Further information - short-term secondments
HMIC’s Short-term secondee programme offers serving police officers and staff the opportunity to come and work for HMIC for a period of up to three months. This page sets out further information about these secondments, including:
- what a secondment entails;
- the nature and staffing of inspections;
- accommodation and travel;
- hours and expenses; and
- training and IT.
Testimonials from previous secondees about their experiences at HMIC are also available.
If you have any questions that aren’t addressed in the information below, please email them to HMICInspectionsResources@HMIC.gsi.gov.uk using a ‘.pnn’ email account.
Police officers and staff are welcome to apply for secondments, providing that they have:
- a minimum level of vetting in place prior to the secondment start date;
- access to, and use of, an encrypted force laptop for the duration of the secondment; and
- line manager and chief officer approval.
Due to business needs, the secondments align with the two inspection periods for HMIC’s PEEL programme. These tend to be in the spring and autumn.
Secondments typically last for 12 weeks, which includes time for both training and debrief opportunities for secondees. It is possible for HMIC to accommodate shorter secondments, but that will limit the number of inspections that secondees are able to participate in.
It is sometimes possible for secondments to be extended for up to 12 months, depending on business needs and agreement from all parties. Secondees are also able to apply for any fixed-term appointments or secondments advertised in the recruitment section of HMIC’s website.
During peak inspection periods, there can be inspections of up to four police forces each week. However, short-term secondees will not be deployed on more than three inspections back-to-back. In practice, secondees will usually work on inspections for two weeks and then have one week of completion and preparation time.
Most inspections are led by the HMIC force liaison lead (FLL) for a particular force, who is responsible for the relationship with that force. The FLL will be supported on the inspection by:
- HMIC inspection officers (who are seconded police officers/staff or civil servants);
- associates (with specific expertise in the area being inspected); and
- other short-term secondees.
Inspections may also have peer inspectors, who volunteer to assist in inspections where they have relevant operational experience.
Inspections start at 11am on a Monday and conclude early afternoon on a Friday, to allow time for staff to travel to and from the inspection.
During the inspection, secondees will carry out a variety of inspection activity throughout the day, such as:
- leading focus groups;
- interviewing senior staff and officers; and
- carrying out ‘reality testing’ to corroborate findings.
These activities will usually be carried out in pairs, with one person leading and another note taking.
In most cases, there will also be a daily debriefing in the late afternoon/early evening to feedback findings to the rest of the team.
There will be pre-reading and preparation for the inspection that will need to be carried out the week prior to inspection.
Accommodation and travel
HMIC will provide accommodation for the whole inspection team as close to the force headquarters as possible.
It may be possible to commute each day if a secondee lives near the inspection area. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Caring responsibilities can be considered, and accommodated where possible, when deploying secondees to inspections.
HMIC will provide car hire and/or a standard class train ticket for travel to and from a secondee’s home address to the inspection. Internal flights can be considered where it is efficient to do so.
If the journey time to an inspection is more than three hours, accommodation will be provided for the night before the inspection starts. If the journey time is three hours or less, secondees will be expected to travel on the Monday morning.
Hours and expenses
Inspection weeks are hard work and involve working long hours. Excess hours worked are then recovered in non-inspection weeks.
HMIC will reimburse reasonable subsistence claims, in line with Home Office allowances, and any necessary expenses incurred during secondments. Details will be provided during training about how to claim these expenses.
Training and IT
Mandatory training is provided to all inspection staff, including short-term secondees, prior to the start of inspections.
Training session dates will be provided as part of the application process. Secondees should ensure that they can attend at least one of these sessions before applying .
At the end of any inspection, HMIC will carry out an end-of-inspection review. Feedback provided from this review will be used to generate a Professional Development entry for the secondee and their force. HMIC also welcomes feedback and testimonials about the experiences of short-term secondees.
Due the short duration of secondments, HMIC is unable to provide IT equipment. Secondments involve a lot of remote working, logging-on in police headquarters and working from home.
Secondees must have an agreement in place with their force to provide an encrypted laptop for the duration of their secondment. Ideally, this laptop should be able to receive secure ‘.pnn’ emails.