I thought I’d finish the year for you looking back at my top five police promotion blogs published over 2021. This is to help set you on course for UK police leadership success in 2022. What a year 2021 has been! It’s also one where I’ve been creating more completely free, no-strings, no-signups content available 24/7 to support your aspiration.

Each blog covers an important theme and is peppered with further information and links. This is all aiming to help you achieve success through the Federated ranks, whatever your UK police force promotion process. I’ve made so much free police leadership support available, you are spoiled for choice on targeted preparation and CPD materials. Consider this an ‘in case you missed it’ list, with an executive summary of each blog. I cover topics from across both my Police Hour and WordPress blogs to help you succeed in your promotion aspirations.

“The more that you read, the more that you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr Seuss

Women in Police Leadership Part 2: Confidence & Mindset

Women police leadership

I’ll start with my recent epic promotion blog series (now halfway through!) aimed at supporting female officers through the promotion process. In turn, I hope to be helping increase representation of women in police leadership ranks. In Part 1, I outlined the challenges and barriers women tend to face when progressing their police careers. I share Part 2 in this look back however, as it tackles the following common themes in some depth with some supportive guidance: Confidence and mindset. It includes how to tackle the phenomena of self-limiting beliefs and imposter syndrome.

Of course, these matters and issues are not exclusive to female officers; they can affect individuals across all protected characteristics. I have chosen these topics simply because they are common themes raised by and discussed with many aspiring women candidates who approach me for support. Regardless of your demographics, I welcome all officers to take a read of this popular blog; you may just find something that resonates and helps your approach to promotion.

See the link below to read my blog, Women in Police Leadership Part 2


“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” – J.M. Barrie, ‘Peter Pan’

Building Strong Promotion Evidence from Experience

UK police ranks sergeant and inspector

Recognising and compiling promotion evidence is often something aspiring promotion candidates struggle with. All have done fantastic work and achieve great things. However, few know how to effectively translate this into police promotion evidence for a written application and/or interview board.

Therefore in this two-part blog, I comprehensively answer the following common questions:

  • What kinds of experiences can I use in a promotion board or application?
  • What’s the best way to gather and organise and structure this into promotion evidence?
  • How do I choose my very best examples from all my police work and align them to the CVF behaviours (competencies, values)?

The blog includes an example promotion question and detailed 250-word structured response, including insights on why it’s powerful. The content of the example evidence is aligned to the CVF competency, ‘We Analyse Critically’. 

Read the full blog on building strong promotion evidence from Part 1 at the link below. If you would like to see dozens more detailed examples of ‘what works’ with promotion evidence, you can download my premium rank-specific resources right away.


“When you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, don’t be afraid to burn the haystack to save yourself from spending half your life picking through strands of straw.” – A.J. Darkholme

Thrifty Shades of Grey – Chapter Three

VUCA police leadership

In January 2021, I published the final chapter in a series about stepping up into the Inspector ranks. This is particularly relevant for those aspiring to Chief Inspector and beyond. If I were to sum up the gist of my ‘Thrifty Shades of Grey’ series, it all centres around providing strong leadership in times of uncertainty. Furthermore, it offers meaningful food for thought around how you might answer challenging police promotion board questions, such as the following:

“Senior & police leaders often work in grey areas. How will you operate effectively and efficiently in the grey?”

In this promotion blog series, I discuss a range of topics and concepts: Operating in a VUCA world; the ‘pushes and pulls’ upon you and more senior ranks; managing (finite) people and budgetary resources; the importance of strategic thinking at Inspector and beyond; what your CPD should look like as your career progresses up the ranks; having an eye on the future; and much, much more! Along the way, I provide additional practice interview questions and make links to the CVF competencies to get you thinking. I even include and briefly explain my bespoke ‘Pushes & Pulls’ infographic from my premium Inspector & Chief Inspector promotion toolkit!

I hope you enjoy the series, of which you can read Thrifty Shades of Grey Part 3 in the link below. You might also like my ‘Step Up or Step Aside’ blog, also directed at those aspiring to the Inspecting ranks and beyond!


“The more uncertain things are, the more leadership is required. Today’s leaders need to thrive in uncertainty.”– Satya Nadella

Inspector Promotion Toolkit

10 Tests Assessing Your Aptitude

Police aptitude tests

I first highlighted the emerging use of assessment tests (aka aptitude or psychometric tests) in UK police promotion processes some years ago. They have since become mainstream across England & Wales forces, Police Scotland, Met Police and PSNI. This blog provides you with a (literal!) ‘starter-for-10’, by defining and providing practice examples of the following 10 bespoke police psychometric assessments:

  • Situational Judgement Tests
  • Briefings & Presentations
  • Role Plays
  • Written Exercises
  • E-Tray & In-Tray Exercises
  • Verbal Reasoning Tests
  • Numerical Reasoning Tests
  • Inductive Reasoning Tests
  • Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test
  • Fast Track

For each one, I provide a summary definition and links to further information and explanation. I also discuss why they are in use and advise how you can prepare effectively. Since this blog, I have further expanded in detail in separate articles about particularly prolific promotion assessment tests, which you can read here and here. You might also find my free 15-page guide on assessment tests useful further reading.

Read the full blog on these aptitude tests in the link below. 


“You have to learn the rules of the game and then you have to play them better than anyone else.” -Albert Einstein

Police Assessment tests
Police promotion assessment tests free guidance.

Avoiding Booby Trap Interview Questions

Booby trap police interview questions

Last but not least of my top 5 blogs in 2021, I discuss the topic of ‘booby-trap’ promotion interview questions. Imagine this as your first promotion board question for example:

“What leadership style have you adopted? Tell us about your approach.”

I discuss the importance of reconnaissance as part of your promotion prep, then outline topics in relation to leadership styles to effectively answer questions like this. Example leadership styles I explain include transactionaltransformational (how cops like to be led!), and coaching. I also provide other potential booby-trap questions you can anticipate and mitigate ahead of your promotion board.

Read my full blog on booby-trap interview questions in the link below:


“Knowing where the trap is – that’s the first step in evading it.” – Frank Herbert

I hope you have enjoyed this look back at the top free police promotion content over the last year. I look forward to providing much more great content for you in 2022! Until then, I wish you every success for the new year and feel free to get in touch for targeted support along the way.

Kind Regards, Steve

If you found this blog helpful, you can hit the ground running with your promotion preparation. Get your personal digital promotion toolkit, attend or download my Police Promotion Masterclass, or contact me to arrange personal coaching support. If you first want to explore completely free content, I have a collection of videos, eGuides, a podcast, plus free blog content both here and via my Police Hour guest articles.

Rank Success Services for Promotion

(First published on Police Hour December 2021)