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Case Study - Independent Police Complaints Commission

Completed October 2015

Through an open competition Veredus was appointed to assist the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) with the recruitment of the new COO. The IPCC investigates serious allegations against the police, including corruption, deaths, serious injuries and other police misconduct, and acts as an appellate body for complainants who are dissatisfied with local police investigations into their complaint. Its statutory remit is to improve public confidence in the police complaints system, and to ensure that the findings of our investigations and appeals improve policing standards and processes. 

During 2015/16, the IPCC aims to take on between 400 and 700 new investigations, rising to over 1,000 in 2016/17 and subsequent years.  This has not just required a significant increase in capacity, taking on additional office space and hundreds of new staff, but also involves developing its capability, through radical changes to its organisation, processes and structure, to support this greatly increased workload. At the same time, the IPCC need to ensure that it can continue to exercise effective oversight of the complaints system as a whole, to drive public confidence.  

This is a senior role within a high profile and expanding organisation, providing leadership for the IPCC’s operational work during a period of significant change.  The Commission has proposed further changes to the governance and senior structure of the organisation, and if these proposals were to be adopted, this role would cease to exist in its current form potentially from April 2017. In the interim, there is a need for strong operational management, with this role presenting an opportunity for the right candidate to shape the future of the IPCC and its working methods, while delivering high quality, effective and efficient services across a range of casework and investigative functions. 

We started by engaging with the members of the selection panel and key internal stakeholders who included the IPCC Chair Dame Anne Owers, and Chief Executive Lesley Longstone. The panel gave us an excellent briefing that outlined the background to the recruitment and the main priorities and challenges for the role. Our in-depth understanding of IPCC, and the impact that this role would make meant that we had the information and insight to talk credibly about the role and present it as an attractive opportunity to a targeted and senior audience. 

This was an extremely demanding role, and we conducted a vigorous and thorough executive search campaign to find candidates who would bring the credibility, resilience and stamina to operate in a high profile and politically sensitive environment, and the ability to work effectively with senior managers and colleagues to support and manage front-line staff, and to respond effectively to competing demands and priorities. In addition, the successful candidate would already have a successful track record in a senior level operational management role in a complex and rapidly changing service environment, and would ideally bring experience of high volume casework and/or investigative or regulatory work.

We elicited 25 applications, 8 of which were progressed to a long list screening interview. These 8 were then reduced to a short list of four, three of whom were search candidates. The shortlisted candidates included a former Chief Executive of a regulator, Chief Executive of an ombudsman body, and two Chief Crown Prosecutors. These final four candidates were then presented to the selection panel for final panel interviews, after which two appointable candidates were identified. Ian Todd (former Chief Executive, Standards and Testing Agency) was deemed to be the preferred candidate and appointed to the post.
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