As a police promotion coach/mentor, I encounter many officers baffled and bemused by the College of Policing’s Competency & Values Framework (CVF). Such views are widespread among cops, so I decided to do something about it…

“What three little letters are enough to fill even the hardiest of cops with fear and dread? C.V.F.” – Social Media Post

CVF: A Mystifying Framework?

The CVF is complex

Some aspiring cops are confounded by the competencies, others dumbfounded at the descriptors. Is Sergeant the same level as Inspector? What do the values mean? How can I demonstrate the descriptors? None of this bodes well for those in the Federated ranks, aiming to prepare effectively for Sergeant, Inspector, and Chief Inspector promotion board questions or selection processes.

Learning to love the CVF is an important first step. It’s big ask though for increasingly busy cops. Unappreciated, misunderstood, and with little chance of being liked, the CVF is akin to a lonely stranger. Few candidates want more than a passing acquaintance with it, and yet it proves to be their Achilles Heel. Does this sound like you?

So how do I know about all this framework-floundering? Well, one of the questions I often ask aspiring candidates is:

“What do you know about the CVF?”

This is a chance to share how much (or little) is known about the framework, it’s a great place to start a conversation about promotion and serves as a reality check in relation to a candidate’s state of readiness. 

The police service must be able to select from the best possible promotion candidates, when appointing officers to formal leadership positions. Whether you believe your own force promotion process is fair or not, you will have to get to grips with understanding and presenting any supporting evidence you have. You can then align it to the assessment framework, the current show in town being the CVF.

Taking time to distil some key points can pay dividends, since the CVF contains the key to unlocking your potential in a promotion process. It is worth taking time to understand it beyond a superficial level. This is a stumbling block for almost every unsuccessful candidate! Here’s three reasons why it’s worth taking that time:

  • The CVF is jam packed with golden nuggets of information, it’s just not always in plain English.
  • It describes what ‘good’ looks like, while raising your self-awareness as you try to connect with the descriptors.
  • The CVF contains guidance for aligning any evidence you have, to support you for promotion applications, expressions of interest, and interviews.

I provide a tremendous amount of free resources, including over 100 blogsdozens of podcastshundreds of videos, and free guides. All are aimed at supporting officers seeking promotion. I began Rank Success because I’ve been in the exactly the same position, having faced promotion boards with very little meaningful help available. The situation remains little changed today. I understand how valuable some signposting and direction can be when setting out to achieve promotions.

“I just got news I made the Inspector list.. thank you for all your help, fantastic service. I can’t believe how much help you give gratis on your websites, podcast & YouTube. They certainly made a big difference to me & how I approached & thought about the competition.” – James, new Inspector

I can still recall thinking to myself, where do I start? Who can help? Who will help? 

A while back, I saw the following social media post which really resonated with me, from an officer facing their local promotion selection process:

 “What three little letters are enough to fill even the hardiest of cops with fear and dread? C.V.F.” 

This reflected a recurring, consistent theme I’ve noted in helping droves of officers successfully achieve promotion, and in many cases, several career promotions. It made me think there was more that I could do to help, if ‘fear and dread’ in relation to the CVF is really ‘a thing’. Hence this new video, in which I interpret the CVF to assist and support aspiring candidates.

As a qualified coach, I recognise that language can often indicate and amplify how candidates are thinking. When talking about upcoming promotion board questions for example, I might ask “how are you feeling ahead of your interview opportunity?”. Memorable replies have included: 

“Like a rabbit in the headlights.”

“On trial for my life.”

“Like a lamb to slaughter.” 

However, after working through a premium PC to SGT toolkit (or SGT to INS and C.INS combined toolkit) and watching my HD video Promotion Masterclass, significant changes in raised awareness and personal confidence ahead of promotion opportunities are clear to see. Hundreds of successfully-promoted officers are kind enough to share how valuable they found these in-depth resources in supporting and guiding effective preparation, often scoring top marks.

I recognise however that some people still want to dive deeper and go further into the facets of the CVF. Such work is never time wasted; It can be a massive confidence-booster knowing the framework you’ll be assessed against, inside and out…

Police CVF explained

The CVF: Demystified

In the above video, I introduce this brand-new resource for aspiring cops. This 3-hour HD video presentation aims to demystify the College of Policing’s CVF used across all UK police forces. Answering questions such as ‘What is the CVF?’, ‘How can I evidence CVF behaviours in my promotion boards?’, and ‘What does the CVF value Integrity mean?’ 

Suitable for all England and Wales forces and PSNI, I also cover the bespoke values used in the Metropolitan Police CVF and the Police Scotland CVF. Whether you want it as an in-depth bolt-on to my existing digital toolkits, or as a one-off deep-dive into the CVF, this will cement your understanding of the behavioural framework used in your police promotion assessment.

Following on from my free YouTube video playlist on the CVF, and having recently been commissioned by a large UK force to explain the CVF to officers, including assessors, I commend this in-depth explainer to you. Compiled in a presentation style, I bring together a wealth of information to help you get to grips with every competency and value. It is suitable for existing and aspiring leaders alike, across all UK police forces, including the bespoke CVF values used within the Met and Police Scotland.

Upon successful purchase, you will receive two MP4 video files (Part 1 and Part 2). You’ll require 0.5GB of space to save it on your chosen device. Watch at your leisure to boost your SMART preparation, then use it again at your next promotion should you wish!

In the show, I introduce the framework you’ll be assessed against. I then try and pin down what these various competencies and values really mean by sharing my own tried and tested interpretation. The competencies are focused around Level 2 of the CVF, with additional Level 1 examples and an explanation of what the various levels mean. I provide examples of what good looks like throughout. I also talk through various behavioural descriptors on the framework, highlighting the important points you’ll need to demonstrate.

Still undecided? Check out a free sample below, where I discuss the Met Police CVF value of ‘Integrity’. Let me know what you think…