Rank Success is proud to sponsor the upcoming 2023 British Association of Women in Policing (BAWP) Awards and CPD conference. In this blog I share details of this upcoming event and recognise the fantastic work of the BAWP in supporting female police officers and staff. I then provide a raft of free police promotion and leadership development materials targeted for aspiring women leaders in policing.

BAWP Values, Upcoming Awards and CPD Conference

“Simple messages for leadership – such as being accessible, encouraging, and constructive – are so important when empowering colleagues to believe in themselves and progress their careers.” – Michelle Skeer QPM, BAWP President

Rank Success is delighted and honoured to be a lead sponsor for the upcoming BAWP Awards 2023. These annual awards recognise the contributions and achievements of women within the police service and are the only awards specifically aimed at women in policing.

The 2023 BAWP awards ceremony and CPD conference is being held at Carden Park Hotel in Cheshire. The event lasts two days, from 5-6 June, and includes supportive professional development content. The event is aptly called ‘Paving the Way’, with a focus on the themes of Service, Leadership and Legacy.

I encourage any aspiring leader to attend this event. Not only for celebrating and recognising great achievements, but to gain some inspiration and because your ongoing CPD is essential to advancing your leadership career.

The BAWP itself was founded in 1987, to “empower the police services’ strong, hardworking women”, with gender equality in policing an integral part. The BAWP’s mission is to ensure women’s voices in policing are both heard and understood. Their aims are to:

  • Raise awareness and understanding of issues affecting women in the police service.
  • Build discussions on issues and provide the female perspective.
  • Develop a professional network of officers both nationally and internationally.
  • Contribute to the continuing professional development of members.

The BAWP’s quarterly Grapevine Magazine is also a fantastic resource, especially considering that relevant reading is all part of effective CPD. For example, in the Spring 2023 edition there’s a preview of next month’s awards and professional development event, inspiring stories, reflections on sexism raised in the Casey review, celebrating women leaders, breaking menopause taboos, and an article on the enduring challenge for women of juggling a police career around family life. The quote above from Michelle Skeer QPM is just one snippet.

This year’s BAWP Awards 2023 will be facilitated by Supt Bel Berry from Hampshire Police. The BAWP President, Chief Constable Michelle Skeer QPM, will formally open the event. The conference itself has 13 prestigious awards and boasts exceptional keynote speakers on the event itinerary, including:

  • Christina Gabbitas: A children’s author who now works with policing, raising awareness of county lines and other areas of vulnerability.
  • Tania West: Director of Kairos Leadership Development.
  • Kathryn Stone OBE: former Independent Parliamentary Commissioner for standards/ethics.
  • Jane Arthur: A previous BAWP Inspirational Winner who will focus on acceptance of her disability.
  • Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatten: Speaking about her journey to becoming Chief Fire Officer, a psychologist, and writer.

I will also be giving a short input to the CPD sessions, in line with the themes of the conference and to help ‘pave the way’ for aspiring women leaders. Here’s a preview of my title slide, where I’ll be providing some key pointers on CPD, including how to build confidence. I’ll also have a Rank Success stand at the event with some handy free merch, so come say hello if you’re going!

BAWP paving the way event 2023

Supporting Aspiration and Confidence

“Confidence isn’t optimism or pessimism, and it’s not a character attribute. It’s the expectation of a positive outcome.” – Rosabeth Kanter

Sponsoring the BAWP awards was an easy decision. Particularly because the main theme, ‘paving the way for the next generation’ and CPD focus on Leadership, Service, and Legacy aligns directly with the raison d’etre of Rank Success, which exists to help level the playing field in terms of supporting officers’ leadership aspirations. Especially career progression via promotion in the federated ranks, including via the fast-track pathway. Ultimately the aim is improving representation, equality, and fairness within policing.

For context, recent research published in The Oxford Review has examined whether gender makes a difference in terms of leadership. Researchers found no significant difference between the genders in terms of leadership effectiveness on any measure.

