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Making choices in your police career can be sometimes daunting but exciting at the same time. Joining the Police Service gives you many choices. – making decisions as to which direction your career path will take as and when opportunities arise.  

Have you ever wondered why some police officers transfer from their Home Police Force to another? Why some choose to work  abroad on secondments? Move from one Department to another? Take career breaks or remain in the same police area ? 

Whatever the reasons, the decisions and choices made will determine your policing journey.  

Choices in your police career can include working abroad

Another choice you can make during your policing service is whether to transfer from your home force to another, including secondment abroad.  

Many will seek promotion, others for welfare reasons – to be closer to family and friends, to gain new challenges/experience.  

Officers may decide to transfer from a UK Force to work abroad, especially if they are involved in training for example – Command, Forensics, and Intelligence.  

Full eligibility and guidance to transfer abroad can be found on the following links  www.college.police.uk – ‘Police constable transfer guidance’. 

www.gov.uk – ‘International Secondments for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’.  

Choices in your police career- making a Lateral Move within your Force?  

Put simply a ‘Lateral Move ‘is when you take on a new job at the same level as your current job, but with different tasks.  

Officers will usually have to successfully complete the application and structured interview process prior to a move being authorised.  

Whatever the reasons are for you to change, ensure you have considered and discussed everything. Look at the impact on your family life especially if you are moving from one force to another.

Why make a Lateral Move ?

For many reasons officers may apply for a lateral  move from front line policing to another policing unit.   

Although the list is not exhaustive, reasons for a move may include the following :

Officers may feel they have reached their skill set in their current role and need a new challenge. 

Officers may wish to be motivated and inspired again. A positive to this is learning new skills and improving knowledge. Working in a new team and meeting other officers you have not worked with and the challenges this may bring.

Many may feel they are burnt out in their current role and need a complete change of direction. 

Some may experience personality clashes within the section of people they are working with. Finding it hard to achieve job satisfaction can be difficult when you feel this way.  

If you become disheartened within your role trying to motivate yourself may feel like a challenge and will take some time to feel motivated again.  

Not all officers choose to move. Many officers will remain within the area they started their Police Career. They feel happy and settled in what they do, and have no aspiration to move to another department or promotion prospects.  

Every officer is individual, and we need to accept there will be times when officers wish to stay where they are!!  

How to make decisions when choosing to move  

I was always advised that when you are making important decisions make a note of the ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’ to establish which choice, you will take.  

Consider all your options carefully before making any decisions as this could be life changing, especially if you are looking at moving to another Police Force.  

By imparting your experience and being visible to others will bring confidence in what you do.

Understanding each others skills and roles will make the journey to move more achievable.

Having job satisfaction and stability in what you do are so important.  

Listing options and giving a timescale sets out a structure when you begin to make any decisions.

Useful Websites to consider

The following links may help you in your decision making process

Decision Making Framework – Types & Classifications | Marketing91

Framework for Effective Decision Making | SkillsYouNeed

National Decision Model (college.police.uk)

Choices I made within the Police Service

When I joined the Police Service my thought process was that every 5 years, I would leave the role I was working in and try something new! The police service gives you so many opportunities to do this. 

You need to work hard and show a great deal of enthusiasm for what you are applying to.

This ensured that I enriched my knowledge and skills and retained my motivation for the job. My confidence improved as did my CV !!

However, as you plan your career into what you may think you want to do sometimes things change!! An example being my last role and final role in which I stayed for 12 years. Sometimes planning will need to be adapted along the way !!

Choices in your Police Career – consider all options   

The police service gives you many opportunities to broaden your skills set. Whether it is by doing a lateral move. Transferring to another Police Force. Remaining in the same area of policing.

It is an individual choice as to which direction you take. Sometimes taking a risk can be daunting initially but can give great rewards in the end.  

Whatever your decision, Careers In Blue can help you along the way. We will advise, guide, and prepare you for any interview and the next stage in your career. We will ‘give you the edge ‘to succeed.  

Take a look at our services to see how we can help you