 29 police forces have now been placed under special measures.

This background shows a dire need for a shift in culture; a shift towards a police service that genuinely represents and serves the communities from which it is drawn.

Police Now is a social enterprise. Founded in 2015, its mission is to attract, recruit, and train outstanding graduates with leadership potential to be police officers who will make a lasting difference in vulnerable communities.

In 2020, it realised that to achieve these goals it would have to take an approach that prioritised people from under-represented groups, and developed a diversity and inclusion strategy that would transform the way it recruited.

Police Now’s programme for change was bold. Diving right into the data, it looked beyond generic groupings of BAME candidates and examined how a candidate from a Pakistani community, for example, might feel differently about policing, compared with a black Caribbean candidate.

Building a targeted campaign, it addressed these issues head on, using authentic voices from the force. Candidates were assessed using real-life issues that involved addressing disproportionate use of stop and search and misogyny.

Police Now likewise addressed the threat of alienation among young candidates entering the force. Minority ethnic candidates were supported with one-on-one coaching, and candidates supported each other in a specially built online community.

In 2021 it piloted the Frontline Leadership Programme which, with the engagement of multiple stakeholders including graduates, focused on the promotion of police constables from underrepresented groups to police sergeants.

The results were brilliant, with high-potential constables given a platform to share their training and instil positive values throughout their teams.

In 360° feedback from line managers and colleagues, despite their limited time in the force, 84% of Police Now recruits were considered able to challenge others respectfully.

Statistics also suggested a 14% reduction in anti-social behaviour incidents in communities with a Police Now officer, equating to 38,772 fewer incidents.

The ultimate sign of success for the strategy however is that the retention rate of the National Graduate Leadership Programme is at 94%.

Change in policing is here to stay.

Enter for Best Diversity and Inclusion Strategy at the HR Excellence Awards 2023.

View the full list of categories here.