Police Scotland's leadership training has been criticised in a report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS).

The watchdog found that priorities set out by Police Scotland’s chief constable were done so “without the means or resources to deliver them”.

The report was delayed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, phase one findings of the Thematic Inspection of Police Scotland Training and Development inspection were finally published today.

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The report criticised “a lack of consistent leadership in leadership, training and development (LTD)” during the first five years of Police Scotland.

Officers and staff promoted since the force was established in 2013 “have received no leadership training or development since their attendance on a first line managers’ course”, it said.

The inspection also highlighted consequences of the lack of leadership training, saying: “Senior people in partner agencies observed that police leaders are generally very effective in command roles responding to critical incidents but lack emotional intelligence, self-awareness and strategic perspective.”

The report added: “Training and development staff were unaware of any key performance indicators for their work other than demand and throughput information, with most expecting their own performance to be judged on whether delivery timescales have been met.

“Given the extent of transformation work being progressed by Police Scotland and the importance of effective leadership to deliver change, HMICS considers that Police Scotland should review the level of resources devoted to leadership training.”

The report recommended that Police Scotland create a robust performance framework for LTD. 

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Further recommendations included assessing the impact of the chief constable’s commitments and ensuring senior officers are “provided training beyond technical training for specific roles as a matter of urgency”.

Gill Imery, chief inspector of constabulary in Scotland, said: “Since the formation of Police Scotland in 2013, there has been no programme of leadership training and development other than the first line managers’ course.

“There have been various approaches to appraisal and promotion over the past seven years and Police Scotland is now progressing new … approaches to deliver improvements.

“Police Scotland’s People Strategy includes commitments to supporting and developing leaders, however, the resource devoted to leadership training, talent management and continuous professional development is modest.”

She added: “The evidence gathered during this inspection highlights the need for renewed focus and investment in the training and development of officers and staff.

“It highlights the need to allocate sufficient resources to the development and implementation of new approaches to appraisal and promotion, in support of the People Strategy.”

Police Scotland have been contacted for comment.