However, in terms of leadership emergence, women are significantly less likely to emerge as leaders compared to men. The reasons for this include the better-known challenges facing women aspiring leaders. But also, a lack of confidence and self-belief was identified compared to their male counterparts.

Confidence and mindset are subjects I cover in my comprehensive blog series supporting women in police leadership. I’ve found through my own research and experience, for example when supporting many aspiring female officers, that ‘imposter syndrome’ is a common factor.

Support for women in policing

That’s one of the reasons I put out inspiring content and stories as part of my extensive array of free resources for people. There’s no other free leadership support like it for aspiring UK cops, available 24/7 and 365, for any officer looking to prepare for or just to find out more about what’s involved in going for promotion. For example, it’s hard not to be inspired when listening to ACC Una Jennings talk about leadership, legacy, role models, and career development.

For serious candidates who simply want to ‘hit the ground running’ and crack on with effective, targeted preparation, premium options are available. My bespoke digital promotion toolkits provide options to make the best use of time, especially when process deadlines add pressure. Working smart (not just hard) and thinking through the tailored content raises awareness and builds confidence; often to the point individuals set themselves apart from their peers in force selection processes, standing out as the best prepared candidate.

“I came top in the Inspector boards!” – Lesley


I’m massively inspired by many of the conversations I’ve had with aspiring women leaders, who are often balancing shifts, workload commitments and role duties with wider or family responsibilities. I realise just how hard it can be to make best use of time to prepare effectively for a promotion selection process. That’s where Rank Success resources help you if you are juggling other priorities in getting up to speed, orientated and focused for promotion opportunities to maximise your personal potential.

“I used your toolkits for my Inspector board. Passed it first time round, three days before giving birth!! Thanks.” – Danielle

Rank Success: Paving the Way…

I began Rank Success to level the playing field of promotion. I do this by supporting great operational cops to get through the often-mystifying world of police promotion processes, achieving their potential to become better leaders. Otherwise, only those who are more naturally adept and confident with these more academic assessments tend to pass, and then dominate the spectrum of police leadership.

Essentially, it’s about providing tried and tested support that works! So what does that look, sound or feel like? Here are some insights and stories from newly promoted women leaders. All were successful in navigating different promotion processes and were kind enough to share their experiences about what worked. I share three success stories from each Federated rank…


Police Sergeant Epaulettes 999

“Hi Steve, just a quick email to confirm I have passed my Sgt promotion board 1st time! It was hard graft getting ready in a short time frame but I don’t think I could have done it without your digital downloads! Really helped broaden my understanding of leadership. Thank you!” – Lyndsey

“Hi Steve, I passed my sergeant promotion process comfortably, to say I am over the moon is an understatement. I scored mostly 4’s one 5 and one 3. I was able to answer confidently. This has given me the confidence to push myself even further. Thank you for the support. I will be recommending your products to anyone I will be supporting in the future.” – Manpreet

​​​“Hi Steve, I cannot thank you enough for your help and the time you spent looking at my draft application as I’ve worked my socks off the last couple of years. I passed the promotion application and Sergeant board coming top in the force in my interview! I also applied for another force and passed their Sergeant Promotion process too, but decided to stay where I am for the time being.” – Maria


Inspector pips badge

“I just wanted to let you know I’ve had my Inspector board results today and passed! Thank you so much. I really believe you helped me tap into something that was always there but maybe I didn’t articulate previously. I wasn’t gifted with being naturally able where processes such as these are concerned but frustratingly I was getting good results in the workplace. I came to you on recommendation, it undoubtedly sent me massive steps in the right direction.” – Becky

“Thanks so much for your invaluable guidance on my application form. Your online guides and masterclass prepared me both in respect of the content and in terms of my confidence; gave me focus and helped me pass my Governor’s board.” – Jo

​​​“A huge thank you! I just found out this week I passed my Inspectors’ Board. I downloaded your promotion guides, they were a massive help & user friendly. There is so much mystery surrounding promotion & your guides made it clear & easy to understand what was expected of me. Thanks again, Zoe.”


