Metropolitan Police Service

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We helped the UK’s largest police force understand the effects of hidden bias on decision-making

The Metropolitan Police commissioned us by tender to provide a series of full-day workshops to raise awareness of unconscious bias. Their priority was boosting intercultural working practices across the Service, and understandings of difference within its teams.

Our approach was proactive, highlighting good practice in the sector and elsewhere.

Our design phase included 1:1 telephone calls with a staff sample to understand roles and challenges, and a review of existing policies and materials. The resulting workshop – ‘Better Decision-Making for Better Outcomes’ – began by introducing the business case for effective diversity management in the public sector. Our trainers then showcased best practice examples from other organisations in the police and emergency services, and from other sectors nationwide.

All case studies factored in the appropriate equalities legislation, including the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duties.

We then turned to proactive ways of reducing the potential impact of unconscious bias, particularly in key areas of decision-making:

  • Recruitment and selection
  • Rotas
  • Learning and development
  • Career progression and ‘acting up’ opportunities
  • Performance management
  • The use of managerial discretion.

The workshop closed with an action-planning session to embed the learning and inform future Metropolitan Police strategies.

Since this initial programme, we have developed a strong working relationship with the Metropolitan Police Service. This includes a commission to deliver a major training programme for the Service’s Grievance Assessors (GAs), Informal Resolution Champions (IRCs) and Grievance Single Points of Contact (SPOCs).

“Refreshing and reassuring… EW Group brought to our discussions exceedingly high levels of knowledge and skill in respect of training and equality and diversity respectively, together with a genuine willingness to meet our identified development needs.”

David Maguire, Senior Organisational Development and Strategic Learning at Metropolitan Police Service

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