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Becoming a Superintendent

PSA President Paul Griffiths discusses what it means to become a superintendent:

Promotion to superintendent is something to be incredibly proud of. Congratulations on everything you have achieved and have contributed to policing to reach this rank.
It opens opportunities, enables incredible experiences and requires considerable dedication and professionalism to do the job well.
Moving from chief inspector to superintendent is a big step up. Aside from moving from a federated role into membership of the Police Superintendents’ Association, you are recognised as being at the most senior operational level, the salary is higher and as such, you are afforded responsibilities and powers completely unique to our rank.
Right from the start, you may feel that this is quite a different job to any you have experienced before. You may be working amongst the same people, often in the same area of business, but it’s the nuances of the job that make it so unique and so crucial to our Service.
In the federated ranks, you will find you’re predominantly in roles that are unit or department-orientated, steered down a particular line through a leader and delivering as part of that unit.
As a superintendent, you have to start thinking both laterally and vertically – conducting collaborative work, both internally and externally. Asking yourself, what are chief officers trying to achieve and how can I influence those under my command to achieve that? How can I be the best influence possible on those under my command?
Your responsibilities become broader, encompassing finance, human resources and misconduct.  You are connected and often accountable for other organisational processes which are crucial for the wider organisation. Operational work does not stop, and you find yourself ‘top of the tree’ in terms of operational accountability, but you rapidly develop organisational skills you may not have had to use in previous roles.
Ultimately – you are the person that links strategy to success and the person that has to steer the ship, with everyone else’s ship in sight.
One of the biggest considerations for new superintendents is the power of their influence as leaders.  I cannot stress enough the importance of leading by example and creating the right cultural environment to enable staff to flourish and develop.

Some of the major challenges facing our service over the past two years are embedded in workforce representation, community engagement and the culture within policing. This comes down to the environment we create as leaders and the standards of behaviour we demonstrate and expect.
You are in the spotlight to lead this environment and culture, which must be rooted in the highest standards of behaviour, integrity and fairness. 
This responsibility is a privilege, offering huge opportunity to influence positive change and one I feel honoured to hold.