Chief Inspector badges

“Hi Steve, Just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you so much for all of the material you produce. I attributed my success in the 2019 Inspectors process to following your guides. Today I discovered I passed my Chief Inspector board (first time)! I had been listening to your podcasts and reading your blogs, but found most benefit in the downloadable guides and masterclass, which cemented my knowledge and really helped me to structure my responses. A huge thank you. I am so grateful to you for giving clarity to a process which is incredibly competitive and brutal… even when you pass!” – Zoe

“I am over the moon to have passed my Chief Inspector board having used the digital toolkit, masterclass video and free guides. This was my 2nd attempt at this rank… first time, the feedback was my nerves affected my performance. This year I took a different approach and I felt much more prepared, confident and my nerves weren’t as apparent throughout the elements of the process. I know this is in part due to the confidence I gained by using a tried and tested approach as outlined by Steve. I’ve yet to receive any formal feedback, but the ACC on my board called to say I’d smashed it and did really well. I want to thank Steve for not only the resources that are available, but also the last minute pep talk when just before the board I felt I wasn’t ready. I absolutely was, and Steve’s reassurance helped me see this and also focused my mind on the day. It’s an amazing feeling to get that call, and I would not hesitate to recommend and signpost colleagues to Rank Success. Thank you.” – Jo

“Hi Steve, I’ve recently been listening to your podcasts after being sent the link by a friend. I just had my Chief Inspector promotion board & I absolutely smashed it thanks to a lot of hard work, listening to your podcasts & using your toolkit. With my learning style I hadn’t thought listening would suit me as well as it did, I had lots of food for thought & reflection from your inputs. I wanted to send you this as feedback.” – Elle

You may also want to listen to ACC Una Jennings discuss her own leadership story, tips on career development, coaching and mentoring, the importance of values, and much more…

CPD Plan: Your Fast Track to Success…

One of the things setting successful police promotion candidates apart from others is having a clear, longer-term CPD plan. Such a plan is essential for any leader with an eye on the future (especially those aspiring for fast-track promotion), whether it includes reading, learning, doing, reflecting, or any other form of development I discuss in my free CPD blog.

A valid, personal CPD plan provides focus and is something you can also allude to in your police promotion board. It is particularly relevant to the CVF competency, ‘We Take Ownership’. For example, consider that this particular competency states:

  • Level 1: I understand my own strengths and areas for development and take responsibility for my own learning to address gaps.
  • Level 2: I actively encourage and support learning within my teams and colleagues.

I provide CPD recording and planning templates in my extensive, rank-specific premium online toolkits and promotion masterclasses. But if you want some pointers right now, in addition to my recent free video above, here’s some food for thought to make a start and steer you in the right direction:

  1. Gap assessment: Compare where you are now against where you ultimately want to be.
  2. Identify goals: Identify your specific career goals. What steps are needed to reach them?
  3. Gather information: Do you want to develop laterally or for promotion or both?
  4. Evaluate your professional skills: What are they? What skills will you need to acquire or improve? What gaps are there?
  5. Decide on a strategy: What’s the plan to get there? Who can help?
  6. Develop a timeline: 1 year, 3 years, 5 years; what does your development journey look like?
  7. Write all of the above down!

If you’ve got something interesting to say on police leadership and promotion, why not share my platform to support the development of others? You can write a guest blog here, record yourself speaking to a subject, or both (e.g. as Becky has done). Just get in touch to arrange and you’ll reach thousands of like-minded individuals.

I hope you’ve found this blog helpful. Please get in touch if you would like further support or have any questions. I’m normally around to pick up the phone (07581 299532) if you’d like an informal chat. Or if you prefer, email me (steve@ranksuccess.co.uk) and I’ll endeavour to get back to you soon.

For now, I wish you every success on your police career journey.

Kind Regards, Steve

Want to go further right now? Hit the ground running with your promotion preparation. Get your personal digital promotion toolkit, and/or my Police Promotion Masterclass. You can also contact me to arrange personal coaching support. If you first want to explore completely free content, I have a collection of videoseGuidesa podcast.

Police promotion to Inspector